About Affairs

17 Sep

Torn Between Two Lovers (or a lover and a partner)

If a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it, has it made a sound? The intrigue this question provokes is related to a central idea in postmodern philosophy, which is; a phenomena cannot be truly perceived apart from the context in which it is situated. A very obvious example of this would occur in a visit to the zoo, where we watch animals and think we are seeing true animal behavior. But what we are seeing are animals behaving in cages while experiencing being observed by humans. Their behavior is altered in ways that prevent us from knowing their most true nature. What has this got to do with undisclosed affairs?

If you are having a secret affair and still trying to carry on your primary relationship as though nothing has changed, you are under an illusion, which is; what you are observing about your primary relationship is unaffected by your secret. In the previous post I described some of what happens to your partner once they get the sense that something is going on, but here I want to address what happens to you in your primary relationship.

By not disclosing the affair you are altering your experience of your partner. No matter how much you may deny this, the very act of deception leads to their devaluation. That is because you now know this partner as someone who is being duped. As such, the power dynamic changes, you are in control and your respect for your partner begins to erode. This is true even if you find yourself feeling a new kind of tenderness for your primary partner, this tenderness is most likely a form of condescension. Your partner becomes like a child that needs your protection, and you convince yourself you are doing that by carrying on the deception. Your primary partner looks more and more neurotic as he or she feels inexplicable changes in you and is given no avenue to address them. In contrast, your new exciting partner looks better and better. He or she in on the secret with you, and so shares a kind of power. The lover has become the special one, and basks in the glow of that position and as a result, is at his or her very best. Meanwhile, your self esteem can be at an all time high because you have two people in love with you. This creates an illusionary gap between how together you feel and how dysfunctional your primary partner appears, one who no longer feels loved at all.

This new elevated self-esteem is brittle, however, because if you look below the surface you find that you feel guilty. You are kept very busy between your two relationships and also trying to keep the rest of your life going, and this busyness protects you from that guilt.

This is all very problematic if you are at a point where you feel pressured to make a decision about who to be with. It is important to think about how things were with your primary partner before the affair. Most likely you were dissatisfied to some degree in your primary relationship, but these dissatisfactions probably are magnified now. It might be important to remember how you experienced your primary partner when you first fell in love because that is the same context you are experiencing your new lover in now.

48 Responses to “Torn Between Two Lovers (or a lover and a partner)”

  1. 1
    Anonymous Says:

    What are the chances of this new partner actually being something better – it certainly feels like it after 5 months. I feel like I have a much stronger emotional connectin with her – easier to talk to and certainly more excitement.

  2. 2
    Anonymous Says:

    Read “Not Just Friends” by Shirley Glass Ph.D. You will see yourself mirrored in the pages. Your statement here is text book. Please get this book and try to fix your marriage or man-up and leave your wife before things get worse.

    I am a betrayed spouse that went through hell because my husband wouldn’t man-up. He abused me mentally, emotionally and finally physically because he could not continue to live a double life and I confronted him with proof. I understand now that this affair had everything to do with him and his lack of self esteem and very little to do with me. Please…get a copy of that book and read it cover to cover, then make a decision. It would be better for all parties involved.

  3. 3
    Anonymous Says:

    I completely agree with this article. As someone who has been on both sides of this issue, the statement that the affair devalues your spouse is accurate. When you enter into a secret relationship, you are automatically relegating your spouse to a less worthy, less valuable role in your life. As the relationship continues over more and more time, the primary partner becomes less and less valuable in the mind of the person having the affair. You really do need to 1)give up the ridiculous fantasy world you’ve gotten yourself into, and 2) go back and address the issues that caused things to deteriorate from your original loving and respectful relationship with your spouse. Some of the information I’ve learned about my husband’s affair was literally nauseating. It was peppered with childish, sickeningly sappy love notes, and things that I know he would never want to keep up in a long term relationship. He said he only did those things “to keep her happy”. The entire time, he was stressed and thought many times of ending it with her, but by that time, was afraid of the reaction from the other woman (afraid of a scene). You are absolutely not living reality with this affair partner. If you have a stagnant marriage, what have you contributed to make it that way, and what’s going to prevent this new person from becoming less than satisfactory once she has to deal with the realities of life? You’re only seeing the ideal side of her now. She’s not letting you see any of her faults or flaws, and they’re easy to hide when you’re living in a fantasy world.

  4. 4
    Anonymous Says:

    “Some of the information I’ve learned about my husband’s affair was literally nauseating. It was peppered with childish, sickeningly sappy love notes, and things that I know he would never want to keep up in a long term relationship. He said he only did those things “to keep her happy”.

    Has it ever occurred to you that maybe he did those things because that is part of who he really is and he was never comfortable with sharing that side of himself with you? I say this because men in affairs are the ones who for the most part have all of the power so they don’t have to keep the other woman happy. She’s usually the one running around trying to keep HIM interested. So basically if he did do those “nauseating things” then most likely he did them because he wanted to because he DEFINITELY didn’t HAVE TO.

    I say this because it’s evident what you think about love letters (as it stands you called it “sappy”) so chances are that he knew that if he tried to do these things with you, your reaction would be exactly what it is in this comment section- minimizing and condescending. That’s why he did it with her. She allowed him to do something he wasn’t allowed to express with you. If he told you otherwise, he said it so that it didn’t make a bad situation between the two of you any worse.

    That’s just something to think about as you repair your relationship or if you ever get into a new one. No one deserves to be cheated on but if you’re willing to dole out advice to the “other women”, just remember that HEwent to her so you may need to get just as much advice in finding out what she was doing right as well.

  5. 5
    Anonymous Says:

    To the post above…

    I am going to approach this as if you are the OW or OM. Now, to say that this betrayed spouse did not allow her husband to be sappy and write love letters to her is not fair. I am a betrayed spouse, and I supplied all of the necessary ingredients for a healthy love and sex life. The fault lies with my husband. He has self esteem issues as do many men in this situation. He was the one that decided to prescribe to another way of getting his kicks..if you will allow me to say that. My husband and I have shared nearly 22 years of good sex and sappy behavior. Then, when my husband decided to listen to this social predator, the OW in this case, he began to find fault with everything that I did. When you have a loving marriage for this many years, it tends to progress beyond the lovey dovey stage to a deeper level. You share things that no one else is privy to. The daily grind of life can be a damper on any relationship, but when that happens, it’s up to the parties involved to call a discussion to the table and express their grief. My husband didn’t do that…instead, he decided to step out of the marriage and buy the package that this woman, who was my dear friend, was selling. As the betrayed spouse above said, he started to act like a teenager in love. It is disgusting to see this kind of behavior in a mature adult. What she means to say is that it is hurtful that her husband can spend so much energy on a woman that means very little to him in the big scheme of things. Instead of turning to her, he turned to the OW. Now, if the husband turns to his wife and tells her what he needs, more than likely, the wife is more than willing to give her husband what he needs. To try to justify an affair by blaming the wife is shameful. The married affair partner and the OW/OM knows exactly what they are doing when they engage in an affair. It is, to say the least, irresponsible and immature. It is easy for you to judge the betrayed spouse. It’s easier to throw the blame at someone else. I don’t judge the OW, I judge the married affair partner and the OW/OM. Have the guts to own what you do.

