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Dear Christine, Susannah in Southfield

| September 10, 2018

Dear Christine, I can’t believe I’m writing for advice, but I think the time has come. I have been intimately involved with my lover for two years. She has been in a relationship with another woman for eight years. Needless to say, I am the other woman in her life. I am at the point where I want to end our relationship. My problem is I don’t know how. We started out as friends and have had so many fun times together I’m scared of losing that. I don’t want to hurt her, but I am mature and wise enough to know the entire situation seems to be a lost cause. My lover tells me I am trying to put a time limit on when we will be together, but after two years I feel I have the right to know what the future holds for me but there are no answers. Susannah in Southfield

Dear Susannah, I think we’ve found a theme this summer: honesty and boundaries. You have put yourself in a relationship full of drama and lies, which may lead to a committed relationship, which would probably be full of trust issues, given how she’s cheating on her partner. Does not look fun to me.
Being friends is fine, but there is a line that gets crossed when you become lovers, and it can be very hard to go back to being “just friends.” That line has been crossed, and you are vulnerable, as is she, and both of you will definitely feel hurt at some point, just from the cheating and lying going on. What if her partner finds out she’s cheating? What if you do put a time limit on being together? How long do you keep your life on hold? How do you like being the other woman in someone’s life, in someone’s committed relationship? What do you need to do to take care of you. That is your focus.
Make an adult decision here to be honest with yourself and do what you know is best for you. Yes, you’ll hurt, and your lover will hurt, but the drama will end, and you also will find dignity, peace and integrity. It sounds to me like you know what you need to do it, but are reluctant. Be strong and go do what you want me to tell you to do, that you already know to do!

Christine C. Cantrell, PhD
1026 W. 11 Mile Rd,
Suite C
Royal Oak, MI 48067
248-591-2888

Click here to email Christine.

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