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ASK THE EXPERTS 'Dear Maura, he keeps sleeping with his ex-wife. How can I stop him?'

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Dear Maura,

I've been sleeping with a separated man and I'm developing feelings for him, even though I know I'm bringing a lot of trouble on myself. He works with me and started talking to me about his marriage being over. All the women in the office think he's gorgeous and he shows me texts he gets from them. He still goes back to his wife and that's the way they've been carrying on, breaking up and then getting back together.

In spite of this, I still go into work every day hoping to see and chat to him. If he's drinking and feeling bad, he'll call to my place - sometimes that can be in the middle of the night. I can't ignore him, but I think that he sees me more as a friend than anything else, even though we've slept together a good few times. I see him so often and I'm the only person he can talk to. I can't stop myself having these feelings. I feel responsible for him because he has nobody else to talk to. But where does that leave me?

Maura says: You are in a very vulnerable place and that is not going to change as long as you have contact with this man. I totally understand how difficult this is for you, particularly as you work with him. You have no escape, but you can't solve the issues with his marriage. He needs to do that.

No amount of talking to you, having sex with you or drinking is going to show him a solution to this situation. You will have to be very strong and tell him that while you have been there for him and happy to help in some way, he needs to now look to himself for resolutions.

You could also say that this has been difficult for you worrying about him and all that. Bottom line, you need a break. If you could get to a stage where you just pass him off at work, then a healthy distance has been established between you, and you can build on that.

I'm not attracted to him

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Dear Maura,

A group of us all hang out together and we're really close. There's one lad I've started seeing. He's lovely and gets on with everyone in a quiet way. He's shy and I'm the loud one in the gang.

My parents let us hang out in the house sometimes and they really get on with him. All is going great, except I'm not that attracted to him physically or sexually. It's got nothing to do with how he looks or his body. I don't know what it is, only that the feelings aren't there. The problem is, everyone really likes him. I can't keep pretending that I'm into him when I'm not. It's got to the point where sometimes the situation is awkward, but I've no reason to break up with him.

Maura says: Read over your letter and you'll see one big, glaring reason for ending this relationship: you are not attracted to him; there is no chemistry there. This is the neon light of reasons for breaking up. I appreciate that you are thinking of what everyone else will say, especially as you're in such a close-knit social circle, but you've got to bite the bullet.

Do the right thing for him and you. Yes, it could be awkward for a while, but it's the best decision in the long run. Have the chat and move on.

  • Want to get in touch? E-mail maura.oneill@sundayworld.com.

Sunday World