  6. 6
    Anonymous Says:

    I am the betrayed spouse who wrote about the sappy love notes. I have thought about exactly the point made by the person who criticized me for being critical of this behavior. This is something my husband and I have talked about as well, in recent weeks, and we’ve also been doing a lot of reading about relationships and the needs of husbands and wives. I’ve asked him if this is the kind of communication he wants to have with me, and his response was very clearly and decisively “no”. My husband doesn’t have a problem expressing love for me, and knowing someone for 28 years, you do get a good understanding of the type of communication that’s truly expressive of their personality. There’s the expression of romantic and/or mature love that reflects deep love, commitment, and mutual respect, and then there’s the expression of what comes off as immature, infatuated, and contrived. He has told me that it was fun and light-hearted at first, but became tiresome over time. That type of communication and the demands of the relationship itself became a stressful burden; nevertheless, it offered the reciprocation of admiration and attention that he craved, so he was in constant conflict about giving it up or continuing with the relationship.

    Also, I disagree about the man not having to “keep the other woman happy”. I think that when the husband starts to sense or be told by the other woman that she is expecting more, he does his best to play along and keep her feeling like he’s commited to the relationship without actually making a commitment to the relationship. If he doesn’t, he might fear that she could take drastic measures like blowing their cover and making sure his wife finds out or someone else who can put him in the situation of having to make a decision one way or the other.

  7. 7
    Anonymous Says:

    As the OW I was pursued by the married man. He professed over and over how unhappy he was…she was “just a Mom”. He was telling her he wanted to leave when she turned it on him as desertion. Called in the kids for an intervention and bullied him to return. She professes God will cure their marriage. In their 30 years he had multiple relationships outside of their “happy home”. Trust me wives you are often only there because of money and guilt. Once you say “I Love You” to someone else your marriage is over. What you live from that day forward is forever different and not better. Healing from an affair is a fallacy perpetrated by pycho babble. Your marriage is over. You become the keeper of the cage key and nothing more. I have been on both sides of this and I can truly speak to this issue. As painful as it is divorce and moving on is the truly honest thing to do. Staying with the marriage is merely a sign of weakness. One can make themselves believe anything but the truth is your marriage is gone. In it’s place is only what you wish it could be not what it is….grow up and face the fact….your home was not happy and most likely still is not. You just are being told what you shamed him into to saying. Like a POW who gives in to his captors so the beatings will stop. Staying in your marriages is only submission not love and healing.

  8. 8
    Anonymous Says:

    I am married and I am the OW. I have been having an affair for 9 months now. I struggle with it everyday, my need for it and at the same time the pain it causes me. I love my husband and have been married for over 20 yrs, but I am in love with my lover… with him I feel that I can truly be myself. I feel that I am accepted for who I am and not who everyone else wants and expects me to be. As for those here who say that we do it because we lack self-esteem— I would have to disagree, nothing takes more courage than to seek and pursue something that you want, need and deserve. Why do we stay? For me three reasons, my children, the commitment I made and the dissapointment I know I would cause my family.

  9. 9
    Anonymous Says:

    I agree with Anonymous’s post on 9/13. I listened to everyone around me and lost my lover – the love of my life. I understand what you are feeling and you have to do what is right for you. Everyone likes to judge. Because of my affair, I basically lost my family, my lover, and my husband. I hope I can cope, but sometimes I don’t know. I don’t regret the affair, I only regret that I let my husband hold on to me for so long. You need to do what is right for you. I wish you luck.

  10. 10
    Anonymous Says:

    I DISAGREE WITH THIS POST.

    This goes out to all you males or females that have a ‘cheating’ partner: This is real information here but YOU HAVE TO OPEN YOUR EARS and LISTEN, otherwise I might as well currently, right now, be talking to a tree or even the ground! So at least please be fair and rational as you read this, yes? My History: I am the married guy that found himself in an affair with a single woman, starting about three years ago. My wife and I have been married for over eight years and three years ago I found myself in the company of a pretty female that immediately felt like someone I’ve known for years. I am a very good looking guy and have always had girls and women flirt with me.. I’ve never had a problem with finding the right kind of charm that women seem to be attracted to. Sometimes its just too easy.. Well this pretty female (I’ll say “PF” for name’s sake) and I got along really well immediately after we met and from all the women I’ve met while being married, not one came close to comparing with PF.. not even close. Well believe it or not, I’m the type of guy that didn’t have sex until I met my life soul mate, my wife, and in our eight years of marriage, not one girl, not even one, was able to cause me to fall for her. My wife is THAT BEAUTIFUL.. The greatest girl on earth. Well in any case, after I met this other pretty and WONDERFUL female and, I got along with her so well that we immediately felt we had known each other very well before somewhere.. I would say we knew each other in a past life, but I really do not believe in past lives, sorry. At first my wife didn’t know anything about our affair and I treated PF like just a friend when the three of us were together. Eventually my wife became ‘aware’ and the cat was out of the bag not too soon after. At first she was devastated and we had some very hard and serious times. I was still very much in love with my wife but also felt such great love for PF that I JUST COULD NOT give either up. I TRIED REALLY HARD to stop seeing PF and then kept trying to stop seeing her so hard that I actually became sick and started losing weight because I was so heartbroken and sad. My heart ached with stinging pain for these two women and I would have these horrible nights finding any sleep or comfort.. My wife and PF are these creatures that came into my life and I felt DEAD inside without being able to have both. My wife at first didnt accept the new situation.. she was outraged and COMPLETELY hurt beyond anything.. I had put her through pure grief and there were many times when I almost lost her. I poured my heart out to her and told her EVERYTHING.. not just what happened but EVERY LITTLE feeling that I found inside me.. I put in all on the table for her to see. That didnt work.. she was even more outraged! My wife was hurt for months.. PF and I even stopped having sex and would just kiss and hug… And I told my wife that she has every right to divorce me and that I would give her the house and literally EVERYTHING.. and that I would never fight her in court. I also expressed deeply that I would never be the same without her, even if PF and I got married. I made it clear to my wife that I understand I will never be able to redeem myself in her eyes and told her that I will always know that I screwed up big time and that she was perfect.. that I’ve always felt such great love from her and that she has always been there for me and given me way more than I could ever come close to giving her. After many months more my wife came to me one day with tears in her eyes and started apologizing and sobbing, saying she was sorry over and over again. I was besides myself! She explained that she never realized how much I loved PF and how she finally understood that for me to give up PF would be like not having my her, my wife! She explained how she didnt see how the connection I had to PF was like the one I had with her, and for me to not have PF is like not having my wife anymore.. how her and PF are now one to me. We talked so much about everything.. sometimes just my wife and I, other times PF and me, and as well many more times the three of us sit out in the back yard and talk our heads off. With the three of us together we now have an advantage over many couples.. even though I would hold against freely recommending everyone try it: IT IS SO HARD AT FIRST, WITH MANY RISKS OF LOSING BOTH.. BUT SO WORTH IT IF THE THREE OF YOU SEE EACH OTHER AS ONE. We combine our income and are able to cover so much more ground in all general areas of life.. there is always someone there and we share our responsibilities in a way that gives us a lot more time and freedom to live life and have great happy moments loving each other. My wife and PF are straight and generally do not find pleasure in each other unless its for me. We usually make love in separate bedrooms and I always MAKE SURE to please both NO MATTER WHAT… this means a orgasm for both, not just quitting half way. Its extra work sometimes but just as well.. I’m speechless… ITS THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD!!!! I did make a mistake that day, three years ago.. I betrayed my wife and all her trust in me and put her through hell.. complete hell! But my wife is the greatest in girl in the world and even though I still don’t deserve her, I am fortunate enough to be able to say she REALLY REALLY LOVES ME… and not just loves me… loves me UNCONDITIONAL!! See? The love our society has is CONDITIONAL. Humans are not meant to have orgies and wild times sleeping around.. they should choose a partner for life (sex) and realize what the actual words “..FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE” mean. Today, for most, love is not unconditional and today’s love says: “I LOVE YOU.. But you BETTER only love me or else I wont love you anymore!” Yes, people should not break apart families.. people should have respect and utter love for their soul mate or partner! But if your soul mate or partner DOES MESS UP.. aren’t you already in the process of breaking up the family and in that fog of anger.. where’s the utter love.. the unconditional love? For most.. that love is long gone and not even a trace can sometimes be found! This is the true test of LOVE.. if YOU REALLY want to know if your guy or girl is really even yours in the first place.. in situations like that you have to set them free. If they return to you, they were always yours but if they don’t, they were never yours in the first place. Love is greater than anger or hate.. Unconditional love will heal even the devastated places and bring solidness to broken bridges that could have otherwise never been able to stand the weight of the hurt that anger and hate is going to pass through there. I don’t belong to ANY religion.. no offense meant but religion silly, but I do believe in a creator who takes care of the things we need.. a creator that gave us EVERYTHING we need, and even puts it in our hands! Not all things always work out.. just as some couples break up because they lose interest in each other BUT NEVER CHEAT, yet other will break up because one of them cheated and the other can’t get over it.. IT HAPPENS, we are HUMANS: People love people and sometimes even two! Who says that not right? WHO? You ancestors? Your momma and pappa? What is the norm? Why? Just because in THIS TIME, IN THIS DAY, we as a society MAKE IT THE NORM to say, “you must only be in love with one!”? Who made that rule? Not nature.. We have programmed ourselves with a system that is set for failure and is the REASON why 50% of marriages end in divorce and why MOST couples break up.. it’s that moment where one of them meets another person.. and they happen to ‘love’ that person simply because they find a deeper meaning.. it that moment where this ‘love’ system fails and why most couples are feeling misery. This is not a way to say its okay, go have all the sex you want with just anyone that tickles you.. everyone does that. This is about finding out that your lover has another lover.. and finding out that your lover is in love with someone else – either way, work on it or move on and cut your loss.. but anger and hate will never bring back what you had and neither will constant resentment. My wife tells me now that HER LOVE brought me back. I LOOOOOOVE MY WIFE SO MUCH…

