I need a different perspective on what I should do...
April 17, 2010 12:44 PM   Subscribe

So I've been seeing this girl with a fiancé, and I'm looking for some advice here...

Well I've been with this girl who's had a fiancé for about 3 months now. He proposed after graduating since she was moving away to get a better job, like 12 hours away. It seems that over the past 3 years she's been with 2 other guys (each at different times) all the while staying with her fiancé.

So my dilemma is that now I'm the 3rd guy in this whole ordeal. We established early on that she could sleep with him and that I could sleep with whoever I wanted as long as i Didn't let her know. I already let her know that if we were still seeing each other in about 6 months that she would have to break it off with her fiancé. The thing that troubled me was that all she said was "ok" as if she were trying to avoid the subject.

We talk to each other quite a bit, and when we hang out it's kinda like the day just goes by really fast. I'm just trying to figure out why she's doing this. Even her co-workers know about this and it's an acceptable thing to stay with her fiancé and see other men.

I will say that I've confronted her about this whole thing and she says that he's a safe bet. She's always had this thing where she wants to get a big house and have kids. I'm not sure if it's me but it seems like it doesn't matter who the guy is to her, as long as she gets that in the end.

My biggest question is can I even "trust" her? Or maybe what should I do about the whole thing? I'm looking for a female perspective or some help here on why she's doing this... I know if I were to become the safe bet I'm not sure I would be able to trust her.
posted by Cubanisimo to Human Relations (42 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
She's always had this thing where she wants to get a big house and have kids.

She's not entitled to it at the expense of an innocent person's time, affection and wealth. Who the hell would want to have kids with someone that sleeps around behind his/her back? You don't need to be a part of this incredibly sleazy situation. Go find somebody that you can have a straightforward relationship with on honest and mutually agreeable terms. Her fiance needs to know, because he's about to piss away a lot of his time through no fault of his own.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 12:49 PM on April 17, 2010 [16 favorites]

You're the third guy she's cheated with in three years - and while she has a fiancé? There's no way you can trust her at all.

My female perspective: she's low-class and dishonest and greedy and slutty.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 12:51 PM on April 17, 2010 [26 favorites]

My biggest question is can I even "trust" her?

No, obviously not.

Or maybe what should I do about the whole thing?


She sounds unambiguously sociopathic.
posted by jayder at 12:54 PM on April 17, 2010 [5 favorites]

I'm just trying to figure out why she's doing this.

Because she can. She's bored, horny, shopping around....etc.

I'm going to assume that she's sleeping around without her fiancé's knowledge, an assumption based on how your post is worded. Do I assume correctly? You want to know if you can trust her, but of course you know the answer to that already. She doesn't seem to place any value or honor on being engaged. But then again, neither do you.
posted by iconomy at 12:55 PM on April 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

This is perhaps the most unambiguous case of "Cannot be trusted" I've heard of in a long time. Get away, ASAP, immediately.
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:56 PM on April 17, 2010 [7 favorites]

My male perspective: run, do not walk, to the nearest exit. I don't mean to be flip, but, if you're aware of how she's using him, and conscious that in a certain way you're being used the same, why would you stay? There are plenty of women who won't treat you like this.
posted by Alterscape at 12:58 PM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

No, you can't trust her. In the very unlikely event that she breaks it off with her fiance, you stand a good chance of being cuckolded by her at some point in the future. Your instinct that you're interchangeable with other men is a good one. You deserve someone who thinks you're special enough to be with over other people.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:59 PM on April 17, 2010 [7 favorites]

Trust her to.... what exactly?
Be in a monogamous relationship with you? Obviously not, she has a fiance.
Tell the truth? Sounds like she is telling you the truth.

What is it that you want from her? To break up with her fiance and run away into the sunset with you and live happily ever after monogamously? Because the answer to that is 'NO'. Not gonna happen.

You're getting laid. That's about it. If you want more from her, don't expect it.
posted by greta simone at 1:06 PM on April 17, 2010 [7 favorites]

My biggest question is can I even "trust" her?

