What To Do When You’re Torn Between Wife And Girlfriend

Reader:  New to your site, I’ve enjoyed much of what I’ve read so far.  My problem is the following.

I am 49.  My wife (48) and I have been married for over twenty years.  Two children (19 and 15).  In the last 5 or 6 years, our sex life has gone from bad to worse to becoming virtually non-existent.  Why?  Work pressures.  My wife’s unhappiness with her professional circumstances.  Financial pressures.  Diverging sex ranks (by your criteria): me up, my wife down.

Almost two years ago, I met and fell in love with another woman (35).  Absolutely beautiful, and with whom sex is out of this world.  We connect on every level (intellectually, physically, aesthetically) and she wants me to stay with her.  I am very much in love with her, and cannot bear the thought of losing her.

Nine months ago, I suggested to my wife that we separate, saying that our relationship was no longer working.  Six months ago, I told her about the other woman, and moved out (living alone).

The problem is that, despite all the above, I am still prevaricating.  Some deep conflict is preventing me from going ahead with the divorce.  I still am very fond of my wife, and she is intent on our remaining together, and has forgiven the “affair”.  I feel little or no sexual attraction to her, but do feel a strong compassionate bond, and find myself wondering, probably naively, whether marriage counselling could help.  At the same time, I know that it could never approach anything like I have with this other woman, with whom I can honestly say I’m passionately in love.  (After almost two years, can it be dismissed as mere infatuation?).  I also feel a strong family responsibility as father of two children.

With all of this, I have reached a deep crisis, in which I no longer know whether I am being prevented from going ahead with the divorce by (a) lack of courage, or (b) some deep love for my wife and family (despite the sexlessness of recent years, and the fact that I now also love another woman).

Any thoughts you may have on the matter would be greatly appreciated, as this indecision has brought me to a point of near desperation.  Thank you.

Athol: You’re essentially doing the same thing a woman does by having a relationship with a Bad Boy and a Nice Guy at the same time. You’re getting your Alpha / dopamine fix from your lover and your Beta / oxytocin/vasopressin fix from your wife. It’s taking both of them to get you what you want. You haven’t made a decision to dump one because both women are tolerating you keeping them on the line. When one of them makes a move, you’ll decide who you want to be with.

I do sympathize with the temptation to get involved with someone else when your marriage has been less than enjoyable. You having a higher Sex Rank than your wife does make you leaving her or having an affair a higher probability outcome.

However that being said, I’m not really in the business of advising how to have an affair and then make the transition from dumping your wife to moving to a new woman. Right now your relationship options are both going to be problematic.

Your wife:  If you return to her, you’ve created a huge drama for her to move past in addition to whatever her structural attraction issues are that she needs to solve. Plus the kids probably have some crap to deal with as well. So you’ve made her turning into the wife you want more complicated. Maybe not even possible. It’s unknown.

Your girlfriend:  If you move in with her, you’ll always associate her with the pain of the loss of your family, and that’s going to put a damper on things. Plus she’s the type of girl that sleeps with a married man, so she doesn’t actually respect marriage. When she’s 45, you’ll be 59 and possibly dumped by her as too old anyway. There’s no way to tell if she’s going to be a good stepmom… the kids won’t like her much that’s for sure.

 This is why when I wrote the MAP I was insistent on taking the moral high ground. You should give a fair warning and not cheat on your spouse. If you have higher Sex Rank than your partner and frame the seriousness of the situation correctly, there’s a decent chance they will respond the way you want. If they do respond, then there’s no affair drama to work through. So all their efforts are focused on before what you want them to do. But if you’ve cheated on them, then the issues of trust may never resolve. She may simply no longer be able to ever relax with you enough to be sexually free with you. It’s all simply unknown as to how she’ll react.

If she doesn’t react positively to a fair warning, then that allows you the ability to leave the relationship as something other than the bad guy. You tried your best. All you were asking for was a proper marriage relationship and she wouldn’t or couldn’t hold up her end of the agreement. It’s one thing to leave a relationship as someone who tried and was open and honest, and quite another to leave as someone caught with their pants down.

That moral high ground allows you to find a new relationship as someone that has a more positive relationship track record. You’d be getting involved with someone as a fresh start, rather than as a slowly rotting decline. You’d be getting involved with someone who isn’t taking part in an affair to be with you. If your marriage had come to an end three years ago and you’d met your girlfriend two years ago, wouldn’t your relationship with your girlfriend be in a much better place today?

So…. what to do now…. your options…

(1)  Dump both women and move on. This gets you the complete fresh start.

(2)  Commit to your girlfriend. My hunch is that you’re not going to do this because you haven’t already. If you do, the odds aren’t fabulous that the relationship survives. It’s not impossible, but less than ideal.

(3)  Recommit to your wife. This is large part up to her willingness to let you back in and ability to fix the structural attraction issues she was having for you.

My general advice for recommitting to your wife is to  hit the relationship reset switch to issue the fair warning, and proceed from that point, “As you should have done it in the first place.”  And yeah, you do have to apologize for not offering her a fair warning the first time around.

(a)  Apologize for your lack of leadership. (Captains face their problem head on rather than seek the easy option)

(b)  Apologize for your lack of a fair warning.

(c)  Express what it is you need from her that was lacking in the marriage that helped create the situation where you start an affair.

(d)  Determine if your wife can actually do things to meet your needs effectively.

(e)  Move back home.

(f)  End the relationship with your girlfriend and go no contact.

(g)  Express your grief for losing your girlfriend. (This is very counter-intuitive for the wife, but allowing you to express grief speeds up the process a great deal)

(h)  Both commit to having a conscious relationship rather than letting things go unspoken and ignored between you.

(i)  Both commit to improving your individual attractiveness. (She in particular needs to learn some Girl Game.)

Marriage counseling may also be extremely helpful, but a bad counselor is worse than no counselor. So if you do, take steps to find a good one and don’t just settle on the first one to return your call.

 Also those points are a set. You can’t really pick and choose the ones you want. It’s all in, or all out.


  1. Sounds like he’s leaning towards the girlfriend. For me, to re-state one of Athol’s points, it would come down to could his wife fulfill him sexually the way his girlfriend can, even with girl game. He’s not divorcing his kids, they’ll still be there and have the same relationship with him they do now since he’s already moved out. Alimony is another issue. I doubt he or the girlfriend would feel a damper on their relationship if he divorced, more like a weight lifting. But I guess that could change once it became official.

    Here’s another take a similar situation, recently posted on d&p

  2. @H:

    “He’s not divorcing his kids, they’ll still be there and have the same relationship with him they do now since he’s already moved out.”

    That’s not such a good thing. Frankly, he should be aiming higher than that kind of relationsip with this kids.

