by The 4-Way Panel
For the past few years, I’ve been seeing someone who is married. I know it’s wrong. He knows it’s wrong. But it happened and now we can’t control it. Once in a while, I get the “I’m going to leave her” comment from him. I know that’s never going to happen and that he’s just saying that to humor me. So here’s my question: what am I thinking? I’m wasting my life away hung up on someone who’s unavailable, yet I can’t seem to break the cycle or escape the feelings I have. What do I do?—DJ
The straight woman’s perspective: Rebecca Brown
Did you just feel a hot gust of wind, DJ? Don’t be afraid, that was just my heavy, sad sigh that was so intense you felt it all the way down there in Ft. Worth. WHY DO YOU WANT A MARRIED MAN?? He’s unavailable. And he’s a cheater! He’s nothing but a lifetime of unkept promises and heartache and oh, did I mention he’s a CHEATING PIECE OF CRAP. Tell me again why you want that when you could have a man’s full attention, love, and heart?
But he’s stuck in your brain, so you need some help getting him out. I’ve got a little exercise I call the pie-chart test. It involves taking stock of the thoughts occupying your brain. Every few hours, write down the general categories of your thoughts—significant other, the return of Project Runway, what you’ll have for dinner, you get the idea. At the end of the day, assign a random percentage to the time devoted to each category of thoughts. Then, give yourself a visual of what goes through your head all day and whip up a good, old-fashioned pie chart. I’m gonna take a wild guess that your pie chart looks something like this: “Cheating Piece of Crap I think I love”: 99 percent, “Other”: 1 percent. Shocking isn’t it? Do you see where I’m going with this, DJ? You’ve got to re-org the pie chart, honey! Your future sanity and happiness depend on it.
Here’s what you need to remember: thoughts determine action. Post it in your bathroom, on your rearview mirror, hell, write it backwards on your forehead if you need to. You are the mistress of your destiny, not Mr. Cheating Piece of Crap. I hate to get all Stuart Smalley on you, but you really are good enough, smart enough, and people—unmarried people, at that—will like you. So do things that make you happy—and number one on that list is dumping Mr. Crap. But also have dinner with friends. Read. Paint. Learn Italian. Go for a run. It’s less about being busy and more about bringing the focus back to you to increase your confidence, make you happier, and help you remember why you’re worthy of someone available.
Check in tomorrow to read the gay woman's perspective by Jody Fischer.
The 4-Way is published monthly. If you have a question for our 4-Way panel, please send it to them in care of the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. To read more of The 4-Way columns or to listen to our podcasts, visit The 4-Way now.
by The 4-Way Panel