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Parallax - Advice            February 19, 2001



  An affair to remember?

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Man is attracted to Woman and approaches her. Woman is married (and going through drama), so says she's not interested. (Man is also married, but can do whatever he wants, as long as he keeps it private.) Man and Woman become good friends (no funny stuff). After two years, Man tells Woman his true feelings. After a song-and-dance, Woman coyly admits similar feelings. Man is happy, but is scared of commitment, and makes promises he can't keep. Woman refuses to deal with drama, says 'See ya,' and moves on (although they are both still sexually attracted to each other).

Woman (me) takes care of Husband, but I need some excitement, and Husband has never provided excitement. He's just 'nice,' and although I've never cheated on him during the seventeen years we've been together, I've thought about it. So, I want to know what to do to get Man…oops, I mean to get Man to follow through with his promises. That's the only thing I've ever asked him to do - to do what he says he's going to do, no matter what it is.

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Her view:

Dear Woman,

Interesting problem. You would like to know how to have a better cheating relationship. It's like any other couple dynamic - you need to get him to deliver on what he promises. Since you don't care what he promises, why do you care whether or not he delivers? Perhaps you like him more than the proverbial 'using him for sex' level.

First, let's solve your problem. You can make this very easy for him. Tell him the bar is really low - you don't care what he promises or does, just as long as he does what he says he's going to do. This should curb that 'promising' behavior quite nicely, and you'll have no dissonance between what he says and what he does, as he'll quickly learn not to promise unless he can carry through.

Secondly, I think you have stronger feelings for him than you realize. Be careful - breaking up an affair is just as painful as in any other relationship (illicit or not), and rejection always sucks. The end of an affair is even more difficult because you can't go home to your husband to discuss your problems. You probably have very few people (if any) with whom you can discuss your boyfriend's foibles. You might be in over your head - your complaint has that 'significant relationship' overtone.

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His view:

Dear Woman,

Here's what I think…

Woman needs to get real. Woman needs to realize Man is unlikely to push this little game to the next level, unless his circumstances change (circumstances that Woman would probably not like). Perhaps Man separates from wife. Or Man stops caring about Woman enough to feel he can safely engage in flirtatious escapades (and more) without fear of getting hooked.

Or Woman could find a way to force the issue by trapping Man in a situation in which his inner weaknesses and bone-jumping desires triumph over his steadfast resolve.

Before doing that, Woman should be reminded of an important lesson, which she can learn by watching old Tom & Jerry cartoons. If Cat catches Mouse, the cartoon is over…so Cat chases and chases, but never catches. It's a lesson that Man appears to understand perfectly well.

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You Vote! 25% of Women agree with HER VIEW and 75% with HIS VIEW.

0% of Men agree with HER VIEW and 100% with HIS VIEW.

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