    He sounds like he’s having the time of his life – I have an uncle who does the same thing non stop (it gets pregressively sadder and more pathetic as time goes on). He gets the best of the girlfriend/wife worlds. I strongly suspect that he’d resent the girlfriend and think she was a slut if he actually had to maintain a “husband/wife” relationship with her.

    In fact, that’s my question – does he have a “Madonna/whore” thing going on? It might explain why he didn’t try to get that kind of relationship with his wife. Maybe, on some level, he doesn’t associate that kind of passion with marriage to a good woman?

  3. (R)Evoluzione says:

    The European model is to just ride it out. Keep the mistress, but don’t rub it in your wife’s face. Allow your wife to maintain respect. Take care of your girlfriend as best you can. The soft harem is sometimes the best option.

    Also, it’s also not likely that his girlfriend will leave him when she’s 45ish and he’s 59, as long as he remains healthy and keeps his alpha hand strong. His girlfriend is just about out of her hot years, after that it’s wall city.

    The kids. Tough one. Kids don’t benefit from seeing miserable parents in a crappy relationship. (insert hamster reference. It’s true, but remember the hamster is an evolutionary adaptation–a feature, not a bug.) The best that can be hoped for is that the children will learn by example, meaning that they won’t waste years in a tepid relationship as their parents have, and either fix it early, or get out early.

    And yes, this is a very stolidly androspheric case here on both counts. Red pill overdose? Perhaps. But maybe, just maybe, it’s the best recipe for happiness for all involved.

  4. He should have found his balls before he met the girlfriend, but I’d say leadership and responsibility aren’t his strong suits. I’m surprised his wife wants him back, and might be willing to “earn” him back. Then again, it might be convenient for her to have him over a barrel for the rest of his life. That’s some SERIOUS power, and I can’t imagine her overcoming the temptation to use it, especially if she was previously a disinterested wife. A good indicator might be her current sex rank. Has she been trying to win him back since he moved out? How mercenary are her motives? I think his chances of happiness are pretty slim for a long time, which is a fair consequence for his foolishness. I’d point to the horrendous collateral damage he has caused, but he probably doesn’t much care. I saw no indication of repentance on his part, just a desire to figure out how to ease his guilt while getting what he wants. If his “compassion” for his wife was real, he would have ended his (somewhat understandable) affair a long time ago.

  5. In the end people do what they want.
    She didn’t leave him, and is willing to earn him back, because she wants an attractive man in her life. If she’s 48, her options for a new relationship with someone of his caliber, who can bed women 14 years his junior, are slim and she knows it. He wants to copulate with someone he finds sexually attractive, so given his options, he does. This is probably why the European model works. He’s already made his choice, he just won’t admit it. Hot sex will continue to trump all other concerns, including guilt.

  6. Chimpy says:

    Since he’s the one who broke the rules, by usual standards, the wife isn’t going to take him back on his terms,

    so a) and b) he might as well piss in the wind. She is no way going to see either of these as being plus points. The wife is not going to want any man who is doing g) around her – that is saying the wife isnt perfect.

    She is not going to want to know about c) or i). Both says she’s at fault and that ain’t going to fly. There is no way on earth she is going to up the sex to keep him. Chances are the wife will see (or rationalise) sex as being her husbands weakness and flaw, and she is not going to try to up this. She will feel he should tie a knot in it and accept sex isnt what nice wives do – its what marriage breaking girlfriends do.

  7. pdwalker says:

    jeepers. what a minefield.

  8. I find it a bit hard to believe his wife has already forgiven him for an affair that has YET to cease. I would question if she knows it’s still ongoing, and does she know exactly when it started? What information is her forgiveness based on?
    I will take a guess that after 6mths of getting the real taste of how demanding 35yr old is without his wife as a convenient excuse to keep things on a sex only basis , he’s worried it’s going to be too much work with her. Also has he considered if she wants kids in the next five years? Is he prepared to raise and support another family if she does? I think his dilema is that 35yr old was good ‘affair’ material but is possibly not LTR material for his situation.

  9. Wow. I don’t know that I have any useful advice, but I do have a lot of sympathy for this guy. It’s a bad situation all around.

    I was in a similar situation, with the additional factors that my wife was batshit crazy, an alcoholic and drug addict. In retrospect, I know I should have divorced her BEFORE having an affair, but that’s not what I did. Like the subject of the OP, I had an affair and fell in love with my girlfriend. Unlike the OP, I had no hesitation at that point. It was clear to me that I needed to divorce the crazy wife, and I wanted to marry the girlfriend.

    I’ve now been with the GF for six years, and we’ve been married for two. Which is certainly not to say that you should divorce your wife and marry your girlfriend. For one thing, my GF turned wife had an affair barely a year after we got married. That’s what led me to this site. We were able to work things out, but it wasn’t easy.

    Honestly, as someone who is not emotionally invested in your situation, I think Athol’s Option 1: dump them both and move on, is your best option. But it’s probably the hardest one to do. But given that you can’t really seem to choose either one, it’s probably best. As a single man, you have a better chance of finding a woman who can give you the best of what you are getting from both the wife and the GF.

  10. Brendan says:

    Well, he’s well and truly screwed up four, and possibly five, lives. Well done.

    The best option is the first — leave both wife and GF and move on, focus on relationship with the kids in the medium term and maybe find a new GF down the line. The existing GF is a homewrecker who is carrying on an affair with a married guy with kids — that is a huge red flag right there. Athol is correct in saying that the commitment to the concept of marriage seems weak there on her part. As for the wife, something is quite wrong there if she is forgiving the affair that is ongoing. Perhaps a self-respect, self-esteem type issue, which could also be the root of her deteriorated sex rank and professional issues. It would be possible to fix the marriage, in theory, by ending the affair and having both H & W work very hard on their issues, but this one seems to have a lot of hair on it, and I don’t see a huge willingness even on H’s part to really work on those things at all here. I get the impression that if he were to break off the affair and return to his wife, they would be back at square one where they were before he started this path soon enough.

    Therefore I think the most honest approach would be the first one.

  11. He needs to decide if he believes in the conventional understanding of the institution of marriage, a much easier decision than choosing women. If he does, he is receiving his punishment already (getting his masochistic rocks off) by staying “as is:” Most of us 40-somethings grew up witnessing the divergence between the “fairy tale” and our parents’ stormy interaction.

    If he can live with the “marriage sux” crowd, he should choose option “a,” divorce, and plan on dumping the broad (but keep nailing her until he has another option) so he can get a fresh start. In this case, he also needs to start reading up on manosphere posts and alpha traits so he can live for his mission, rather than for a dame. He is a man, after all.

    I can already hear the “butt hurt” ladies hissing at my advice. Mike

  12. It’s not unusual that the cheated on partner who is a lower Sex Rank than the cheater just starts blubbering and begging for the wayward spouse to come home.

    In terms of going back to his wife and having it succeed as a relationship, both husband and wife have to admit the things they should have done differently to better support the relationship, and then start doing them. Otherwise going back to the wife will just result in a further failure.

