Are You a Kept Woman—Is He Keeping You Under His Thumb?
Kerianne from Freehold, New Jersey asks:
Hi, Liam. I have been dating my boyfriend for two and a half years now. He is a doctor and when I met him I was working in a bar. He asked me to dinner, I accepted, and through our conversations it seemed that he was giving me all the right answers so I kept seeing him. Three months later he asked me to move in with him and I did. He didn’t like me working in the bar and since he’s a doctor, we agreed that once I moved in I would no longer work. Over time we had, what seemed to me, a one-on-one relationship, although he was not around much of the time in the first year. Whenever I questioned this he would tell me that he was “on call” and was called in for emergency cases.
This would go on sometimes for four consecutive days where I would not see him but he would periodically text me to say he finished up at one hospital and was now on his way to another “emergency call.” I dealt with this for quite some time but I really could not stand it. It was not something I was bargaining for at all. Another year passed by and he asked me to marry him and gave me a beautiful engagement ring. I half-heartedly accepted. Right after that, my world came apart. I soon found out that he was a complete fraud. He WAS and still is a dcotor but everything else about him was a lie. He was, and is, ALREADY married and lied to me about it! He also said that he owned the townhouse that he asked me to move into with him. I later found out that he was only renting it. And all the times he said he was on call, he really wasn’t. He is going through a very, very messy divorce now but I can’t tell if his wife is divorcing him because of me.
I had no idea that she even existed until after a year and a half into the relationship. The wife has now dragged me into their divorce as a third party defendant, causing me to rack up mad legal fees. I have not spoken to my boyfriend in three weeks but I still live with him. Tomorrow I start my new office job and I am looking for an apartment. He is trying so hard to hold onto me and has changed drastically to prove his love for me. I cannot and do not trust this man. I feel that once he is fully divorced he will fall right back into his old ways. He is 55 years old and I am 43. He is making it difficult for me to leave because he is trying so hard to hold on. What should I do??? I feel that I need to leave and move on with my life. I just want to know that I’m not making a mistake.
Greetings, Kerianne. To be perfectly honest, I find it hard to believe you’re actually as naïve as you pretend. I find it even harder to believe you’re considering continuing any kind of relationship with this man. Let’s look at the facts as you present them: You met a man in a bar and the two of you had dinner. You began seeing one another and within three months (that’s, count ‘em, 90 days) you decide not only to move in with this total stranger but to allow him to pay all your bills and maintain a home for you. So there you are, a girl who worked in a bar, suddenly living in a posh town house with a doctor you just met who stops in for sex when his busy schedule permits and makes sure everything is paid for. And it never occurred to you that you might just be what people not-so-politely refer to as a “kept” woman? Now, don’t get me wrong, in my book there’s nothing wrong with being a kept woman. After all, once all the starry-eyed fairy tales are put aside, most male/female relationships involve an exchange of sex for material or emotional support. But please, please don’t delude yourself about what you were and still are. You’re the mistress, the “other” woman, period. If that wasn’t what you wanted then all those things in your interactions with this man that seemed too good to be true should have raised all sorts of red flags.
Successful doctors seldom marry girls they pick up in bars and domestic bliss is seldom found when you move in with someone you hardly know. As for all the lies and deception, before you hop up on your soapbox and start berating him too much, I suggest you stop and think about all the self-deception you indulged in. How many times did you choose to ignore all those strange hours and odd doings because you were getting a free ride you didn’t want to end?
The truth is, we humans are natural deceivers. Evolutionary psychology has uncovered a multitude of ingenious ways we strange apes constantly con each other for the sake of genetics and survival. It’s an age-old dance. Your doctor didn’t do anything that isn’t germane to human nature and neither did you. But you’ve got to be realistic. What you’re doing now is trying to justify some very bad decisions and the need to justify our more questionable action is just another form of self-deception. Lying to yourself about what you do and why you do it can be a very dangerous thing. Best take off those rose-colored glasses, accept your nature and understand your motives, especially if you don’t want to make the same mistakes again.
If you look at the whole thing with very honest eyes you’ll see that this man never considered you “wife” material. Men make almost instant decisions about women when they meet them as to what category they fall into and what archetype they represent. If the good doctor had thought of you as a potential life partner, he would have been a good deal more honest about his situation and he would have taken the courtship phase of your relationship much more slowly. He would have worked on getting to know you and earning your respect for the long-term. As it was, you were seen as a “hot chick”—someone that could be kept on the side for fun and excitement. Later, his marriage takes a nosedive for whatever reasons, and he starts thinking that he might now have to face life without either a wife or a lover. There might not be anyone around to hold his hand and coddle him and feed his ego if you both bail on him right now. He’d like to have a guaranteed bed partner while he goes about the hard work of finding someone to replace you both. So he says what he knows you want to hear. Your doctor isn’t a very nice person, Kerianne, and you should know that by now. If you make the mistake of trusting him again, you’ll have no one to blame but yourself.
Do you have a question for Liam? Ask Liam your question now.