Feeling Cheated After Cheating

Ask Demetria: You got a raw deal being the "other woman," but don't take it out on your ex-man's girl.

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A few things you should know: He didn't tell you up front because he was interested in you in some capacity and knew that he had a better shot by deceiving you. He also wasn't that unhappy with his relationship when he met you, or else he would have left her already. That was a line.

He also didn't break up with her eventually -- if he was even the one to end the relationship -- because he wanted to be with you. You had already made it clear that you would deal with him and give him the benefits of a relationship without committing. There was no incentive for him to leave his relationship. When he was good and ready, he left. That had little to do with you.

Finally, the many times in so many roundabout ways that he blamed his girlfriend for why he couldn't be with you at that time, or broke promises to see you because she demanded something of him -- that was because he just didn't want to be there.

Surely the waiting and the repeated disappointments were frustrating and annoying, but his then-girlfriend shouldn't be blamed. All of the discord you faced had everything to do with the man you chose and your decision to put up with the subpar treatment he doled out.

I hope your male bestie is a stand-up guy and treats the ex-girl of your ex-boyfriend better than your former lover treated you and her. Channel your lingering anger at the people who deserve it: your ex and yourself, too. Also, do your best not to disrupt this new relationship. You've already helped wreck one of her relationships; there's no need to do it twice. 

Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor to The Root, a life coach and the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. Feel free to ask anything at askdemetria@theroot.com.

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