  13. The other woman is not a girlfriend; she is a MISTRESS. Their relationship is not an affair; it is ADULTERY.

    If this guy has any genuine desire to patch things up with his wife, then he should start with calling things what they really are, and stop indulging his hamster.

  14. Break it off with the gf and make a serious effort to work it out with your wife. You have already messed up your kids’ lives, but it’s not too late to make amends. You and your wife will both have to work hard to make the marriage work, but you need to give it a try. You need to apologize for the affair and really mean it, but also be honest about what you need in the marriage.

  15. Joseph says:

    (j) First, shoot your own hamster.
    (k) Understand yourself – you do not make commitments. You are selfish and cowardly.
    (l) Your new deal will most likely take the same turn down the line.
    (m) You are here looking for support to dump your wife.
    (n) You are going to trash people who believed in you.
    (o) “I’m not haaaaaaaaapy” is really, really unattractive, and it sums up what you’re doing.

  16. alphaguy says:

    I think he’s screwed either way. Soon his wife will take the red pill and figure this all out and leave and the same with his girlfriend. I think Athol’s plan is spot on but I don’t think he’ll follow through because it’s too much work. Mark my words though, one of these women are going to wake up soon and give him the boot and since neither one of them is meeting his complete needs, he will end up having to move on eventually from both women.

    IMHO, he should follow Athol’s plan and go back to his wife and work things out or at least the both of them should come clean. The girlfriend is living in Dopamine-land, but when the fog clears I bet she wants children and is he really ready to start another family at 50? It will be hard to give up the young beautiful girlfriend but it’s the right thing to do…

  17. Option one seems the saner. If he breaks up with the hot girlfriend while he is still sexually attracted to her he won’t have the patient to work things out with his wife and resent her from breaking up her new found fantastic sex life and in the long run he will always wonder why she would take him back so easily, unconsciously he will see her as so beneath him that is not even worth it.
    And the number of affairs that end up in stable marriage after the breaking up with the primary spouse is lower than chances of no divorce after a second marriage. And the kids will know that the new stepmother is the reason they loss their home they will never got over that, ever.
    Moving on from both and start from zero seems the less messy situation, YMMV.

  18. I noticed a key point that he made – that he is crazy about her and its been 2 years, thus it is not infatuation. Actually, from some marital counseling I went through, the intense part of a relationship goes for about 2 years, unless it is an affair, which is longer (over 2 1/2 years).

    Thus, the crazy-in-love feeling that he feels is likely to be from the thrill of a new lover and forbidden romance. There may be a true relationship and attraction in the relationship, but in the midst of all of this going on, it doesn’t seem that the “Reader” can really trust his emotions.

    I’m not trying to judge because everyone must make his own decisions, but one key factor of being a man and a leader is making the best decision for all involved based on rational facts, not emotions. I suggest to our troubled “Reader” is to stop focusing on what he wants and what he feels, and look at his principles and what is in the best interests of others. If it means that he must do something difficult, well, that is why we are men — we were made to be tough and make the tough decisions. We are not supposed to be driven by our emotions — we are to be the rocks that hold the family firmly in place as life’s difficulties pound on it.

  19. Random Angeleno says:

    Messy. Really messy. Really should not have cheated: if a husband gets to feeling like cheating, he should either be running the MAP or leaving. While a husband’s cheating is inexcusable, the wife still bears responsibility for her part in allowing the relationship to decline as far as it has.

    So … the wife taking him back is likely an acknowledgement that she knows her options are limited at her age. At the same time though, the trust required to reconnect and have a halfway decent sex life by her husband’s standards will be difficult at best and it sounds like this particular husband won’t have his heart in it. In which case, the wife will know it and may be unable to reconnect as a result. On the other hand, the GF is a known homewrecker, no two ways about it: that’s an enormous DLV with respect to an LTR. If he ditches the wife and marries her, can she be trusted not to do that again? Further, what if she wants her own family? Is he ready to start again while paying support to the first family?

    I like ditching both and starting over as the best advice. The wife has already proved herself unfit to keep him interested, but he could still give her the courtesy of ditching the girlfriend and running the MAP on her in order to give her a chance. If wife is out and he really cares about his kids, then the GF’s morals are not what he wants around them neither does he want to have more kids with her.

  20. The ‘forgivenees’ and length of time she has been tolerating the situation is suspicious. Any chance SHE has / has had someone on the side?

  21. The wife sounds like a mess. What woman with any shred of self respect would take back a man who has fallen in love with someone else? That smacks of desperation. And it sounds like she’s been heaping on the guilt for the Reader, which is why he’s torn.

    Indecisiveness is not an Alpha trait. And all the Alpha Guy stuff he’s been sharing with his girlfriend is not going to make up for the waffling he’s doing now. The wife will wait forever, the girlfriend will be rightly pissed and give him a deadline. But this, unfortunately, is the same as any GF giving her BF an ultimatum to marry her or she’s gone: it will fail in the long run because if he was really into her, he would propose all on his own (without threats or a devious pregnancy).

    Sounds like he has more emotional growing up to do. Option One is my choice in his particular situation.

  22. enlightened1 says:

    Not every woman who has an affair with a married man is a “homewrecker.” Joanne Woodard comes to mind; apparently a faithful and loving wife to Paul Newman for over 50 years. The “girlfirend homewrecker” in above post didn’t “wreck” any homes. His home was broken before she was on the scene, however it was intact and no one else knew about the problems. There are countless women and men who meet and begin a relationship with someone who is emotionally and physically available, or obviously NOT in a truly married relationship even though they have spouses. This guy sounds like a genuinely decent man who cares for the woman he is married to and has children with. He doesn’t want her be abandoned. Yet, she wasn’t willing (9 months ago) to step up. There are unlimited numbers of spouses out there who would love to stay with the person they are married to because it’s working for them, yet unwilling to put in the work to attract and keep the marriage intact. They are lazy people who want to stay comfortable and lean on the “you’re obligated to stay with me because we are married,” and “I will even forgive you”, routine. An affair is a symptom of huge gaps in connection with a spouse. Not every cheater is a cad or homewrecking slut with no morals. I personally think the wife could genuinely get her man back for real if she were to kick into action and work on attracting him. But, will she do it, or will she talk about it and be the victim? So much easier to paint him as the cheater and herself as the generous and forgiving spouse who was cheated on. Good luck with any happiness for him in that mess, or her either, but she doesn’t sound like she is happy now anyway. He needs to be brutally honest with his wife right now. Pity is a hopeless basis for a marriage.

  23. john smith says:

    Only way out is a clean break from both. I was in a similar situation and just pressed the reset button on my life, except for my daughter. Ladies don’t understand how important hot sex is to a man, well most don’t. I’m glad I read the MMSL book, I ran the MAP for about 1.5 years and in the end the wife just didn’t step up to the plate. Now I’m in a better position to find someone else. Thanks Athol!!!

