Ask Ellie: Boyfriend’s ‘work project’ turned out to be his wife

Dear Ellie: I met a man three months ago and from the first moment, the sparks flew between us. He wanted to see me whenever possible, even daily after work. After three such evenings, he was staying over at my place.

Nothing like this ever happened to me before and I couldn’t resist. Two weeks flew by and he was talking about a future together.

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Things then slowed down a bit because he said he was involved in a huge work project, but he stayed close through frequent texts, talked on the phone, and would “slip away” from the office early, to see me and make love, then go back to work “into the night.”

I trusted every word because I was so in love and believed he was, too.

I always called him on his cell, but one day I noticed he’d called me on a different number, so I just called back on it.

A woman answered. She sounded young, not the older executive assistant he’d described. But I was sure she knew about me, so I said my name.

The person on the phone asked: “Who are you?” I asked the same question back. She said she’s “the wife of” and named my boyfriend!

I said I’m his girlfriend.

And then I said I had no idea that he was married.

It took only a few minutes for us to check our calendars and realize that when she’d travelled to a professional women’s two-week forum and cruise was when he met and started an affair with me.

I told her there was never a hint to me that he was married. And I apologized to her, though we were both devastated.

She said that she was leaving him immediately, moving out that same day while he’s at work.

She accepted my apology and said she hoped that I was smart enough to realize he’d do the same thing to me. I know she’s right.

I gave her a few hours to leave while I cried my heart out. Then I phoned him to say that I know he’s married and never want to see or hear from him again.

I changed all my contacts and blocked him from everything possible. How can someone seem so gentle, trustful and loving and prove to be a lying rat?

The Other Woman

Anyone who behaves so deceitfully is practised at doing what he/she wants, while not caring if others get hurt.

This man was practised at moving quickly to his goal of cheating and juggling excuses to suit his timetable. He saw a two-week window to “play” someone when his wife was away.

Then he invented his story of a late-night work project so he could get home once she had returned.

He chose you for your innocence and easy belief in him. That’s not an insult, but there’s no point in kidding yourself. He’s a pro at the two-faced, selfish game of getting what he wants for the moment, starting with isolating his target.

Any future with him would have turned as nasty for you as it did for his wife.

Any next relationship you have should start with a friendship that includes seeing where the other person lives, meeting their friends and close family, asking questions if someone’s always “working late” and getting some clear answers on their previous important attachments.

That’s just a start to establishing trust.


Ellie’s tip of the day

When there’s a rush to intimacy and isolation — always being alone instead of meeting friends — start probing the reasons.

Send relationship questions to

Follow @ellieadvice.

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