They're your one and only ¬– but you're not theirs. Maybe it's time to figure out if three is definitely a crowd.
- Step 1: Figure out what behavior you will and won't put up with. Is it okay for them to be intimate with both of you? Discuss you with the other person? Just thinking along these lines may crystallize things.
- Step 2: Remember that you are not trapped. Your lover's choice to be with another person – regardless of whether that person is their long-time partner or someone new – is enough of a reason to end things. Remember, love isn't supposed to make you happy, not miserable.
- FACT: Eric Clapton wrote his song "Layla" after falling in love with his friend George Harrison's wife, model Pattie Boyd.
- Step 3: Figure out where you stand in relation to your rival. Does your love spend holidays with you, or the other person? Which one accompanies them in public? Who spends their birthday with them? If the answer isn't you, you may want to re-evaluate their feelings for you.
- Step 4: Analyze why you're in this situation. Are you truly in love? Or are you putting up with it because you're scared to be alone? If you're the "other" man or woman, could it be the forbidden nature of the affair that's really the attraction? If you're hanging in there for any reason other than true love, consider a clean break.
- Step 5: Ask yourself what you want out of this. Are you content, if not thrilled, with the status quo? Or are you hoping that your love eventually will commit just to you?
- TIP: Statistically, married people involved in extramarital affairs rarely leave their spouse for their lover.
- Step 6: Determine your overall contentment. Are you so in love with this person that it's worth sharing them? Or are you deliriously happy when you're together but mostly miserable the rest of the time?