  24. AnonyHere says:

    I also vote for option #1, clean up your act, and start fresh. The reason why I would be hesitant to continue the relationship with the girlfriend is because 2 likely scenarios are that either she’s the kind of woman who gets off on unavailable men and the ghost of the still wife keeps her hooked on this relationship on a competitive level, or still another bad scenario is that she is 35 and could have a biological clock ticking now or in a couple of years. Do you really wanna start with a baby at this point in your life. Very hard to say what could possibly happen with the wife as far as repairing the damage done, but as far as the girlfriend, I’d say get out while you can and before it gets even messier.

  25. enlightened1
    Wow so a woman that fucks a guy that is living with his wife and kids is a woman of upstanding character and wife material because she believed some sad history about how unhappy the man was, really? Because if marriage is meaningless for her to be with him it will suddenly be the great thing to keep once she is the one obligated to fulfill a commitment.
    Please this is a red pill site, go and sell “sluts make good wives” at Jezebel.

  26. His wife’s willingness to take him back doesn’t mean she’s desperate at all. It means she is committed to keeping her family together. Some things he needs to accept: 1) His mistress *will* cheat on him. She probably already has. 2) If the mistress were good wife material, she’d already be married. (Sorry, Ladies, but you know that is likely the truth.) 3) Only an ass would go back home to his wife and set a bunch of conditions and expectations as hoops for her to jump through to “earn” her right to have her husband come home after cheating on her for years and then leaving her for the mistress. Go home with some humility and *maybe* you’ll get another chance. 4) Only an idiot would be that ass I just described and then expect the wife to WANT to have sex with you. 5) Divergent sex ranks were not your only problem. You also mentioned work pressures and financial pressures. How about working on those to help your wife out a bit? Only an ass essentially says to his wife, “I know you’re both going through a massive amount of pressure with work and the finances, but you’re not making me happy, so I’m going to cheat and blame it on the fact that you’re not attractive enough and not interested in sex.” 6) If you leave your wife for good and divorce, within 3-5 years she will blossom. After her recovery from it, she will be more attractive and interesting than you ever expected her to be and she will probably find an attractive man of means who will make her wonder why she wasted so many years with you. Seriously. The research shows that older women thrive after divorce and older men struggle. Good luck with that.

  27. enlightened1 says:


    Yes, she might be. Emotions, people and situations are complex. We can’t know her heart or his either. I am unwilling to “throw the first stone.” This too is a red pill issue. BTW, can’t find the Jezebel sight. Sounded interesting.

  28. Fred Lunge says:

    Revoluzione’s idea to have your chippy-on-the-side on the QT can work. But only if you’re not breaking the vase and making a lot of noise. While that may be how Europeans make it work, it doesn’t always work for them (or us) either. Here the vase is well and truly smashed, a lot of bad decisions have been made, so the question is: what is the least bad way through? I think that is what our host is trying to suggest to this guy.
    My own take is a little different, the result of becoming a parent, I guess. To the “I’m not haaapy” spouse – male or female – I say: if you have no kids and are only fighting over the HDTV, slice it in half with your kitana and go your own way, fine. But if you have kids, the only correct answer to whining about “happiness” is:
    As long as children are there, and they need you, that is your answer. That is your DUTY – not to your spouse or society, but to them: you got them in, it’s your job to get them safely to their successful launch. Anyone remember DUTY? The concept does kinda get in the way of our modern policy of full self-actualization, so it’s not popular these days. But if it means you two raise the kids as brother-and-sister helpmates, so be it; if running the MAP gets your marriage restarted in the meantime, hooray, so be it, but you do your DUTY.
    Only a handful of people like Judith Wallerstein have bothered to document the severe head-trips we put children through in divorce situations. We did it to two generations now. We make the excuse that if mom and dad ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy – but that isn’t how the kids see it. They want stability much more than we give them credit for. It is all too easy in the divorce industry to see children as just customers to be “serviced”, or as “resilient” and able to handle the crises they did not ask to be thrown at them (more so than their oh-so-fragile unhaaapy parents). I have seen all this, many times, and it is distressing to behold.
    FWIW, I am a recent “convert” and practitioner of The Book. The plan being to reignite the spark and, long term, so I never end up anywhere near the sorry state of this poor SOB. I am pleased to report, so far, so good. But that is a story for another day.

  29. Yes, she might be. Emotions, people and situations are complex. We can’t know her heart or his either. I am unwilling to “throw the first stone.”
    Yeah keep enabling people to believe that having sex with a married person is a perfectly good way to meet people. Things will get so much better with that /sarcasm. A slut is a woman that has sex with a man without securing any level of commitment a piece of paper called marriage certificate along with him still living with his wife couldn’t lack more commitment if he tried regardless if he wanted sex with her.
    And when Jesus did the “don’t throw the first stone” he also said “go and sin no more” forgiveness doesn’t mean that you have to excuse everyone sins as fine and dandy and “things that happen to people” not things that people DO, enabling sinners is not merciful is a disaster.

    http://www.jezebel.com You will love it there. Women are amazing and always do the right thing! Like the slut in the story!

  30. anacaona – I’d venture that most people on this website have already found the religion that they’d like to live by, so I think your hope of convincing us heathens that the reason to do anything is because of Jesus, is probaby misplaced…

    To the reader – although everyone who’s not involved seems to feel that there’s a right answer to this; I REALLY do understand your pain as I’ve had to make a similar decison myself a few years ago. I know that I’ve never been through anything so incredibly aweful in my life (and we did NOT have childeren and left on friendly terms). Having been through it, I’d say, if you have any HOPE of making things work with your wife, you really should try. And by try, that’s gonna mean cold turkey with the girlfriend and living at home with your wife while you work at it. You can’t break that bond with the other while you’re still in halfway contact…you gotta go cold turkey. And I’m gonna take a guess that you moved out because you really wanted more space to be with the girlfriend, maybe resented the wife even more because you saw her as only a road block keeping you from what makes you happy. I’d also suggest seeing a sex therapist as opposed to a traditional marriage counsilor (or possibly both), if the main failing is sexual attraction and enjoyment. Don’t make the mistake of feeling that “you can never feel that way about your wife” because feelings are INCREDIBLY maliable and things are never black and white. ESPECIALLY with kids, you should try if you think there’s hope…

    Now the flip of the coin. I did leave my husband (11 years together) for the other man (we were in a swinging relationship as opposed to a cheating situation). And we’re now happily married and starting a family. Years later, the sex remains incredibly hot and he is my very best friend and I truely feel my sole mate, so it can work. But I’m definately doing things differently this time around in the hopes that this marriage stays hot into our 90s =) So although it’s fairly early comparative to my first, I do believe this one will last forever and I remain completely optimistic and comitted. My ex and I are still corgile, but sadly decided that limited contact with one another was best for everyone involved (hard on our new spouses if we remained friendly) and now limit our contact to engagements of mutual friends.