  11. 11
    Anonymous Says:

    DUDE ABOVE IS SO FULL OF IT WIFE AND PF WILL TEAM UP ON YOU AND YOU WILL FEEL THE WRATH I KNOW WOMEN AND YOU ARE ON A COURSE WITH ALOT OF HOT POINTY INSTRUMENTS COMING YOUR WAY…………

  12. 12
    Anonymous Says:

    I am in a 7 year long relationship and also i have a long distance lover. I struggle to maintain these relationships. I have been with my distance lover and we are so well connected on so many levels. I am finding it hard to concentrate on my 7 year relationship i still love this man but i feel more of myself with the other man. He is married and neither of us were seeking a relationship. I now find myself having to choose between them. This is so hard i feel so many feelings for my current partner but as each day goes my l love for my lover grows deeper. It is possible to love two people with so much emotion at the same time.
    My past is filled with making everyone else happy but my ‘lover’ concentrates on me being happy and encourages me to think about me and to make myself happy to some this is easy for me its the hardest thing to accomplish. I hate the thought of hurting someone i want to protect them both.
    I agree with anon September 13th 2009

  13. 13
    Anonymous Says:

    This is such an emotive subject.

    I have been an OW several times two affairs of several years with the same man. I have never gone out to get a married man, my self esteem isn’t low. My soul mate is the man I love and have had two affairs with, just because he has chosen to stay with his partner doesnt mean that he is not in love with me. He stays with her because he has a lot of finances tied up in their life and she is very insecure and would struggle to cope alone. She kept him after our affairs for the same reasons.
    I don’t want to hurt her, but she is not my concern. I totally agree with the original writing, he may not be living with me, but the way I see it he will never ever be able to look at her in the same light again. She is the weak one because she can’t let go, whereas he is the strong one as he has chosen to stay and look after her.
    Most betrayed women and men will never ever feel they have been at fault, and fair enough thats their choice. Some relationships just don’t last. Unfortunately the society we live in doesn’t always allow us just to pull the plug and move out as financial considerations can be massive.
    It’s not about begging your wife or husband for something extra, sometimes that person is just not able to give emotionally or physically in a way which fulfills their partner. If they can’t give their partner what he or she wants and they don’t want him or her to go elsewhere, then they should just walk away.
    Men who have affairs aren’t monsters and women who are the other women are not either. I think by the way that divorce for first time marriages is higher than 50% funnily enough subsequent marriages with ‘first loves’ have a very high chance of sucess!
    Hope you all find some happiness in your lives instead of trying to throw guilt around…

  14. 14
    Anonymous Says:

    I have a long distance lover,we love eachother so much but I’m afraid,I can’t explain it,I’m scared,I don’t know what my fear is! it’s stupid! is it stupid? just leave a reply and give me your comments

  15. 15
    Anonymous Says:

    Dang, super long responses written in small fonts makes for pretty difficult late-night reading on a heavy topic. I ask myself often why there isn’t some amazing blog devoted to this topic. Having an affair and breaking up with my partner was the worst time of my life. The guilt for feeling so happy with someone else and the shame for being so deceitful was unbearable at times. As someone who has had an affair, and still madly in love with that person after almost seven years, I was seeking some affirmation as to WHY our relationship is working so well. It seems like it should be doomed from the beginning. After all, it was founded on deceit and lies and intense attraction. To further burden this relationship, we both come from bicultural backgrounds and none of these four cultures share much in common. I have two children and he is down and out. From the outside, this relationship must seem destined for failure. We have had some really difficult, even dark times, but the last year has been the best ever. The only reasons I can come up with that we are still going strong and looking forward to a long life together is that we are so attracted to one another, and we are able to communicate very well. I can tell him anything, and he me. Good luck everyone.

  16. 16
    Anonymous Says:

    I have just broken up an affair, but not for long as it’s only for us to get some work done and to cool it down a bit. It has mostly been by text though whe we meet the sex, conversation and everything else is amazing. We both have been in long term relationships which have been a mess and very unfulfilling and fractious; I have broken with mine and am living happily alone and told my ex of the new person… though the man I am seeing has children and is in conflict about that, his partner is abusive and controlling. For him to stay in his relationship where there is arguments, sometimes alcohol fuelled and an atmosphere were he can do no right and she is bullying (this is not just coming from him)is something that is not healthy. I pray that he has the strength to pull out and keep a healthy contact with his kids. Meanwhile all I can say is there are no stereotypes for affairs… circumstances differ. Don’t judge.

