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How can I persuade my cousin not to get involved with married man?

(22 Posts)
namechangersad Thu 23-Jul-09 09:07:01

There is something quite deeply pathological going on here - she has had two long term relationships and in both cases, after several years (just at the point that she hoped marriage/kids would come along soon) they cheated on her and both rels ended after this came out. The last guy, in particular, was a pathological liar and carried on an affair for over a year behind her back before it came out. She has always gone for emotionally unavailable guys though. The last one (apart from being a liar and cheat)said right from the start that he didn't believe in marriage and didn't want kids, but through a slow war of attrition, they had come to the stage where both were almost on the cards when it all fell apart. Cut to the present. She has been devastated for more than a year and only just getting her confidence back etc. when she meets this new guy and for the first time in a long time, its all fireworks and orchestras. They have a very intense text/email build up (as in different cities) and then he comes to visit her, revealing during the visit that he is married with kids. Unfortunately she has been sucked in already by the intensity. I hate to bring her down after she has been miserable for so long but I know that there is only heartache down this route (deep down she does too but is citing the very occasional affair leading to a happy ending to try and convince herself). She is desperate to be a mum and I think this is colouring her judgement. She is also confused as, having been the wronged woman in the past she knows how much it hurts to be cheated on, I an only rationalise it by thinking that she has been so badly let down by her exes that she's developed a "fuck you" attitude to life and relationships. She is a good person, and I am surprised she is even considering this but I think she has been swept up by his intensity. He is doing the predictable talking about leaving his wife etc but I just don't believe it. How can I convince her when she is so into him, to walk away? Going for unattainable arrogant males seems to be a pattern. Logic and statistics aren't working.

abedelia Thu 23-Jul-09 11:00:25

Remind her that if he can lie to and deceive his wife, then he is more than likely to do it to your cousin at some point in the future. Especially as he wasn't even upfront about the little familial inconvenience at the start.

macdoodle Thu 23-Jul-09 11:11:26

Sorry have no sympathy whatsover, being fucked up herself gives her no excuse to knowingly destroy another woman and children!
Even worse she knows how devastating it feels!
She deserves every heartbreak she will get from this man!
Maybe you shoudl point her in this direction to see all the devastated lives she will cause angry

MitchyInge Thu 23-Jul-09 11:18:47

She won't cause the devastation, he will be responsible for the lion's share. Why do women get the blame for everything?

Mumcentreplus Thu 23-Jul-09 11:29:42

she wont be blame-less...esspecially because she knows she is actively entering into a relationship with a married man...both bastards imo

catwalk Thu 23-Jul-09 11:40:37

NCS I don't think there is anything you can do about it. It just has to run its course and hopefully won't take too long.

sayithowitis Thu 23-Jul-09 11:47:12

But Mitchy, she is as much to blame as he is because she is fully aware that he has a wife and children. If she was unaware, I agree, she would not be to blame, but IMO, as soon as a woman becomes aware that her partner is cheating on a wife and children, she is equally to blame. It is nothing to do with her being the OW, it is to do with being a decent human being.

macdoodle Thu 23-Jul-09 11:51:16

She knows he has a wofe and children!
In this situation the decent moral thing to do is WALK AWAY!! Why is it so hard!!!

OrmIrian Thu 23-Jul-09 11:53:54

Point out her hypocrisy? Suggest that someone who cheats isn't neccessarily good marriage/father material? Tell her how devestated the chap's family will be? Hit her repeatedly round the head with a small mallet until she agrees to stop?

namechangersad Thu 23-Jul-09 11:59:04

I don't know why its so hard - that's why I posted with the background, to see if anyone could give any insight. It shouldn't be hard to walk away, and this kind of thing is just not in her nature (she's naturally/normally a very caring, giving, sensitive individual, with a strong sense of moral justic and right and wrong) and that is why I am so bemused and concerned.

I just can't believe she's even considering it (FWIW I don't think anything sexual has happened yet). I don't think that it would be constructive of me to have a massive go at her, as it might just push her further towards him, but I was wondering how I stop her from being blinded by this man/the attraction, and what is it that makes her seek out men who are all the same. And how has her sense of right/wrong gone so badly off course? We've known each other all our lives, her behaviour just doesn't make sense to me.

mrsboogie Thu 23-Jul-09 12:08:29

I know someone who's husband buggered off with an OW and stayed with her. Despite the hardship this caused for her and his kids she is now seeing a married man herself. I tel her at every oppportuity that it is wrong and she is now doing the same thing to someone else that was done to her but in this case it is more of a casual thing and she doesn't seem to care.

You could try telling her the old chestnut of "they never leave their wives" and also that if she did get him to leave and they do have kids his other kids will always have to be taken into account, treated equally, spend weekends, he wil have to rush off when they are ill, etc and generally make her life more complicated than she would like.

You could tell her that while she is messing with this lying cheating scumbag she could be missing out on meeting mr right,and keep on telling her that if he does it to his wife he will do it to her!

prettyfly1 Thu 23-Jul-09 12:12:27

Try asking her realistically what will happen to his children if he leaves his wife. Does she think they will be happy to meet her, be part of her life and respect her. As a step mum myself I know other peoples kids can be incredibly hard work but that would just be a nightmare - an ex who loathes you rightly, kids who blame you and never quite being able to trust your partner fully. Nice, what a life.