Seriously? When you get involved with someone who has a fiance, who tells you about other people with whom she's cheated on her fiance, who doesn't bat an eyelash discussing the logistics of her affair with you (i.e., she's going to keep having sex with her fiance, you "get" to have sexual relationships with other women but she doesn't want to hear details), you are entering a zero-trust zone.

You think that she'll lie to her fiance, but not you? You think that you can expect this woman to break her engagement if her affair with you lasts six months? You think that if this woman leaves her fiance to be with you, she won't find new boyfriends on the side (as she's done three times with her current fiance)? Why? What makes you think that? (In any case, you're making an entirely, immensely foolish choice and would be wise to break things off entirely with this woman.)
posted by Meg_Murry at 1:11 PM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

It sounds as though she's not quite ready for marriage, but knows who she wants to marry. And it's not you.

Your relationship with her is doomed.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:14 PM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'm looking for a female perspective or some help here on why she's doing this...

You want the girl to come and say "oh cubanisimo you are different from all the other men in my life.." You want her to say the right thing, the words that are going to make you a happy man. You're wondering, if she commits to me, am I even going to be able to believe it, given the circumstances of my current situation. You see the way she treats her fiancé, and you ask yourself, "how am I any different?"

You're looking for a female perspective because you like to be validated by the opposite sex. You don't want to hear what other guys have to say. You're special. It doesn't sound like you have the first clue about relationships if you're fucking somebody that has a fiancé, and you want to turn that into something serious, and there are two other guys in the picture. Wake up bro. Stop acting like this is all her fault. You don't have the decency to respect another man's engagement. You should really stop pretending that if you give this girl a house and kids, she's going to treat you any differently.

I'm going to give you a big tip in life, take it or leave it. If you act like a scumbag, you're going to get scumbag results. Find someone that is available, and you won't have this bullshit problem.
posted by phaedon at 1:17 PM on April 17, 2010 [78 favorites]

Unfortunately, I got involved in a somewhat similar situation earlier in my life. I really can't understand what the hell I was thinking then. I didn't stop everything the very moment I knew about the deception, but my ability to delude myself into thinking it was closer to normal than it obviously was, and my craving for drama helped escalate things to much worse than they needed to be for me, her and him. I really regret not knowing what I knew to be the right thing immediately then, and I imagine you will too given the passage of enough time.

Also, do not assume that there is not another guy in the picture. She's already let you know that she's okay with being deceived if she doesn't know about it. She probably holds the same opinion with regard to her own right to go outside of her established relationships.
posted by bluejayk at 1:24 PM on April 17, 2010

I already let her know that if we were still seeing each other in about 6 months that she would have to break it off with her fiancé. The thing that troubled me was that all she said was "ok" as if she were trying to avoid the subject.

Well, duh. You are the bit on the side. Now, there are cultures where the cinq à sept is tolerated, but the important thing to understand here is that you are the man-mistress, and you can either choose to continue being the man-mistress, or stop being the man-mistress; your job title is not going to change.
posted by holgate at 1:28 PM on April 17, 2010

I'll revise and extend: you could conceivably end up being the man who pays for the swimming pool while his wife fucks the poolboy. That's more likely being the man who gets her to "settle down".
posted by holgate at 1:34 PM on April 17, 2010

to put it as succinctly as I know how: If she'll cheat with you, she'll cheat on you.
posted by KathrynT at 1:37 PM on April 17, 2010 [3 favorites]

My biggest question is can I even "trust" her?

posted by Ironmouth at 1:45 PM on April 17, 2010

You can *absolutely* trust her to dump you and give herself over to another guy at some point in the relationship (either her fiance or someone else). This is a sure bet.
posted by jasper411 at 1:48 PM on April 17, 2010

There are four issues: her telling the truth about the present, you deciding whether the present works for you, her warning you about future risks, and you deciding to accept those risks. She's told you she has a fiancé that she's sleeping with, so the way I see it, she's coming pretty close to holding up her end, and you're not, but you're blaming her. Take some responsibility here. I'm with those who say you CAN trust her -- to continue on with her fiancé until you give up and leave in six months or less.