  17. 17
    Anonymous Says:

    I am married and having an affair with a single man. At the begining it was amazing and emotional and felt like love but it has since become more chemistry and i find myself wanting so desperately for that “in love” like stage to return but don’t think it will. When we are together, spending time together, no intimacy involved or intimate it is wonderful but when I leave I feel needy and insecure about how he feels. I can’t stand that feeling….. My marriage ended for me emotionally when my husband had a year long affair with his college girlfriend while I was home with a new baby. I tried very hard after that to repair the relationship, took ownership and felt like I failed him someway but then he did it again. He also has a pornography issue. I checked out emotionally on him years ago…. He is very intimidating and frightning and a divorce will be the battle of a lifetime with him….. and he will use the kids…. I want to do what is best for them but am I doomed to never love or be loved again….

  18. 18
    Anonymous Says:

    I have been married for 7 and half yrs, and have been having an affair for 5 yrs with my husbands best mate, I have no guilt about our affair because i do believe if it makes us both happy what do we have to be guilty about, with my lover it is still as exciting as it was when we began, i love this guy and have never felt this way about anyone else, my husband and i have no intamicy whatsoever and to tell the truth i cant remember when we kissed each other last or had sex’s, where as my lover makes me feel alive, when im down he pick me up, its not just great sex’s it an conection we have with each other and i do believe we were ment for each other but under the circumstance that he and my husband are best mates their will never be anything more than an affair, if it had ended after a few months i would have said it was just a fling but considering it has lasted 5 yrs and still the butterflys are their everytime i belive its love and what does it matter my husband has no idea and never will so no harm done, im happy my lovers happy all is good

  19. 19
    Anonymous Says:

    Normally nobody is totally innocent when it comes to affairs. I have been cheated on; I have cheated and I have been the other person. In all cases there was blame aplenty to go around. In my current situation my spouse has placed me at the bottom of her list of priorities. She has withdrawn both emotional and physical intimacy; often as ‘punishment’. When told her how I felt, and that things needed to change for the good of our marriage she told me that I would just have to get used to it. I guess I was just supposed to suffer silently.

  20. 20
    Anonymous Says:

    I’m the single 26 year old having an affair with a man who I adore. I know he’ll leave his wife (whether I will still be around is another matter) – but I desperately want to be happy and loved.

  21. 21
    Anonymous Says:

    #13 Didn’t know anyone could be so smart! Doesn’t look as though your success rate is to great. You have a huge hole in your character. You want to talk statistics? Look at the percentage rate of success spouses have with their lovers when they leave their marriage partner for them. Look at the statistics of how this affects kids. It’s easier to fix a marriage than to start new with someone else. Did you know that? As far as guilt – You should be riddled with it! The other woman may fall short in many areas but believe me – SHE IS NOT THE WEAK ONE – YOU & AND HER HUSBAND ARE!

  22. 22
    Anonymous Says:

    I am almost 67 years old and should be finished with all fo this by now. I have read all the preceding stories and still feel my story is different. I married young, but I loved my wife and we did everything together, and I was proud of her and our relationship. I never even considered going out for a drink after work or flirting at work because I was married and in love. I was a virgin when we got married, except for the normal pawing. We were great in the sack, loved to sleep late together, go out togather, take trips…you name it. However, in my 19th year of a near perfect marriage, I met a woman and felt the first real true love without even trying. I didn’t know what to do, I just knew I couldn’t do without her. It wasn’t her looks…but, the personality and relationship, and the bond we immediately formed. We both fought it. But, my wife and her boyfriend made it even easier because my wife fully trusted me and never had a reason not to before. I didn’t know what to do…yes…I knew right from wrong, but no matter how this lady and I tried, we could not break the bond and our relationship.
    I continued to treat my wife perfectly, But, I could no longer allow myself to have sex with her. It just seemed wrong. By the 19th year, we were not that involved in sex anyway. I didn’t miss it and I didn’t look for it.
    I admitted the affair soon after it started and agreed to break it off. The OW even got married and tried to forget me. My wife and I did all we could to improve our marriage…except for the intamacy, which was difficult under the circumstances. The OW couldn’t stand being without me and divorced her husband. I felt very guilty about that…and so did she. I really do care for my wife and I am a dumbass and coward for not being able to make a decision. I did attempt to leave once and my wife threatened suicide. Nothing worked and I resumed my relationship with the OW, ended up back together. I could have admitted in the beginning that the sex was fantastic with the OW. How could it not be with us being so in love with each other. I did my best to cope with a double relationship. I practically died throughout the week until I was able to see her on the weekends. We both knew it was wrong and I was always honest with her, and she knew that. We went through good times and bad times. I worked so hard at not hurting my wife that I don’t believe she suspected the relationship was still going on. My relationship (with the OW lasted 12 years). By that time I’ll admit the OW and myself were almost looking for excuses to break it off…it hurt so bad. She finally made the move and it nearly destroyed me. I will admit that I really care for my wife, but I was truly in love with the OW and considered all the wrong things. I lost track of the OW for 15 years. Earlier this week I asked to talk to my wife. I told her how much she meant to me and how lucky I was to have her and that I wished I was all the things that she deserved in a husband. I told her I would try to do better, even though our realationship was a good one, due to her love for me and my loving responsibility for her. Frankly, I don’t think I could do without her.
    All of a sudden, almost by accident I hit apon a facebook identity for the OW…after 15 years. I was shocked (I could have always done an investigation on her whereabout, etc., but never did.) I couldn’t resist asking her to be accepted as her friend and she accepted. That was a week ago, or one day after I professed my devotion to my marital relationship.
    The OW answered and within a day we had professed our love for one anther again. I realize there is a difference between loving someone and being in love with someone. As close as they may be…there is a difference. I can never leave my wife…I am a coward to face her and I care too much about her. Yet, after 26 years I find that I can’t even think of this OW without needing a psychiatrist. I am that in love and don’t know how to deal with it. Don’t tell me I must make a decision, or I am hurting both women, or I can never be happy…I have already been told that by professionals. The best answer is a bullet in my head, but the only problem that really solves is my own. I have an obligation, love and responsibility to both women. Don’t everyone try to make something silly out of that. That feeling is in my soul and mind and heart. A bullet would really only solve my problem…and they would just end up feeling guilty..and they have nothing to feel guilty about. My wife loves me and the OW loves me and cares very much about my wife’s feelings. It is not as simple as leave my wife or call it off with the OW. Tell me that and I’ll punch you right in your jaw. If you don’t realize the complexity of my situation, then go read someone else’s blog. I am in a place where there is no happiness for me…yes, me. I am a good and caring person, possibly too caring. And, there is no answer. God hasn’t helped. 15 years after a decision is made, he brings her back into my life. Please don’t think any thing less of this OW…because if she wasn’t as good a person as she is, I would probably be married to her right now. she has spent all these years looking out for both my interests and my wifes. I think God has already tested us once…why would he do it again? Anyone that thinks this is a simple matter is crazy…forget the comments. Anyone that thinks I am a coward…forget it…I already know that. I feel like I am screwing up two of the finest lady’s lives in the world. And, even with, and mostly because of two loves..my life is shit! And, so is theirs probably. I have already tried God…and the fact is…he put us back together for the second time. Nobody deserves this kind of test…and yet I know many people have lives so much worse than me…so, now i even feel more guilty…are you happy God

  23. 23
    Anonymous Says:

    Wow..very well said.

