Lying about my past involvement with married men

I find myself attracted to men who are married or seriously attached. I guess you could say that I am the "other woman." At times, I often try to convince myself that we are just "friends with benefits," but I know that is just a line I feed myself to keep from feeling guilty.

For most of my life I’ve been single. In fact, at 32, I can say I have had only one serious relationship and that was when I was eighteen years old.

I recently have met someone I feel for deeply. He is not married and we are quite compatible together.

I fear that if I disclose to him my past relationships with married men, I may lose him forever.

I do not have any intentions on continuing the "friend with benefits" relationships.

Is this something I should tell him?


While the past is important, relationships are more about the present and the future.

And one of the most common things that couples lie about is their past sexual experiences and relational histories (see lies lovers tell). People lie about these issues for a good reason. Telling the truth about such matters often leads to hurt feelings (see lied about sexual history).

To make matters even more complicated, even when people aren’t telling outright lies about their past, the truth still gets distorted. When it comes to love and romance, memories tend to change in a very predictable manner: Over time our memories tend to make us look better (see self deception). People forget their own flaws, while exaggerating their ex’s mistakes.

So, a little distortion about one’s past is the norm.

But, in your case, the fact that you’ve always been the “other woman” raises some issues. Such behavior often indicates a discomfort with having a romantic partner who is dependent on you for their everyday needs and concerns. Dating someone who is not really available is a strategy people who have a fear of commitment use (see dismissing attachment).

Based on what you’ve said, it might be wise for you to consider whether you really want be in a committed relationship. For everyone involved, if you have doubts about your willingness to be close and committed, then at the very least, this is what you may want to disclose (lying limits choice).

 dismissing attachment | other woman | past sexual history

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