    Good luck. I’m sorry for what you’re going through….

  31. enlightened1 says:

    I didn’t say it wasn’t sin nor did I say that having sex with a married person is a good way to meet people. . I said I wasn’t willing to define her as a slut. Your world is black and white. The real world, full of sinful people is a messy gray thing full of paradox’s. Jesus did not judge her. If he did, then he would have approved stoning her as that is the judgement for adultery. She was caught “in the act” of adultery. According to the mosaic law whose interpretation is the basis for your moral judgement’s and our cultures family laws, she was an adulteress. That means she was married and having sex with someone other than her husband. If she would have been unmarried having sex with a married man it would have been fornication. It doesn’t say that the man was married or unmarried but interestingly (culturally) he was not condemned. I believe this was a point that wasn’t lost on Jesus as we have to assume that if she was “caught in the act” there was a man there who was helping!. Forgiveness never means you excuse their sins. It means it is not held against them. You can have sex with a married man and not be a slut. You can be a slut and never have sex with a married man (even your husband) :-) !! It’s about the heart which we cannot know. You seem very angry with women who have had sex with married men, yet, I don’t hear your righteous anger toward the man who was in the act too. Hmm…..me thinks you are a Pharisee!

  32. @enlightened1

    There are countless women and men who meet and begin a relationship with someone who is emotionally and physically available, or obviously NOT in a truly married relationship even though they have spouses.

    Well…I guess if countless other people are doing it then it must be OK. And if marrying the other woman worked out for Paul Newman then it will certainly work out well for most other people too. I’m sure we can all agree that celebrities make the best role models when it comes to relationships.

    Seriously though, it’s amazing to hear someone defend a fundamentally dishonest relationship and make the guy’s wife sound like a pathetic looser for having an expectation of fidelity and a willingness to forgive her husband’s adultery.

    I agree that playing the “obligation” card while not making an effort to change and improve is weak, but we don’t know that’s what she did. She could have hit the gym the day after he asked for a separation. The worst we can say about her is that she contributed to a situation that made cheating more likely. The husband and girlfriend are still the bad guys. If the marriage was already over, why did it take one year and three months for his wife to get the memo?

    That being said, I don’t think being the “other woman” or “other man” necessarily disqualifies someone as long term relationship material. However, being the cheating spouse does. It may be hypocritical, but I’d never marry a woman who cheated on her husband with me.

  33. anacaona – I’d venture that most people on this website have already found the religion that they’d like to live by, so I think your hope of convincing us heathens that the reason to do anything is because of Jesus, is probaby misplaced…

    He wasn’t trying to “convert” anyone – don’t be so quick to get butthurt.

    But if someone is going to quote the Bible to make a point, don’t be surprised if the other person quotes it as well to put it in the proper context.

  34. Jane
    Rico got it right she quoted the bible so was talking his/her language.

    Thanks Rico and I am a she :)

    First Jesus didn’t agree with the punishment but he did judged her when he asked her to stop sinning if he had said “Oh yeah your heart make you sleep with another man go and keep doing it good woman” that would meant he condoned her acts, he didn’t.
    I’m mad at the man he is a cheating bastard but a woman that sleeps with a married man is a slut regardless if you want to redefine it. My world is not black and white but a slut is a slut as murder is murder, stealing is stealing and so on…that is clear sleeping with a married man makes you a slut and a man sleeping with someone else that is not his wife makes him a cheating bastard. Neither of them is without sin. I was answering your stupid reasoning that the GF is actually a good girl that meet the right man but was unlucky enough that he was living with his wife at the time, the most big pile of BS.
    I never heard anyone who died of a bleeding heart so if you heart wants something that belongs to someone else acting on that impulse is not the “christian” thing to do is it?” . Does anyone in the bible says “go on and sleep with him/her if your heart tells you so” What does the bible says about a part of your body that makes you sin? Come on you should remember that one.

  35. I gave the OP a little more thought, and wanted to say, that based on Athol’s version, he seems to want PERMISSION from the wife to move on with his life.

    Since most wives would probably scream, yell, and send the guy packing (allowing a nice clean break for the cheater), this wife went all crying and pathetic and begging. So now the reader has to hurt her MORE by dumping her again, and this is just making him feel even worse and guiltier (like kicking a kitten).

    She is NOT going to give her his blessing on his new relationship. So he can stop wishing.

    By waiting for one of these women to force the issue, he is allowing everyone else to make the decision for him (Beta-Boy). This will free him up to go to the woman who was able to wait the longest. So by not making the choice on his own, whoever “wins” him is by default, only second best.

    I will keep my opinion to myself on this Reader’s actions at this point, but suffice it to say that this is the reason I don’t date married or even legally separated men.

  36. enlightened1 says:

    ” it’s amazing to hear someone defend a fundamentally dishonest relationship and make the guy’s wife sound like a pathetic looser for having an expectation of fidelity and a willingness to forgive her husband’s adultery.

    If you’re not having sex with your spouse and you could be having sex with your spouse and they want to have sex with you then to have an expectation of fidelity is bondage for that person. YOU have ALREADY broken the marriage covenant! This site is dedicated to trying to have REAL marriages not counterfeits. Marriage is at it’s very core a sexual relationship based on truth, transparency, respect and deep friendship. No one is defending the dishonest relationship nor trying to make the wife appear to be a “pathetic loser”, but would any of us forgive a cheating spouse if the affair wasn’t over? That’s not commendable that’s manipulative and lazy. I repeat, he needs to be brutally honest with his wife and himself, then grow a pair and make a decision. He deserves to lead a fulfilling life and so does his wife. He’s not helping his wife by feeling sorry for her and he’s not helping himself by prevaricating. Get in and fight or get out!

  37. Kat has one of the better responses here and conveniently her points are numbered.

    1. Mistress will cheat: Possibly. We don’t have enough info on her to say for sure beyond her willingness to have sex with a married man, which isn’t necessarily a reflection how how she handles her side of relationships. She’s not the one that cheated, that we know of, he is.

    2. If the mistress were good wife material, she’d already be married: Yep, agreed. Especially by 35.

    3. & 4. Only an ass would go back home to his wife and set a bunch of conditions: We know he’s an ass. He cheated. Settting conditions is the only way any marriage will work. If he’d had the balls to set conditions to begin with, we wouldn’t be talking about a strangers sex life on the internet. This will be a necessity for a make up with the wife, otherwise he’s back where he started before the adultery.