  24. 24
    Anonymous Says:

    Don’t Blame God….

  25. 25
    Anonymous Says:

    22: Wow, if you write a book your children’s pockets will be thankful! Very dramatic, that’s life.

    I’m still very young (23) and I’m in a situation in which I have one girlfriend (2 years now) who really loves me, is very very loyal and caring, yet the relationship dissatisfies me for reasons that escape “reason” or “common sense”, let’s just say, the magic disappeared and I am not truly “in love”. Some people have an amazing way of going on even though, a form of “stability” and that can give comfort and security. But let’s face it – we are men, we are hunters and the hunt thrills us. We can’t be domesticated and somehow I think the feeling of being able to spark an animalistic and passionate relationship is one of the most satisfying sensations that we can go through in life.

    The truly hard part for me is, to break up with the first girlfriend. This is what you consider makes you a “coward”, not that my situation is nearly as complicated as yours is, but I feel somehow identified by your story in this situation.

    But if there is one thing I can learn from what you are saying, and from what Dante Alighieri wrote in his book: the last ring of hell is for the undecided. And I think this is very true. Living in ambiguity, not knowing what to do, fearing the “what if’s” is the main reason we live in hell, an internal hell, a deep hell, in our hearts and minds.

    So I am going to make a decision once and for all. I decide to be a man and stand up for my decisions no matter the circumstances that they take me toward, and to live by that principle with no regrets, only to learn from my mistakes and fine tune my decision making as I go on.

    Thank you all for sharing these experiences. Especially Mr. 22, you have opened my eyes.

  26. 26
    Anonymous Says:

    To #22…Beautifully spoken, truer than anything else on this page about being in love with two people at the same time. It’s terribly complex, heart-rending and completely possible. A friend called my situation (married 8 yrs to my 2nd husband; first marriage lasted 18 years, and have been with lover for the past 9 mos and in love w/ both men) a “glorious dilemma.” Bull…there is nothing glorious about it. It is the most wrenching experience I’ve ever had, worse than the hell of enduring a chronic illness for 10 years. I recovered from that; not sure how, when or if I will “recover” from this. I feel torn to make a choice but I can’t. I hate hurting anyone else, but I’m hurting all the time. To #25: Thanks so much for Dante’s quote. All of my life I’ve been decisive. I’ve never had trouble making decisions. I’m direct and know what I want — until now. But that quote rings so true: indecision is pure hell, and living in ambiguity, failing to and fearing to make a choice, is torture. You’ve given me food for thought. Thanks again.

  27. 27
    Anonymous Says:

    Wow wow wow #22… I know exactly how you feel. And to agree with the post above, it is almost a glorious dilemma. I wish you wouldn’t be so hard on yourself. You love two women. It happens and it is not strange. I am a middle-aged woman and in love with a man who loves me and his wife of 30 years. It seems we have all settled into this concept. I think especially at our age, life changes, spouse’s health impacts relationships, and in the end, people still have the need for love and intimacy yet feel obligated to care for their primary relationship. That is my situation. And i have a great deal of respect for his caregiving.

    I wish you love and peace. You seem like a wonderful man.

  28. 28
    Anonymous Says:

    I believe there is nothing wrong if for some reason a partner maintains relation with some one else too, provided he or she can keep his or her primary relation intact and allow no erosion . The side kick in most cases works like supplementary vitamins to strengthen oneself both physically and mentally. The person becomes more creative and his or her bodily abilities gets augmented. But please make sure that you do not get conceived by the other guy and do not import disease. Under no circumstances you should divulge your secret relationship to any other surely not to your primary partner. This should be treated as your bathroom fantasy which you never relate to your partner . Please do not make your relation too obvious . Make it very specific to your partner that you are deeply concerned with your primary relation only. The side kick is accepted with no string attached. It could be a deep love too, and in that case it is more better because the lover partner will understand it more passionately. A true lover knows that he or she should give and not take.

  29. 29
    Anonymous Says:

    I have read all of the 28 prior posts and comments and am saddened at the harsh judgments of some. I do not think or believe that any of us has much if any control over who, how, or when we fall in love. The older I get the less I believe in “the one” and I have questioned if in fact there is just one person who is intended or even capable of fulfilling all of the needs we each have. My situation: my first marriage ended after 12 years with my husband having multiple affairs and indiscretions, sexual additions, and inappopriate relationships with teenage girls. I was devstated, betrayed and nearly destroyed. Several years post recovering from that trauma, I married a wonderful man. I never intended to marry again but eventually conceded to his wishes to marry (he had never been married and did not have or want children)but a life partnership for him meant marriage and nothing short would suffice. He even adopted my two daughters who are both now grown and on their own. Fast forward 11 years…intimacy (emotional and physical) and passion have been lacking in this marriage from the beginning although we love each other, have a great partnership (business-like relationship), and live and work well together in all ways short of true intimacy. Enter the other man (OM). He is 11 years older than me, married with 1 child in the last year of high school. By self-report his marriage is much like mine in that they have a great partnership and financial stability but lack passion and share no intimacy (emotional or physical). OM and I have been involved on boards and other business-related projects and got to know eachother well over the course of a year before becoming involved. We have now been involved for 6 months. Neither of us has plans to or has even entertained leaving our marraiges. Interestingly and perhaps bewildering to me is that I do not feel any guilt about this relationship. Don’t get me wrong – if my husband were to discover the affair – I would be sad at the prospect of his hurt, but even considering that I have not felt any guilt. My husband has been unwilling to address the lack of intimacy and passion or to address the health issues that he believes are part of the issue for him. This complacency has left areas of need in me that I can not bear to think of living without for the rest of my life. To my way of thinking and feeling – his refusal to address these issues within the marriage is no different than my choosing now to address them outside of the marriage. I do not want my marraige to end – there are many good things my relationship with my husband provides. But I also can not live without true intimacy and passion in my life. I am now in love with the OM…I am still in love with my husband. It will be interesting to see what the future holds.

  30. 30
    Anonymous Says:

    I also love 2 men my husband of 22 years that I left to be with my married lover of 2 years .he left his wife for me. I have been back and forth of 7 months they both love me very much and I hate hurting them both and my self .I just don’t know what to do or who to be with .when iam with one I miss the other one so much I truly feels like my hart is crushed .I never thought you could love 2 men so deeply at the same time .I have no idea which wa to turn .