If someone said "I am going to stomp on your foot now," and then did it, you would be able to trust them, or at least their honesty. You'd either leave, or stick around because you've got steel-toe boots, or stick around and get your toes mashed (in which case you can only blame yourself). Your foot is getting stomped now, and worse, there's this potential future injury, since you've said to her, "if you keep stomping on my foot, in six months, I'm going to cut off my leg." All she said to that was "okay." So, it sounds like she's being honest to you about current risks, and although she's not confirming or graphically describing the future risks (which I do think she should probably do), she's also not denying they exist. And since you're the one describing the risks, she might just assume that you're aware of them. You have pointed out that you're probably on a conveyor belt to leg amputation, so I'm not sure why you're not investigating that risk. She might be assuming that you don't mind the foot-stomping (you like dating others?) nor the future leg amputation (you just wanted a fling anyway?). You have to be the one to protect yourself.
posted by salvia at 1:59 PM on April 17, 2010

The thing that troubled me was that all she said was "ok" as if she were trying to avoid the subject

That's the part of all this that troubles you?
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 2:01 PM on April 17, 2010 [7 favorites]

I think you can trust her to be honest with you because she's obviously making it a point not to hide anything. If your real question is "can I have a long term monogamous relationship with this girl on my terms at some point in the future if I just go along with her for now, even though I don't really think it's cool?" then the answer is no. Clearly she is not interested in you that way.

She told you what she wants from you (no strings attached sex before she gets married) and what she wants from her fiancee (stable & affluent family life beginning in x years). If you choose not to listen to her then that's your problem.

Calling her names or implying she's a bad person is not helpful here.
posted by fshgrl at 2:11 PM on April 17, 2010 [16 favorites]

When people show you who they are, believe them.
posted by fire&wings at 2:15 PM on April 17, 2010 [17 favorites]

To say what I said above in shorter fashion:
Can you trust her to be honest with you? Nobody knows the future, but so far so good.
Can you trust yourself to stay out of dead-end romantic situations that aren't what you want? No, not yet.

I really feel for people who get deceived and cheated on. But it's a whole different situation when someone gets fair warning about the situation, then goes in anyway, then starts to blame the other person because it isn't what they really wanted.
posted by salvia at 2:32 PM on April 17, 2010

yeah, sorry, i've been in this type of situation twice and it just never works out. i always think that it might because of the power of my feelings or the awesomeness of what happens when we were actually together (which was not much, considering that one of the guys had a wife and the other one was trying to get back together with his long term girlfriend who had kicked him out...so, either they had to get home or their head was still with someone else...talk about pain, when what was "really going on" finally hit me...duh.), but it just doesn't happen. i wish that i had had a better head on my shoulders and i think i would have spared myself (and my poor friends and family) a lot of dumb crap if i had walked away in a manner befitting my very precious dignity. and so now i find myself in a great dry spell, and i'm not getting any younger. however, it's no problem for me to hold out for dignity and respect. i see that it happens all of the time around me, and it used to happen to me back in the early days, and i am sure that it is only a matter of time before i get the chance to be in a great relationship based on mutual respect and clear communication. i don't even care if it doesn't happen until i'm 40, 50, 60..... no fears, dude. i'd say walk away, of course. i don't think there is any other way to go here. sorry to say.

as phaedon so eloquently puts it, "wake up bro"! stand up! xoxoxo with love
posted by lakersfan1222 at 2:37 PM on April 17, 2010

Sorry to be harsh but you need to wake the fuck up and realize that this girl is a scumbag and, as long as you are helping her cheat on her fiance, you are a bit of a scumbag, too.
posted by Foam Pants at 2:43 PM on April 17, 2010 [3 favorites]

My biggest question is can I even "trust" her?

From the sounds of it, yes you can trust her to be pretty honest with you as long as you're the dirty mistress.

Or maybe what should I do about the whole thing?

What do you want? If you want her exclusively, that doesn't seem like it's going to happen. If you want someone to hang around with occasionally whom you know will never and can never truly be with you in a full relationship, then keep seeing her.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:43 PM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

you are in a situation people get shot over....