    5. Divergent sex ranks were not your only problem. You also mentioned work pressures and financial pressures. How about working on those to help your wife out a bit?: In a marriage it’s your responsibility to remain attractive to your partner. If you choose to put work, kids, hobbies, etc. before that, you are weakening your marriage. The Husband & Wife pair bond is the foundation of the marriage, all else is built on that. If she didn’t give him the sex he wanted in support of their pair bond, she’s breaking her marriage vows, just like he did by cheating. You can’t make the argument that attractiveness/sex rank isn’t important because if it weren’t, there’d be no problem with seeking it outside the marriage.

    6. Within 3-5 years wife will blossom and find an attractive man: At age 51-53? Good luck to her.

  38. Sigh… do we really want a bible fight here? Don’t make me angry… you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry. :-)

  39. enlightened1 says:

    Being unwilling to “throw the first stone” is hardly quoting the bible. It is a metaphor for not condemning, which you don’t appear to be familiar with. You’re the one that jumped on the bible bus and if you want to go there I am willing. Jesus spoke in metaphors and hyperbole. Do you think he truly meant for you to gouge out your own eyes if you lusted after a woman? That would render half the population of the world blind in a second! Let’s just agree that I’d be one of the guys in the ‘stone throwing’ story that was walking away and you’d be the guy (or gal) looking for a bigger stone.

  40. enlightened1 says:

    Sorry Athol….didn’t see your post. I cede.

  41. Sigh… do we really want a bible fight here? Don’t make me angry… you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.

    Well I normally don’t quote the bible as you know but the OP was using “bible quotes” to show the christian ways of dealing with cheaters and sluts and this is the kind of things that give a bad name to believers around the world “they are just a as bad as everyone they just excuse themselves with bible quotes and go sleep with marry men because their heart tell them so and then is not a sin the (holy hamster)” so since I have to deal with atheists all day long that love to throw this sort of things at my face I decided to intervene, just for the benefit of the audience. Feel free to erase it.

  42. Last one I promise, Athol
    Do you think he truly meant for you to gouge out your own eyes if you lusted after a woman? That would render half the population of the world blind in a second!

    A man that lusts after a woman he shouldn’t, can just look the other way, is not that hard. Is a metaphor for not doing sin just because you really really want to.
    And I wouldn’t had throw the stones I would probably tell the woman “Jesus is not going to be around forever you better not sin more next time there will be stones, don’t be an idiot”

  43. Enlightened, your last post was spot on, well said.

  44. Random Angeleno says:

    Regarding Kat’s 6th point: Dalrock has written a few posts about this that rebuts her point here. Don’t have the links, but she can search his blog for them. Thus it should not surprise anyone that if her sex rank isn’t that high, her options will be limited and she knows it, hence her willingness to take him back, as unappealing as that sounds to many readers. As I said, a messy situation.

  45. enlightened1 says:

    Dear Poster,

    What a pickle! My heart goes out to you, your wife, your girlfriend (yes, her too!) and your children. At the risk of alienating half the fundamentalists again, I will quote an old adage by Shakespeare:

    “To thine own self be true, and it must follow as the night the day, Thou can not then be false to any man.”

    Meaning unless you can be true to yourself first you cannot be true to others. There will be collateral damage. There are no decisions in your situation where people don’t get hurt. The great thing is you are not responsible for other peoples choices, just your own. Just make sure your wife’s choices are clear. Bon Chance!

  46. Charles says:

    Being true to yourself means not telling yourself lies. That’s what Polonius was saying to his son in that scene in Hamlet. The proverbial rationalization hamster is a prime source of lies you tell to yourself, so don’t listen to it.

  47. enlightened1 says:

    The purpose of a rationalization hamster is to “rationalize” behavior that you think will make you happy, but is in fact destruction. Exhibited by ‘posters pickle’ and many of the pickles we all find ourselves in. Most of the men and women on this sight who are unhappy have tried to make others happy thinking that is the way for them to be happy too. If you are true to yourself first, love yourself and have standards of good treatment for yourself , you will never be false with some one else. If poster would have been true to himself first he wouldn’t be in the pickle with the girlfriend and wife quandry. He would have had standards for himself, communicated them to his wife and either had them met or continued to be true to himself and moved on to a relationship that could. Polonius’ speech was a little more complicated than telling Laertes to not lie to himself. He tackled the tough philosophical questions of love and truth. He was tracing the path of Hamlet’s lunacy and observing that conflict, contradiction and diversity come with being true to yourself.

  48. AnonyHere says:

    The proverbial rationalization hamster is a prime source of lies you tell to yourself, so don’t listen to it.

    yeah, but that’s really hard to figure out. I am genuinely curious about how to defeat one’s rationalization hamster and keep it in check? any pointers?

  49. FeralFelis says:

    @Anyony Here-
    I thought it was interesting that no one answered your question. I’ve been giving it some thought so I’ll take a stab at it.

    One of the things I do to keep my rationalization hamster in check is to realize that my Truth, as I understand it, is a relatively unchanging thing. My Core Values have never changed. So if I’m finding a voice in my head trying to explain away a decision made with core values in mind, or how we could just ssslllliiiddde slightly one way or the other to get around those CV, I know I’m dealing with the rationalization hamster. It is also particularly active when thinking about how to make the short term more attractive in some way or another. In fact, I would venture to say that my own personal RH (TM) (lol!) has a half-life of less than a week, and has the long-range vision of a crane fly. Last but certainly not least, my RH normally target-fixates on the subjects of sex and spending money.

  50. AnonyHere says:

    Thank you FeralFelis! I was like, hello, anybody?

    So I don’t think I have a major rationalization problem as far as Core Values, but I will give that some thought. This I do find interesting : “It is also particularly active when thinking about how to make the short term more attractive in some way or another.”

    That’s helpful, thanks.

  51. Anonyhere, for me, keeping the hamster in check becomes easier with practice. Or atleast, recognising it at work becomes easier. I recall the first time I recognised my hamster at work and I shot it down. It was regarding a very important issue between my husband and I and I was very upset and considered the option of leaving. I only had to ask myself the hard truth – would I actually leave? The answer was no (I loved him too much). No matter what spun through my head, I knew for a fact I would not leave him and I was literally BS’ing myself to even think it (I recognised the lie it was)- so I shot my hamster down that day and vowed to keep it REAL in my head and to only act/express myself according to the REALITY of what I would do, and not some cooked up fantasy idea.
    My hamster still spins madly, it’s quite healthy unfortunately, but I make a concentrated effort to keep it to myself until I’ve untangled the BS from the truth, since I learned in that first lesson, there was plenty of BS up there to sift through. I do fall into trouble when my husband pushes me to ‘talk’ when I’m upset. I need a few days of ‘processing’ the BS out and sometimes he won’t give it to me. I tell him I don’t want to talk yet, that I am still processing to get my head around things – but he doesn’t seem to understand. He’s probably frightened I’m processing things toward NOT being in his favour, but it’s the opposite I’m actually doing. I think he would be flabbergasted at the supremely vast amount of rubbish that goes through my head before I discard it – of which I never tell him. So I can’t say I have successfully stopped my hamster – but rather that I am aware of it and am careful not to act on what IT is telling me. I let it run (get it out of my system) and then shoot it down and look for the truth. It’s primative and time consuming (on important matters), but I don’t know how else to do it.

