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Boyfriend has secret friend

Larry has high school friend, widow for 5 years- families close. She once sent a text while we were on a trip ( hope u r being good with a heart symbol!) I asked about her- never kissed. I believed him but he was promoting a romantic relationship whether he knew it or not. Recently, he had operation- I stayed over to nurse him, make dinners. One night, told him I was having dinner with friend, he would see guy friend. At 5, I get a call, he dialed cell by mistake, was asking woman about dinner that night. At first, said woman was friends wife then admitted truth. Told him friendship was fine- deceit was not. I said we should all meet. Finally said she didn't want to meet me, let's not talk about her again, it will be negative. Other night, said going to sedar dinner at nephew house, giving up next to last lakers season ticket! I joked he was probably seeing widow! Then I mentioned a charity dinner where basketball star kissed me on cheek. Said I'd consider dating a player but I'm not single! He said I was, we're not engaged. So I can date? He replied- if He doesn't know about it. I said, you know I have men friends who know I'm seeing you, let's see what friends are free.. I called two, left messages, he said nothing. I said," you're so secretive- you may even still be sleeping with your wife!" They had no sex for years. Once home, he was icy. Said I'm beautiful, enjoys me but I must stop this widow talk. I asked if I should stay, he said nothing, packed all my stuff, he looked surprised. He said see you tomorrow. Didn't call me all day, I saw parents, he had that dinner. Called him while heading home. His cell phone had new voice message "larry and Mary are not home..." his wife's name!! I called home number- " calling to see if you're still alive!" He's got bad heart, pacemaker. Silence. I told him I'll call when get home. He was curt. I didn't call. I told him have walked away from disrespectful relationships. We have made travel plans through year. Should I call? What is going on?

Re: Boyfriend has secret friend

I'm sorry you're so upset. It sounds like you thought this was more monogamous and committed than it is. But don't despair. This is actually an opportunity, even though it may not feel like one, to get some clarity. The reality is that your boyfriend is 73 and married. It's very sad that his wife has advanced Alzheimer's, but he still considers the marriage valid to some degree, and if you're hoping to get married, you may want to reconsider this relationship as a marriage possibility. Clearly, the two of you have had a commitment, but the degree of that commitment seems to be changing.

It sounds like even though he's married, he's jealous when you go out, in addition to which, he's got a relationship of some sort with this widow. In other words, you have a lot of competition --- in both his commitment to his wife, and this other woman. He's also give you a head's up that the two of you are not engaged, so you're still single -- and I think that was hurtful to you because of your feelings and commitment to him.

His recent silence is an indication that he doesn't want conflict or drama. So, if you want to win him over, put down the boxing gloves. You'll catch more bees with honey than vinegar, as the saying goes. He is looking for companionship, sex, someone to be a social partner, and maybe more. If you want to give him that, and you can have your needs fulfilled while doing so, go for it! But, if you're upset that he's married, or seeing this other woman, don't push him away with conflict. That won't work. You're going to have to win him over with love and affection. If you're too angry to do that, consider that he may not be able to give you what you want -- and that's clarity.

I hope that helps.
April Masini is a relationship and etiquette expert, author of 4 books and the #1 relationship advice forum, blue-chip corporate spokesperson and preferred go-to source for the world’s most prominent media and news outlets.