The days go by fast because it is somewhat exciting, there is a flip side to that that will come sooner or later. She's a player and has most of the power, you are playing into that crappy situation.
posted by edgeways at 3:04 PM on April 17, 2010

i want to jump in here and second edgeways for the "you are in a situation that people get shot over" comment. not to be wierd here, but for sure edgeways is pointing out a side of this kind of arrangement that can get pretty dark. it didn't happen to me but i felt the potential of it. what happens when the fiance gets word of the dirty dealings? people get angry. it's not always rational or directed well.
posted by lakersfan1222 at 3:09 PM on April 17, 2010

Female perspective here.

Why do you get to know that you're the third guy in the relationship/situation/ordeal, but she should "never hear about" the other women you're with? Oh, it's because she knows she has you wrapped up in her. And she knows that you won't screw anyone else. She's using you for the attention.

In the relationship that you two have, the focus always is always on her. Unbalanced things always topple over.

Also, I agree with every word of what phaedon said.
posted by AlisonM at 4:13 PM on April 17, 2010

female perspective: DTMFA. Get tested for STDs, and DTMFA.
posted by inertia at 4:16 PM on April 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

Don't make someone a priority in your life who only makes you an option in theirs.

Also, whatever she's doing to her fiancé right now, she will eventually do to you.
posted by matty at 5:15 PM on April 17, 2010 [8 favorites]

She may not be cheating.
You, however, are.

And it's kind of weird that they've been engaged for 3(?!) years.

{This turns out to be exactly Ms. TAL's assessment}
posted by Tuesday After Lunch at 6:01 PM on April 17, 2010

Two options. 1. break up, get over it. 2. Call Jerry Springer, go on TV with her and her fiance, swear, throw chairs, and then break up and get over it.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 6:14 PM on April 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

So, you've gotten pretty uniform advice. But on the why she would do this part, besides "she's a scumbag."

Emotionally, sexually, attentionwise or powerwise, her fiance doesn't fulfill everything she wants/needs. I have no idea if her wants and needs are reasonable or could be fulfilled by any one person (or any 4 people).

Perhaps she's also afraid that married people are old people and she wants to prove she's not old. Perhaps she has painfully low self esteem and the fiancee treats her like shit (which she somewhat thrives on) but needs a chance to take out the power play on someone else.

Perhaps the fiancee is actually a financee -- someone who fulfills her "logical" desire for a mate ($, house, kids, status) but not her emotional ones.

It's almost certainly *not* that she's an insatiable slut who just needs sex, or this would play out differently.

However, fiancee + you likely satisfy all her needs. She has no urge to change the situation, because she gets everything she needs -- except perhaps your whining about a real relationship, which gets in the way of her selfish trip. Perhaps the other guys + fiancee fulfilled it before until *they* started whining and then they, or her, broke it off and moved onto you.

So, she has no incentive to break it off with her fiancee, because you're still just half of the equation. If she did for some reason break it off with him, I agree with everyone else that she'd cheat on you.

The totally heartbreaking thing is, however, there's a chance that she'll find another guy that has the perfect mix of salty and sweet or whatever that she's looking for and she will instantly dump everyone for him, settle down and be treated like crap by him and you, the other paramours and the ex-fiancee will all be like, "What the hell?" But I've seen it happen multiple times before.

However, if your chaos and hers were that magical combination, she would have done that already. Unfortunately dude, you're the supplemental piece that makes her engagement tolerable, not the main course.

There's also the chance that based on a script she wrote in her head way before any of you guys, she'll move forward with the fiancee, get all the material crap she's wanted, realize it doesn't make everything better and abandoning the life or living in it miserably, porking the poolboy until she's too saggy and wrinkled to draw the attention.

Either way, you're looking at getting dumped right at 6 months or, more likely, her coming up with some lame excuse and putting it back on you to extend it.

We all make our choices with our eyes wide open. You know this and have known this from the get go. There might even be something in you that wouldn't be so damn attracted to her if she were totally available, attracted to the challenge as much as the woman.