    Feralfelis made a great point about core values. It’s doing what is right, not what’s most convenient or easiest for a short term fix.

  52. AnonyHere says:


    What you describe feels to me like when my emotions just catch like a wave. Yes, I do recognize having moments when something has made me angry and the mind does start spinning, and you are right, one can decide things that are not making much sense at all, so I guess trying to get them to make sense would be the RH.

    here’s a thought kind of unrelated to marriage, but your post reminded of emotional turmoil I went through some years ago related to my relationship with my mother. One time while in therapy, my therapist asked me, “how do you deal with those thoughts?” and I said, “i just shut them down. It’s such hard work but I will just tell myself, I will not think that, I won’t allow it.” And I thought maybe I was doing something wrong and she might correct me, but she said to me, “You know, that’s a form of meditation, and it will help you.” So if you ever get frustrated with your hamster and hate dealing with it, maybe think of it as meditation. It such a nicer word. I know I starting seeing it in a more positive light after that. Like it was good work, not bad work.

    Thank you for helping me put 2 and 2 together :)

  53. Anonyhere – meditation is a good term, I called it ‘processing’. When my hamster is in full throttle it is volatile and upseting. But I would say that running my hamster is the first step of my ‘cycle’ of meditation. Step 1: Hamster spin. Step 2: Kill hamster and work out what my REAL problem is. MY problem, not anyone elses. Step 3: Work out what I want as solution, and how I can facilitate that and what I need from hubby – and THIS is what I bring to my husband.
    This is regarding very important issues. Of course my hamster runs all day and for unimportant things I don’t try to ‘check’ it that much, if at all (if I don’t recognise it). But with big decisions – relationship upsets, financial decisions etc, there I see it in action more clearly and am far more aware of it.

  54. FeralFelis says:

    I am a woman, but I’ve been told I act and think more like an Alpha Male than most Alpha Males, and except for the girlish insecurity I have surrounding my physical appearance, I would agree with what I’ve been told.

    As I mentioned, my RH mostly tries to get me to purchase things not in my budget, and when I’m not in a relationship it has caused me to act in some unhealthy ways sexually.

    One of my Core Values (I assembled them and put them in a spreadsheet, along with specific behaviors and actions associated with each value…THAT is how my brain operates! LOL!) is Harmony. When I decided I value Harmony as much as I value Honesty, Trust, and Loyalty, it caused me to realize I was going to have to let go of the small stuff. Without really realizing it, that was the beginning of the end of the Rationalization Capybara (because it was MUCH larger than a Hamster, as rodents go! And it didn’t so much run on a wheel as it ran amok through the jungle). When I stopped feeding it, it grew smaller and smaller, and now peace of mind is more prevalent than the tide of emotions you mentioned (I liked that analogy!)

    I’ve enjoyed this post-script to the original discussion. It’s positive, uplifting, and non-judgmental.

  55. H

    Sounds like he’s leaning towards the girlfriend. For me, to re-state one of Athol’s points, it would come down to could his wife fulfill him sexually the way his girlfriend can, even with girl game. He’s not divorcing his kids, they’ll still be there and have the same relationship with him they do now since he’s already moved out. Alimony is another issue. I doubt he or the girlfriend would feel a damper on their relationship if he divorced, more like a weight lifting. But I guess that could change once it became.

    The relationship with his kids can still get worse depending on the vindictiveness of his wife. Guys like this have to ask themselves if it’s worth the risk

  56. I say stay married and keep the affair going, if the wife seems content to turn a blind eye. Why rock the boat? Some people are pretty much ok with their spouse having an affair as long as they don’t have to have their noses rubbed in it all the time. Plus… turning The Affair into The Relationship kills a lot of the fun of the affair.

    That said, I don’t think it would traumatize the kids at this point to divorce. She might throw a huge fit and blame the other woman but the kids will see through that in a few years as long as you hold up your end and stay in their lives. My dad had an “exit affair” when I was in my early 20s, after 25 years of a pretty placid marriage. While the divorce was truly ugly, and I can’t stand the woman he ran off with– I also acknowlege that Mom had her part in it all, too. (neither of them will EVER admit this but they both really f’d up over the years. They both got complacent. But… it’s always easier to put 100 percent of the blame on the other person.)

    I’d say stay-for-the-kids if they were little, but a 19 year old is a grown man and a 14 year old’s not far behind. They can probably handle it fine.

  57. Original Poster says:

    Those who commented earlier on this post may be glad (or disappointed) to know that I ended my relationship with my girlfriend two months ago and have recommitted to my family. My wife and I are engaged in counselling. After two months, and still-unfinished grief on my part, we’re not yet back to “normal”, but we’re quietly convinced we’re on the right track and are determined to succeed. My wife has been a heroine throughout all of this: unstinting in her devotion to her (undeserving) husband of 20+ years and our children.

  58. OP,

    Fantastic news. I hope it works out for you and your family.

    Drop by the forums for advice on your rocky road to recovery.

  59. Richard Cook says:

    I cannot feel alot of respect for him. Instead of dvorcing his wife and leaving the affair partner to straighten himself out he steps out on the marriage. Classy….. He made a choice to violate his vows he made before God and sleep with a woman not his wife. Is that manly or masculine? No. That is the epitome of weakness. If he made every last effort to save the marriage or correct what is wrong within the marriage and failed then divorce is most certainly, and, sometimes the only option. But he punks out and cheats.

  60. You’re right Richard,

    No one should ever attempt to correct a mistake regardless of what happened to lead up to the circumstances in the first place. In fact, any mistake that anyone makes in a relationship should automatically result in the destruction of that relationship immediately. The hell with the kids, and the hell with the relationship history and who cares about any regrets you may have afterwards. Just throw it all away. That’ll show everyone just how much of a man he really is.

    Yes, I’m being sarcastic. After you’ve walked a mile in his shoes, I’ll give your opinion the respect your opinion deserves. Until then, it’s just unconstructive, judgmental noise of someone showing off just how morally superior they are. When you’ve suffered for years in a sexless marriage, and had the thrill of an affair that satisfied all the emotional needs that you were not getting from the one person who should have been giving it willingly, then and only then will you understand just how powerful and difficult these things can be.

    It’d have been the easy path to drop both women from his life.

    It’d have been an easy path to continue on with the affair partner, while kicking the wife to the curb.

    It’d have been an easy enough path to “stay” with the wife for forms sake while continuing on with the affair partner on the side.