You know that thread on mumsnet where posters wrote what they had wished they had written to certain threads. Well that is what you have to do in real life, don't be nice, don't be supportive. Point out exactly what she is doing wrong and how NO-ONE is going to end up happy at the conclusion of this. If you can make her cry all the better. There is no point pussy footing around this.

namedchangedtwice Thu 23-Jul-09 12:21:05

Message withdrawn

sayithowitis Thu 23-Jul-09 12:28:32

prettyfly, you have a valid point. My parents separated when I was a child and both went on to re-marry. My Dad married the woman he left us for. My mum married a family friend. As a child, I accepted my step mum because I didn't really fully understand what she had helped to cause. And she did know my Dad was married with kids, she had met us all on a few occasions before she began any relationship with him. Now that I am an adult, I despise her. She walked out on her two babies to go with my Dad and devastated her own family as well as ours. Now I am a mum, I cannot understand why she would knowingly do that to her own children, let alone us! I know my Dad was equally to blame, but I know, from her, that she made the first move, after meeting us as a family, so she knew he was married. IMO, any woman who deliberately and knowingly targets a married man is not a decen human being.

namedchangedtwice Thu 23-Jul-09 12:36:31

Message withdrawn

prettyfly1 Thu 23-Jul-09 13:15:37

of course she is but thats why someone needs to give her a serious dose of reality and fast . I dont think you need to be cruel but I do think you need to be honest with her.

WhenwillIfeelnormal Thu 23-Jul-09 13:16:06

OP I think what you have written about your cousin's past history is insightful and probably, as you suspect, holds the clue to all this. When my DH was unfaithful, it was important for me to understand the mindset of the person he'd got involved with.

This person seemed to have deep psychological issues. She never knew her Father, but despite this, grew up as a spoiled only child with her mother and grandparents, all of whom lived together. My DH says that it often amazed him how childish she was and how she felt the world revolved around her and that everyone would be interested in the absolute Minutiea of her life.

Even before she met her husband, she couldn't form strong friendships with women, because they sensed something in her - plus she seemed to define herself by how many men were lusting after her - even those in committed relationships. She managed to cause a lot of trouble for a lot of people and left every job under a cloud because she had caused so much mayhem.

She married a man who had at least two affairs. This seems to me to be the final bit of the jigsaw before she set her sights on my DH (having tried to get him years before). I think at that point, she was so damaged, that part of her agenda was to cause as much havoc as she could to a woman who seemed to have what she didn't - the husband she had always dreamed of, the children she couldn't have (allegedly, she had miscarried a few months before) and I genuinely believe this woman's agenda was as much about inflicting pain on other women as it was about having a relationship with my DH.

When he ended it with her, she even posted hateful attacks online about our 11 year old DD, FFS!! My DH's counsellor believes that this woman has always had a problem competing with other females and that this got worse once her H was unfaithful.

I'm sure your cousin isn't like this, but I DO think she feels she has been badly treated by men, is probably hugely envious of women who don't seem to have had that treatment and in some deep-seated way, doesn't see the harm in bringing pain to an innocent woman.

It takes a lot of moral courage to walk away from a real attraction, but walk away she must. She will get her reward for doing just that too - life always has a way of rewarding us for doing the right thing. The road ahead with this man is full of misery.

And for what it's worth, a bit of moral indignation on your part would be no bad thing. Too many people sit on the fence on these matters and fail to say that somethings are just plain wrong. If more people realised that they might just lose the support of people in their lives, if they continue to do a bad thing, I'm sure there would be more of a deterrent factor.

IveGotHamButImNotAHamster Thu 23-Jul-09 14:42:13

Things are not always black and white and I hate the way this man is automatically a bastard. Perhaps he is unhappy, perhaps he has fallen for your friend and is deeply struggling with what to do and how to do it. People are not all good or all bad, and situations are only known to those inside them. Men seem to unfortunately be worse than women at not nipping problems or even relationships in the bud, leaving them to keep going until they find something or someone else.

That said, the road ahead is full of massive amounts of pain for your cousin, even if he does leave his wife. You should advise her to stand back and if it is meant to be then it will happen eventually, but she needs to stand back and do nothing - it is his choice unfortunately. And of course she should also remember that even if he does want more children with her (and this is unlikely) then it would not be for a very long time. Her life with him would be difficult financially, emotionally and every other which way. She needs to be sure they both feel the same and cannot have these feelings with anyone else, or it is not worth it.

I disagree that she necessarily has "deep psychological issues" - this is an idea that IME councillors encourage and the partner who has been left behind often needs to cling to this as an explanation. Relationships break down every day, and it is often messy. We should not villify people completely who do not intend any pain just because they have got themselves into a difficult situation.

namechangersad Sat 25-Jul-09 18:34:05

Thanks so much for all of your replies. I am waiting to find out how things have panned out when she saw him the other day. I am really hoping she will tell me that she has decided to walk away. Thanks again.

SolidGoldBrass Sat 25-Jul-09 18:42:21

Thing is, there is absolutely bugger all you can do to stop her entering into this relationship. You are not her owner, parent or boss. She isn't going to listen to you.

You can tell her that you disapprove, of course, and refuse to discuss the situation/the ins and outs of the relationship with her. But you are not in charge of her life.

WhenwillIfeelnormal Sat 25-Jul-09 19:21:47

Hope she does the right thing OP.

Sorry, I think it is a bastardish thing to do to hook a woman in and THEN reveal he's married.

And it is certainly not my - or anyone else I know's - experience that counsellors tell betraying spouses that the OW has psychological issues just to make someone feel better. My DH's counsellor told it how she saw it - and I will be forever grateful to her. She certainly didn't encourage my DH to evade his own responsibility getting involved with someone like that, but she did manage to see the pattern of OW's life and suggested that her actions over the years were those of someone who was damaged.

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