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In love with a woman who can't choose

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Hello all,

I hope to get some constructive advice here as I have encountered what has become a frustrating situation.

This past year (going back to about May of 2020), I began flirting with a woman I worked with and she was flirting with me as well. We knew each other for about 8 months prior to this. It started out playfully but I quickly became smitten with her and after a couple of months of that, I revealed those feelings to her. She seemed to share those feelings at the time but she was also in a relationship. I will do my best not to knock this guy in this post, but I will share some facts.

They have two children together, ages 5 and 4. He was in prison at the time she and I met and had been for some time. During the course of the last several months, she and I built a great relationship together. We enjoy talking to each other and we get along great. For me, she has been "that girl" that has made me feel all of those things that no other female ever has. As a result, I would love to have a future with her but she is unable at this time to move on from this relationship that she is in. She was transferred to another area within our company as it became clear to all of the other employees that something was going on between us. That seemed to only make us closer and not long after that, the relationship did turn physical between us.

The other man was released from prison this past December. I dreaded that day coming for months and when it did it was every bit as bad as I thought it would be. I still talked to her, though not as much since he was around. He had spent nearly three years in prison and it took just a matter of days before she was calling me telling me that he was calling her names, manipulating her, trying to control where she went and who she talked to, etc.

Due to the terms of his parole, he was forced to return to the state he was imprisoned in following the holidays. From what I understand, he must stay there for a minimum of 6 months while he gets his life in order. So they now can't even see each other and can only talk on the phone.

I have tried to be as understanding as possible with this situation. I realize that they have kids together. I also realize that it's not easy to just leave a long-term partner. I know because I have been in that situation before as well. I try not to put pressure on her to make a decision, but I do try to engage in serious talks about the situation so I know where things stand. All I get from her is "I don't know" in relation to what she wants. Recently, her exact words to me were "I feel like I want to stay with him for the kids but I feel like I am in love with you". There are feelings there, though it seems much harder for her to admit them than it is for me. I love her and I tell her so.

It's clear that she is very confused and torn on what to do. She asked me in the beginning to wait for her to be ready and I was patient, rarely ever bringing up any talks of a future decision. But I feel I have waited long enough and through the things that I have done for her (which have been considerable), I have tried to show her a different guy than the one she has been with, one who is controlling and manipulative. However, I can't make the decision for her and so far, nothing I've said seems to change where her mind is, so I'm at my wits end on what to do.

I have tried to take a step back and not talk to her as much, but that doesn't last long before she's reaching out to me. I can't ignore her calls and texts, I just don't have that in me. I have entered counseling and I have talked to every trusted source that I know who means something to me. I really have tried everything.

I want to be the guy to give her total happiness and I know she believes that I could do that. She has told me on more than one occasion that she hopes I "never give up on her". I don't want to have to. I'm positive she'll leave this other relationship at some point for one reason or another. My worry is where I'll be in life when that finally happens. I also don't want to give her any ultimatums as that's probably not the best idea either.

What would you do in my shoes?

In love with a woman who can't choose

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You posted sometime ago about this same issue , didn’t you? So this issue is still going on and she is still wishy-washy about where she is with you.

But she’s not wishy-washy about where she is with him! She is using the children as an excuse for not making a decision about this man who is clearly an abuser. Don’t you wonder why she puts up with this?

Unless you are tired of being used and caught in the middle of the situation, it’s going to go on forever. Clearly, she has the best of two worlds doesn’t she?

Time is a very valuable commodity. You sound like a very caring and sensitive man and have some qualities that many women are looking for. Please consider starting to date others.

This woman is not free, by her own choosing, to give you what you deserve.

In love with a woman who can't choose

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We had a long talk tonight in which she stated that she wants to scale back communication with me because she feels that since this guy has been released from prison, she hasn't given him a fair chance because she's been cheating on him. She said she wants to know if she is still in love with him or not and what it is that she wants in her life and she is unable to do that when she is also treating me as though I am her significant other at the same time.

Of course I took this like a punch to the gut because I feel like a decision on this should have already been made, but I can appreciate what she is trying to do. She says that if her and I are to have a future, this step is necessary to find that out for sure. I just asked her to try and figure it out quickly if possible, because the waiting part is just too much for me. We'll see how things turn out. I feel absolutely awful right now, but I guess no worse than I did before.

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