  31. 31
    Anonymous Says:

    I can also attest that loving two women is a blessing yet a curse (re #22). Being stuck in this ambivalence is a gut wrenching daily onus. I strongly recommend to anyone who is on the cusp of engaging in an affair or in the beginning stages of an affair, to please stop a moment and reflect upon the following sentences before you resume. If you have any love for your current spouse then you will also fall into this trap of agony that duplicity will inflict upon you as your new affair develops and as you become in love with this other woman. If you do not love your spouse enough to achieve/maintain emotional intimacy in your current relationship, then at least love her enough to let her go before you engage in your new relationship. Man up before it is too late, lest you imprison yourself as #22 and I have done. (if you are a female, then transpose the pronouns/nouns to reflect the respective gender – this advice applies to you as well)

    P.S. If you find this concept of loving two women compulsive and unnatural, you must have a reality check. Monogamy is NOT natural; yet I concede (and attest) that it is the most emotionally healthy approach.

  32. 32
    Anonymous Says:

    #22, well said. I fell in love with a woman at work. My wife had become “dull” to me. i tried to get her to do some things with me, but we vary on what we enjoy. When i ran out of house projects, i ran out of excuses to stay and pretend to be happy. i have a daughter, best ever. but thats not enough – not since i met this OW. shame on me for opening the door, but ive never ever felt love like this before. my dream woman, girl of my dreams. but im scared to choose. i feel i am walking a line and on either side of it is pain and suffering, because i am weak to choose. that line is now on a mountain. i tried to give my marriage another chance, a pitiful month when things were somewhat decent. and in that month, i got my wife pregnant. shes now 2 monhts pregnant. but i am still so torn when i know the right thing to do is to stay but then i lose this girl of my dreams. i’ve loved many. been with many. but not like this. she is so amazing. Its been a year working side by side with her, then in the car, in the hotel, wherever we can go, concerts events, everything we do we both love so much….so torn, waiting for the shoe to drop. do i give it all up. my child (and fetus), my house, my friends, my family to be with this girl i dont want to ever be apart from? so torn. i want to die. i want to bleed out and not exist, so i dont hurt my family or my new love. i just want to disappear. but i cannot, will not take that exit. i am so lost, i feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. a ticking time bomb in my pocket. tick tock.

  33. 33
    Anonymous Says:

    Im married for 7 years now with my first boyfriend, I’m also his first gilfriend.
    About 3 years ago I started to feel something was missing. I feel I changed as person these years.
    I was a very timid and inexperient girl, now Im more true to myself and feel that need more of life.
    He is a good man, honest, hard working guy. But we don’t have much in common except our tender for each other and I always feel he is completly distant from our relashionship, he dont like to talk about emotions, he can’t stand to see me cry or if I try to talk our relashionship he always tells me Im crasy inventing problems were there are none. Even being really agressive by the fact Im sad and in need of something that aparently he dont know what is or how to give me.
    Well, from this time I started to think seriously about divorce but could never find courage to do it.
    I’m always affraid of hurting him, cause I know he want to continued married to me. And for everybody we are the perfect couple.
    I decided to try a time appart to know how I feel,to know if I could survive a divorce.
    In this time appart, I discovered yes I could live my life without him and I also got involved with another man. One that have a lot in common with me, I really feel happy around him and feel that I can talk and be trully myself, but he is not perfect as well and have his defects, one of these defects is not being very stable man in his emotions and life.
    He lives in another country and now I got back to my old life and partner.
    Now I feel like I dont belong to none of the places.. I love my husband but I know is the same person with the same problems that I was feeling tired of.. but he is safe and take cares of me even we are not really connected as couple should be.
    The other man lives far away and wants me to divorce and live with him. But he is the “unknow”, I would have to leave everything behind for him and I’m terrified!
    (Im not dating him now, he is far and he expect me to divorce to continue, Im also not interested in having 2 men at the same time, I want to resolve my life, or I stay married or I divorce)
    The point is:
    Do I love my previous partner? Do I love this another man? I’m having dificult to answer this.. Who I love? Because I’m petrified by guilt and fear.
    I don’t know what to do.. Who to choose.. And I feel really bad about this, cause my husband was the only man I had in my life, i didnt had a comparision.. Now I have and Im sure that many things are missing in our marriage.. So why Im so affraid to let go? And to be truth to myself and to both of men involved?
    So.. I dont judge anybody who have affairs, obviously there is something wrong in marriage, I know this because many times I keep my happy face for society and my husband while inside Im dying, just because I know there is nothing else to do.. i got tired of fighting, and trying to talk, in time I just decided to live and let things happen..
    One thing is for sure, feelings change, u can’t control love, who you love. So to the betrayed people that read me, forgive your spose, Im sure they love you still. But love as should exist btw men and women is gone.
    Getting out of a long marriage is like loosing a part of yourself, that’s why I can understant why people are cheating.. is not easy to loose a part of yourself, of your life, even is so clear to people outside to say: is over, divorce and find someone new.. people try to cling to what once existed.. but their hearts never betray them.. we can’t stop love from happening, and this includes lovers.

  34. 34
    Anonymous Says:

    Wow – all these posts describe the feelings I have, being in love with my husband and my lover. The choice I am faced with is do I end the affair or not?
    I am so conflicted, I absolutely love my lover and can’t bear the thought of being without him although I fear I will ruin my marriage and his if I continue..
    I am so sad and so conflicted. It is at least a little comforting to know that many others are in the same situation….

  35. 35
    Anonymous Says:

    I have a bf ive been with.for 5 1/2 yrs. We were suppose to get married, have kids the whole enchilada. However 10 months ago my good friend of 15 yrs which of whom ive always liked in a romantic way due to our common interests and passions… We began a slow growing affair. It took months for him to actually tell me how he really felt for me and when he did my heart exploded with happiness. He views me as his bestfriend, lover, companion and one who.he would marry. I feel the same. My bf and I have been.through lots of stuff. I still love him deeply and thats no lie. However our relationship is full of heartships and saddnes at times. I know if I.concentrate on my bf we could be ok . But I love my bestfriend too. I almost feel him and I are made in a sense for eachother. My bf is broken from my two feet out the door and one arm in actions. I love him and the thought of life without him sickens me. I know my bestfriend would help get me through this no doubt, but is it worth the risk? My heart cant even answer this for me. I know me I know when I can make life changes but I cant here with either one :(

  36. 36
    Anonymous Says:

    I was with my partner for 12 years. When we met there were no sparks, no love connection just companionship. In fact I didn’t chase her and wasn’t enamoured and she wasn’t either. It was like convenience. I went away for 6 months and when I came back she was there knocking on my door. She had a young boy William whom was 3 and I raised to now 17. We also had 2 girls. I love my girls from the bottom of my heart and miss them dearly. I feel like death. During my relationship it was so much hard work every year. I just loved my kids and had a family and it went do quick, but as time passed there were things I couldn’t stop. She spoke terribly to me in frOnt of our kids, she was lazy and didn’t care much about anything. As time went on I knew I wasn’t in love, despite our family being so beautiful I didn’t respect her, the way she spoke to me, as a mother and her ethics. I left her after much heartache and anguish. For 4 years we fought, every time I wasn’t coming back I couldn’t see my kids, I couldn’t talk to anyone, she stopped contributing altogether financially a few times and basically spoke horribly about me to my girls and son. After 4 years I now see none of my kids, they don’t speak to me at all. I met someone and couldn’t even let them know for fear of this happening. It happened anyway. My girls are 9 & 12. I know I won’t be in their lives anymore because they have been estranged by my x to me. It is heart breaking I am a good loving dad with a lot to offer them but my x is so mean and nasty. She always has been. I an going to marry for the first time in my life, I am going to have a child hopefully and I am never giving up on my girls. I am 40 now and ready trot the next chapter in my life. Help me heal so I survive

  37. 37
    Anonymous Says:

    To all: when you feel intensely drawn towards someone, go towards it. it may end in tragedy, or it may end in bliss, or you may have an interesting time and then part ways..but you are being pulled towards them for a reason. Stop feeling guilt about your feelings people. Trust them! Stop being brainwashed by outdated societal structures.