So seriously, you know the answer to this. You got yourself into this. And only you're responsible for your happiness. So, you know what the person you want to be would do. Are you going to be the person you want to be? Or not?
posted by Gucky at 6:21 PM on April 17, 2010

you screw married/engaged/relationshiped people because they'll never leave their partners. if you're expecting her to leave him, you're doing it wrong.

if you want a stable, loving, giving relationship, find someone who is free of entanglements. if you want drama that feeds into your own emotionally dysfunctional feedback loop, keep shoving that square peg into a round hole.

my prediction? either you'll push her to make a move or she'll meet the next guy in line. she'll make a big show about how she "needs to do the right thing" and really give her primary relationship "one final push" to really make sure it isn't going to work. she'll say a lot of things about how if it really doesn't work out, she'll call you, and you guys can start fresh. she'll talk about how great you are and how you deserve someone better (true!). and then she'll be gone, but a few times a year you'll get a phone call or an email and she'll draw you back in, maybe have sex with you once (or not if she gets the little pleasure button token she craves without fucking you) - and then she'll be gone again.

on the highly unlikely chance she leaves the fiance and comes to you, she'll be cheating on you within 3 months. hell, she probably already is. i'd bet dollars to doughnuts that she has at least another emotional connection on the side.
posted by nadawi at 6:43 PM on April 17, 2010

Even her co-workers know about this

I'd just like to chime in and say that this is all really, really unhealthy and will only lead to pain and sorrow and represents an 8.4 on the Fucked Up Scale.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:07 PM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

How old is she? Some young and immature girls enjoy planning every detail of their fantasy weddings, and their finance is a no more than a life-sized posable Ken doll, who is every bit as important as the little Ken doll she used to enact Barbie's wedding.

Maybe she'll grow up into a real woman someday, and tune into real emotional life. I wouldn't count on it, but it could happen. We don't know her, but you should be able to observe her core values demonstrated in a range of spheres, and get an idea if this is a stress reaction to pressures she feels at this time in her life, or if she's basically selfish and shallow.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:05 PM on April 17, 2010

Some of this may depend on her cultural background. If she is living far away from a fairly formal culture, with rigid sex roles, her "fiance" may be a person with whom her parents arranged a marriage, on the basis of his wealth and expected station in life, some years ago. If she sees her future as returning to that society, after some Western education and early life experience, then, what she's creating with you, and the other 2 (or ???) guys she is sleeping with in the interim, is an "alternate" life, which she may hope carries her through, in memory, all the years of her real life, to come.

She can't tell you that this life isn't real to her, without sounding crazy to you. But you can be an important memory to her, if she is in this circumstance, for the next 50 years or more, perhaps even long after you've forgotten her name, or the smell of her hair. And in the meantime, until either your 6 months are up, or she hits an unannounced deadline of her own, you can have some sweet days and nights, to savor in some future cold and lonely tomorrows.

There's no point criticizing good whisky, for only coming one bottle at a time...
posted by paulsc at 10:13 PM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


What do YOU want? Do you want a fun girl you can sleep with? Do you want this girl exclusively? Do you want to be the one to provide her the big house and kids?
posted by effugas at 12:54 AM on April 18, 2010

I'm just trying to figure out why she's doing this.

You should spend some time trying to figure out why you're doing this.

My biggest question is can I even "trust" her?

Another big question you should have: Can you be "trusted"?
posted by the bricabrac man at 1:41 AM on April 18, 2010

If proof was ever needed that "love/lust is blind" one only needs to look at this thread...
posted by chinabound at 2:05 AM on April 18, 2010

My biggest question is can I even "trust" her?

You're the third guy in a row (at least) that the lady has been screwing while she's engaged to another guy who, she claims, is interesting in as much as she expects to get money and stability from him, and perhaps babies (unless perhaps she gets pregnant from one of her on-the-side studs and decides to pass it off as future hubby's. Who knows?).

And you want to know if you can *trust* this priceless gem of a person? No. No, you can't.
posted by rodgerd at 2:46 AM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

Neither you nor she seem to have any respect for the relationship she has with her fiancé. Which strongly suggests that neither you nor she are ready to have a committed adult relationship, much less with each other.
posted by dephlogisticated at 3:44 PM on April 20, 2010

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