In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a female viewer who was widowed four years ago, after a good trusting marriage of 25 years. She got involved with a man who lives in her small town. He started confessing to her that he was not happy in his relationship. Eventually he told her he was a free man, and was now able to start dating. Six months later, she found out the real truth, which was that he simply lied to her and was still seeing his girlfriend behind her back. She found out about this because his girlfriend phoned her to inform her that they were still together and had actually never broken up. She was obviously not happy when she found out she was unwittingly involved in a dysfunctional love triangle. She told the guy to get lost and to never contact her again. He continued to apologize profusely so he could get another shot. However, it appears that the two of them have basically been using her to manipulate each other. She says her confidence has taken a hit, and she’s pretty bummed out about the whole ordeal.
I was widowed 4 years ago after a good, trusting marriage of 25 years. Last year, I met a guy who’s been divorced for 16 years. We live in a very small village, so I knew of him. He started calling by in order to see how I was coping on my own. He never offered any help at any time. He told me that he had a girlfriend of 4 years, and the usual sob story, “Things are not great. I’m trying to end the relationship.” Apart from the occasional coffee, I kept my distance. One day, he told me that he was now a free man, and wanted to get to know me better. We became close friends. However, he lied as 6 months later, I found out the truth when his girlfriend phoned me out of the blue because she had suspicions about him, and heard he had taken a fancy to me. He was obviously doing a ‘try before you buy,’ comparing me to his girlfriend to see if I could be a better option. I was hurt, and told him to get lost. (Good for you. Real men don’t lead their girlfriends on, and live a lie while while they explore things with other women.)
He was horrified that he couldn’t see me again, and 3 months later, he turned up to tell me that he had made a big mistake not being honest with me, that he was in love with me, even though he didn’t know me well, and was really ending it all with his girlfriend if I would tell him that I would give him a second chance and go out with him. (That’s pathetic on his part. If he was unhappy in the relationship he would end it, but he’s a liar, a cheater, and not relationship material.) Again, I said no, leave me alone and sort your life out. A week later, he told me that he really did want to end things with his girlfriend, but he was so confused, it was difficult, and he couldn’t give me a definite time, etc. I said goodbye. Again, his girlfriend phoned me to see what was going on. I told her the truth, and she said she was going to end her relationship. Fed up with the unhealthy triangle, I sent the same text to both him and her, telling them both to stop using me to clarify their relationship, that this guy’s not for me because he’s a cheat and liar, and not to contact me again. End of conversation! (It takes a lot of inner strength to do that.)
I will run into this guy from time to time in public, and I want to know how should I act towards him? (If he comes near you say, “How are you? I have to run. Have a great day.” However, if he keeps pressuring you, let him know he’s devious and a liar, and you don’t have the same goals and values as him. Let him know you deserve a good man, a man with honor and integrity.) My confidence has taken a hit, and I am feeling vengeful at the moment. Secondly, how do I stop loathing myself for not dealing with all this crap earlier? (It’s not your fault he’s a douchebag and that he lied to you and deceived you. You should look at this as an opportunity to become even stronger. Look at people’s actions. Not so much what they say, but what they do.) I feel awful for sending that text to his girlfriend, because she is as much of a victim as me. (She is a loser who tried to use you to manipulate him.) However, she replied to my text telling me they were together over the weekend because she wanted slow closure due to mutual friends, and because they had bought tickets last year for a concert they both wanted to see. I feel I have been used by both. (Take the high road and let him know you never want to hear from him again.)
Thank you for any advice!
My response to her:
You did the right thing by telling both of them to get lost. Although it was a difficult situation, you are now emotionally stronger because of it. You were able to remain objective, and do the right thing, even though you were emotionally attached to this guy. That is awesome, and you should feel good about that. It shows your inner strength. You made the right decision because he is a liar and a cheater, and not relationship material for anyone. He’s a weak pussy, not a real man. If you see him, say hello, but don’t go out of your way to talk to him. If he tries to engage you in conversation, tell him that you were very clear about not wanting anything to do with him anymore, and to leave you alone. You don’t have any time for his weak bullshit. You should not feel bad about sending the text to the girlfriend because the truth is, they were both using you to manipulate each other. They can both kiss your ass. Fuck them. They’re losers and weak people. You had the guts to leave the situation. They didn’t. Now that you are free of these losers, you should be looking towards your future with positive expectation, and be looking forward to meeting a man who is single, available, who has integrity, is honest, and who has his shit together. From my perspective, this experience made you stronger and will be required to have a healthy relationship with the next great love of your life. It’s a win in my book. It’s silly to feel guilty. What happened happened, and it could not have happened any other way. Life doesn’t necessarily always bring you what you want, but it always brings you what you need in order to grow into the fullness of the person you were meant to become.
Update from her after my email response:
Thank you for restoring my confidence and helping me see that I have no reason to be guilty. I am a strong woman but since the death of my husband I know I’ve become a little vulnerable, which is how it is for now, and how awful it was for that fuckwit guy to try and take advantage of that. Maybe this incident arose in order to show me my inner strength and to prove that I am not one to compromise! (You did the right thing. You did what anyone with a healthy self-esteem and self-love for themselves would do. This is a victory, and it took a lot of strength. A lot of people don’t have the guts to do what you did.) If I ever do fall in love again it’ll be with the right guy: A real man filled with integrity and honesty with a generous helping of passion and self-awareness! Thank you Corey. I feel a lot better!
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From my heart to yours,
Author, Speaker, Peak Performance Coach, Entrepreneur
“Unfortunately, the world is full of selfish, dishonest, and manipulative people who are too weak to do the right thing. In order to maintain your sanity and to keep from being taken advantage of, you need to cultivate and develop an unshakeable sense of confidence, self worth and inner strength. By setting high standards and boundaries for yourself, and demanding that other people respect them, you will ensure that you do not compromise your integrity or your principles to put yourself into a position where other people can manipulate you or take advantage of you. One of the greatest personality traits that you can develop is to always remain objective in every situation by looking at what people do, not what they say. A person’s true nature is revealed through their actions. Talk is cheap. Remember, no one will ever do or say anything to you that you don’t invite them to do.” ~ Coach Corey Wayne