    Why people even believe in marriage is so beyond me. Marriage, historically, was never about love. It was about property and wealth exchange. Love was never an expected outcome of marriage, until very recently. People: you are deluding yourselves! Don’t let your life be dictated by outdated moral structures. Every persons experience with love and relationship is unique. Just follow your heart!

  38. 38
    Anonymous Says:

    I have been with my wife for 23 years, since I was 16. We grew up together experienced life as young adults and were inseperable. We have moved through life as you are ‘supposed’ to. House, 2 kids etc.. and again suffered the ups and downs life throws at you. But we got through it. 3 years ago I met a girl in a bar although I had known for a long time. We got talking, kissed and due to the amount that was drunk, I took her back to my mates house and we had sex. I then continued this affair. Mainly by text, but did have sex a couple times more. This texting eventually got so frequent, inevitably I got caught. My wife was devestated. I couldn’t bring myself to tell her id had sex, as we had both only had sex with each other upto that point. So I cut this girl off and my wife took me back. Things were ok, but a year or so ago things started to go wrong. Arguing and fighting and general disrespect for each other started to happen. So a few months after the arguing started I met another girl in a bar. This girl was a stranger and I really tried to not be interested. My mates were more so. But drinking and dancing and sexual chemistry kinda took over and once again I kissed this girl. We exchanged numbers and I went home. No sex this time. We started a text relationship. She was telling me how amazing I was, she was exciting and dangerous. My wife was not interested in me, constantly in a bad mood and telling me how useless I was. So this went on for months, being honest this girl really did hurt me sometimes. Had a couple of other guys that she slept with but wasn’t bothered about hurting me because I was married and still sleeping with my wife. Why shouldn’t she sleep with other people. It still hurt me though and she knew it. So 4 months ago she went out one night and at midnight, while she was drunk she phoned me. My wife was sat next to me and that was it. I’d been caught out again. This time why wife was livid and threw me out. She made it clear that our marriage was over this time. I moved in with my Mum and carried on seeing the girl I had been texting. I had fallen in love with her and couldnt stop. We had been texting every day since we met. Although we had never had sex, we had strong feelings for each other and we couldn’t stop. I felt as my marriage was over it might be worth trying to be with this girl. It’s been a very fiery relationship. With us both finding it difficult to trust each other. So 2 months ago my wife told me she had forgiven me and she would have me back. I didn’t know what to do. I tried to give up this girl but couldn’t and in fact ended up having sex for the first time with her. So now I have my wife wanting me and this girl wanting me. I have fallen madly in love with her but I still love my wife. My problem is. If I tell my wife it’s properly over I will lose everything I have built up. My house, my car, my boat. I will have no money and this girl only has a part time job do her income will not help. I also dont know how I feel about my wife seeing other guys. She has never had sex with anyone else. I can’t even think about her sleeping with another guy. It makes me feel sick. But my new girlfriend can’t cope with the fact I haven’t finished it completely with my wife and is threatening to leave me. So I have to choose. The safety and security of my loving wife. Or the insecurity of a new girlfriend who I am madly in love with and excites me so much. I really am stuck for what to do.. I need to make a decision and I am finding it impossible to choose. Any help anyone?

  39. 39
    Anonymous Says:

    #25 – you opened my eyes. You are very mature for a 23 yrs old. I’d be curious to know how you solved your pb since I’m facing the same pr.

  40. 40
    Anonymous Says:

    To the above posts that think it is ok to cheat, lie , deceive, and embellish the most hurtful feelings onto their spouse or loved one in the name of the “junior high” love feelings are absolutely despicable human beings- the key word here being ” human”. Yes, we all make mistakes, however wisdom belongs to the person/ people that own their mistakes and truly learn from them and don’t make the same mistakes twice! Now back to those “junior high” in love feelings of an affair- that is exactly what they are- not mature

  41. 41
    Anonymous Says:

    Well #25… My eyes are open… but i am weak! I try to make a choice… And to move forward…. I honestly believe I could be happy with either man…. But I love them each too much to end it with them… So my torture continues… It is so complexed… So many reasons why it began… Why It should end…. Why I should stay or why I should go…. This is my hell. I created it. My punishment for my sins.

  42. 42
    Anonymous Says:

    I am the wife of a man who cheated on me, we have 4 kids and another on the way. For me his affair has destroyed my self esteem. I fell in love with this man instantly when we met and I can’t imagine my life without him. We are trying to put this all behind us but in counseling he has revealed that he has true feelings for this OW. How does one move on from that. How can a man who took vows to you and tells you they love you all the time possibly love someone else. I am praying its an infatuation. Honestly they don’t have the every day struggles to deal with so their relationship is easy and fun ours is work but rewarding. I really want our marriage to work I want our kids to grow up with mommy and daddy in the same home and above it all I still love him I have tried to hate him and I just can’t do it. For any man or woman who thinks its ok to be the OW or OM think about what you are doing to the kids in the marriage to the persons spouse. The OW in this is telling my husband that my kids will be happier that is so far from the truth that I am selfish she is poisoning my husband against me and it breaks my heart before they met we really did have a great marriage filled with lots of love, and everything anyone could want. I am heartbroken. It has been since October 31st that he told her that it was over and I’m just praying that over time he realizes he didn’t love her that our love is true.

  43. 43
    Anonymous Says:

    I am in a similar situation, too. Mid -50s and I never “cheated” in my life. With my female partner of 15 years. Love her dearly – like family, but a new business , added financial strain and my working 60+ hours /week added so much more tension to the already daily grind of life. She became unhappy with me, critical, and I felt like she was about to jump ship. I understand why – she was not living the life she wanted. She was being deprived of our relationship. At work another woman and I became close – she too going through relationship problems – though it was a much shorter-term relationship, and as she has told me, she was never really in-love with this person, but after having been left after a 2 decade long relationship where she also raised her partner’s child, she thinks she became involved with her current (now ex-) because she needed stablity, companionship and was lonely. This person never felt like the love of her life. She just resigned herself to the fact that she was now middle aged and would just settle rather than be alone. We fell in love and had an affair which both of our partners discovered. I don;t know what I thought would happen. I wasn’t thinking of all of the ramifications. I thought we would get it out of our system and them go back to our respective partners.

    My partner moved out of our home. We still live nearby and work nearby. She cannot stand the OW and the OW is threatened by her. So I live a secret life. I mis my ex so terribly at times, yet the thought of ending my relationship with the OW is also painful. I feel guilty and depressed all the time. I don’t want to lose either of them in my life, and I don’t want to cause my ex any more pain . The deceit has become an unbearable weight because I know how much pain I will cause both of them So I try to bear it all on my own shoulders. This has been going on for 2 1/2 years now and I am feeling like I am at the breaking point. THe OW had become seriously ill for a year and could not work. I tried to take care of her. She is struggling financially and is afraid to lose me. I am not doing great financially either. My ex has been incredibly kind and supportive but if she know of the OW it would just be awful. She constantly tells me she cares and would like to spend time with me. I feel like I am in limbo and being in this state is making me severely depressed. I wish I could turn back the clock and have my old life back. I would rather bear all the pain than put it on either of them, but I am teetering on the edge of a breakdown. I have tried to make a decision but to no avail. I am stuck. I wish there were an easy answer. I agree I made my bed and now must lie in it. But I was never a disloyal person nor one to not be able to make decisions. I feel awful about myself.

    Can anyone please give some advice?

  44. 44
    Anonymous Says:

    I have my husband of 8 years and and my lover 7 months and he is also married but does not live with his wife I am still married to my husband which I love but I also love my lover. Which I’m 2 months along with my lovers baby .. Which my husband want me to give up and come back to him because he think that my lover is nothing but trouble I have 3 children with my husband .. I don’t know to do I love them both very much I don’t know if it hard for me to give up or what happen need advise …

  45. 45
    Anonymous Says:

    I have read all the posts. I have also been the betrayed wife and the OW. I am now single and have been involved with a married man for about one year. I have known him for many years and we went from friends to lovers. We have shared through the years our most private thoughts. I guess we were having an emotional affair for years until it became a full blown affair. I have experienced being “in love” again. This year has been full of intense moments of passion and happiness but on the other hand I have felt insecure and lonely and guilty. We have ended it a few times just to return again. But I’m tired of being the OW. I’m tired of spending holidays alone. I’m tired of hiding our relationship. So I’ve decided to stop all contact with me. I asked him not to come to see me. I have blocked his calls and texts. I need to let him go because he needs to decide. I feel that both his wife and I are victims. I hope this is the end of this dilemma.

  46. 46
    Anonymous Says:

    Well I am torn between 2 men!! I am a 50 year old woman who has been in a turbulent marriage for 32 years! 18 months ago I became friends with a gentleman
    , we slowly became close friends then lovers! My husband and I separated and the OM and I started to plan our life! The OM had applied for a job in a hospital in Australia which he got, so we planned to go to Aussie and rent until my house was sold!! Well now the OM has gone to Aussie and I got cold feet, I had a meeting with my husband and he said he still loves me and would like to us to hold on to any love we have for each other and give it a go!!! I still have feelings for my husband but I don’t think it’s enough…. I’m still in contact everyday with OM who I love dearly…he has been in his new job for 2 weeks now… He has found an appartment for us to move into and is looking forward to the day I join him….. I am feeling so torn it’s making me feel ill….. I’m getting chest pains from all the Anxiety from the situation .
    My husband and I seem to get on ok but I am constantly thinking about OM and the life we had planned… I keep changing my mind I can’t seem to make a decision and stick to it….. I admire #25 in coming to a decision and sticking with it!!!
    My affair with OM is out in the open and I have a lot of people who now think the worst of me!! I have even left my job ( which I was going to do anyway to go to Aussie!!! )
    I think I am just afraid of the unknown…… It’s awful as my husband thinks we are trying to rekindle things…but I am constantly in contact via text to OM……
    There’s some issues I have with OM like chronic snoring that totally keeps me awake!!! And he smokes quite heavy and I don’t !!
    I’m totally confused my mind swings like a pendulum from day to day!!!!!!

  47. 47
    Anonymous Says:

    I really do believe that love doesn’t have any boundaries , its just that we as humans has been programmed in such a way to think there is such thing as limits to love . Although I 100% feel and do believe deceit and cheating is very bad , esp if both are being misled thinking they’re the only ones in that persons life . But more and more I’ve come to learn that its the guilt that eats the person alive from within if he/she is purely saying I LOVE YOU , just to throw it out and keep the ball in the relationship rolling . The real question really comes down to ,what happens when you do truly love both ? Who says there is a limit that only one person can be loved ? loving your friend , does that mean you can only love one of your friends and not the other ? your parents does that mean you love one of your parents and not the other ? no we love them both and we love them all (UNCONDITIONAL LOVE) as stated , but where was the guidelines set or the rules made that unconditional love is gone when it comes to your partner ? I am not saying cheating is right , this is completely coming from a unbiased standpoint . To our society polygamy is shamed upon , but in the middle east its practiced like normal almost like its part of their culture . If there are both sides POLYGAMY & MONOGAMY , who is to say one is right and the other is wrong if both are standing from two different points of view ?

    BOTTOM LINE IS I REALLY DO BELIEVE THE BIGGEST MISTAKE AND GUILT IS THE MISLEADING OF YOUR SPOUSE FOR MAKING HE/SHE THINKS THAT THEY ARE THE ONLY ONE .

    AND I REALLY DO BELIEVE SOME PEOPLE CAN LOVE MORE THAN ONE PERSON AT THE SAME TIME WITHOUT DEVALUING THE OTHER ASIDE FROM INTEGRITY .

  48. 48
    Anonymous Says:

    In the United States, how much harder is it for a man, than a woman, to choose between a spouse and a lover?

    Society has taught that a man is responsible for providing for and protecting his family. When a man’s needs are not being met by his spouse, he naturally will get them provided for by another woman who is more than willing to meet them. This works as a drug bringing confusion and feelings of love. Now this man has to face a real dilemma, stay with this unsatisfying spouse, or move on with this amazing other woman.

    The man chooses to divorce his wife and two kids to be with this other married woman. This other married woman chooses to divorce her husband. She also has two kids.

    The man looses his house, pays child support, spousal support, and gets every other weekend to see his kids. Now due to the societal pressures that are upon men, he feels guilty and decides to give all assets to his wife. She gladly takes them all and promises to make his life a living hell for leaving her in the first place.

    The other woman that divorced her husband gets custody of the kids, the house, child support, and most of the assets. Now She can’t understand why her new lover is not happy. She got to keep her family and replace the one problem she was unhappy with; her husband. Why wouldn’t he be as happy as her in his new arrangement?

    Meanwhile, the Man is feeling like going back to his wife because he has nothing. He’s miserable and misses his kids. His kids hate him for leaving them, because they hardly get to see him. Of course they have every other weekend, but they have already been convinced by mom that they should never, ever accept the other woman and should never even want to meet her.

    Now the man feels he has no other choice but to break things off with his girlfriend and try to unite with his horrible ex. If he doesn’t, his kids lives might be ruined psychologically. His girlfriend cannot believe he would even consider going back to this abusive person that used to be his spouse! Of course the girlfriend is only concerned about her wants and what is best for her. Now the man is stuck between trying to do what is best for his kids and trying to please the girlfriend that meets all of his needs.

    Once again, the Man is the bad guy! Enough said.

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Susan Berger is a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA and Walnut Creek, CA (lic. # MFC21193) | 121 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118 | 1415 Oakland Blvd, Ste. 100, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
photography by Bethanie Hines