    It is the hardest of all possible paths to give up the affair partner, and reconcile with the wife. Brutally hard and difficult, but something that is now possible given the information available in this website.

    In fact, I’d recommend to the OP to introduce the wife to MMSL and the forums so they can both work through it together. That may help. It certainly cannot hurt, especially when there are others in similar circumstances working through similar things.

  61. Original Poster says:

    Thanks, pdwalker, for your understanding and support.

  62. Richard Cook says:

    pd walker

    Since you don’t know me your vaporings are worth nothing. And moral superiority has not a damn thing to do with it. Yes the thrill of recieving something you have longed for for years is powerful. Does it mean you have an affair? Maybe in your world powerful emotions are a reason for stepping out. Your excuse making is pretty pitiful. Marriage, along with raising childeren are the toughest jobs there are. Why didn’t the poster address in some form or another the sexless issue when it reared its head? I don’t point know. My point is that if one has to leave the marriage leave honorably knowing you have don’t everything possible to save it. My ex wife developed a mental illness early in our marriage that resulted in hoarding, Then not leaving the house. Then attempting to have the house transferred to her with false quit claim deeds. I suffered with this scenario for 10 years and did everything I could to save the marriage. Only after she had me arrested on a false domestic battery change did I take steps to end the marriage. i know at least a little about suffering. And no, we did not have sex for 10 years. And I did not step out evern though sorely tempted. So it CAN be done. I can certainly comiserate with what the poster went through. I can’t agree with an affair. Maybe on your asteriod its different.

  63. Richard Cook says:

    “I don’t point to know ” should be I don’t know.

  64. anon poster2 says:

    I found thus thread helpful and thought-provoking. Even with all the negativity. You see, I am currently in the original posters shoes myself; except that the affair is ongoing andy wife of 20+ years does not know. She only knows how unhappy I’ve been in our marriage and that I’ve stayed with her for the sake of the kids. Mine are 15 and11 years old.
    My unhappyness has caused LT depression for which I now take meds and see a counselor. My wife has refused counseling and does not want the marriage to end and is happy in a sexless state.
    Further complicating is my lovers situation where she and her husband are cohabitating but separated and both seeking new spouses. With all these factors I’m leaning hard toward door #2 (the lover) but welcome any thoughts fromthe posters here.

  65. Life is short. I too have a similar situation in that I have a non-existent sex life with my wife. But, I do love her and will not leave her. I will take care of her for the rest of her life. I do have a girlfriend (10 years younger) who is also married and in a similar situation. We fill the void for each other and went into our relationship with the understanding that we could never go public. It’s our secret and that’s the way it will stay. We are fine with it. No guilt whatsoever. Yes, life is short and sometimes you have to take risks to livef it to the fullest. One size does not fit all. I personally have no problem with having an affair with another human being. We are all wired differently. What does not work for one may work fine for another. Not trying to justify it. No need to. Accept that life can take many twists and turns and make the best of it. Everyone has to make their own decision. By all means, get advice from others, but don’t miss out on loving another human being simply because somebody blew it.

  66. Dear original poster:

    I love a man very much like you. The judgmental sorts on this thread lack empathy and compassion and intelligence. The married man and I have loved each other for six years. His wife (whom I know fairly well) is very emotionally abusive to him and their children (now 18 and 21). This past fall he ended it with me and is now in counseling. I don’t know what will happen because his counselor is the “preserve marriage at all costs” type. I know that he stays married to her out of duty and guilt. These motivations are self-esteem killers. I know he will be dead within the next 10 years (he is 53) because of loneliness, depression and simple grief. The cognitive dissonance he feels is causing a psychological split that was probably there to begin with (the split between his desire for real self-fulfillment and his sense of duty) ; a split that will never be resolved because his counselor will try to push for the duty. It has been five months now and only last week did he finally cut everything off out of sheer pain and at the advice of his counselor.

    I do not know if I want to be with him if he leaves his wife because he is so damaged. He suffers from spousal abuse syndrome, which is a form of codependence that is very hard to overcome. You can’t just say “grow some balls.”

    I am not a cheater. I believe in commitment. But I also believe that infidelity comes in many forms, including the refusal on the part of his wife to go to counseling when he told her 6 years ago that her emotional and verbal abuse was tearing the family apart.

    I, for my part, believe that I will never have sex with another man again. Because I love my Married Man so much.

    Consider that you “support” for him propped up his pain for six years, when he could have left her 5.5 years ago, and been your husband shortly thereafter.

  67. Suggestion? Next time don’t be a cheating, deceptive, selfish liar. Marriage vows are supposed to mean something. My suggestion is that you release your wife, so she can find a real man who will respect her, honor her, love her, be truthful to her and not cheat on her. This will leave you with the girlfriend. But karma has a way of coming back to us in the world. Your girlfriend already is showing you that she is a person that doesn’t care about breaking up a longterm marriage. On the other hand, you don’t really care either, or you wouldn’t be cheating. Sounds like the two deceptive and selfish people deserve each other. I will never understand as a single person, why people get married, if they aren’t going to be truthful? It is really easy…..if you want to cheat, then get separated or divorced first and have respect enough for your wife, the time she has invested in y and respect yourself. Karma………………………………

  68. After all these years of having two kids and getting married why would you only now find your wife so unattractive that you have to go and cheat on her???that is something you would probably never think of doing when you first met her…she was probably your everything at one point why down grade her now after all the crap you both put each other through…she should not take you back and that home wrecker should stop messing up people’s marriages and settle down already she can’t go around sleeping with everyone’s husbands all her life…and how could you do that knowing that you had such a great thing going with your family…your wife could have a younger woman hiding inside it just needed something different to bring it out not the same old stuff you guise would do every night…you both should move on cause once you do that to her your just going to donut again…you should be sorry for yourself only now making that decision instead of doing it long before you even thought about messing it up more…what does cheating solve???

  69. I am wondering how the original poster of this email is doing. I would like to know as I am in the same boat as his wife and would like to know how is it working out for him. Does he still think of his girlfriend and regrets his decision? I would like to hear what he has to say as my husband swears up and down that he won’t go back to his mistress but he has before.

  70. The last I heard from the OP they were doing fine post-affair.

    Come to the forum Lisa.

  71. I been married and still but I meet a married woman three years ago and we got talking and found out our partners was not giving want we want so two month into our talking we both got involved. As my wife will not engaged into erotic sex and the lady I found want erotic sex like me put we have decided that we both will not leave our spouses as it more exciting what we are doing. First time in my live I have had a lady ask and tell me with out shame what she want and what I want. We have decided we have not got love for each other but lust to please our wants and it man me a better man and she told me she is not a slave like her husband wants but a liberated women doing want she wants. We are both extremely happy.

  72. I empathize with your situation because I too am in a similar situation…but in the reverse. I recently friended my ex-boyfriend on the popular social media site. For two years we chatted on and off but nothing “funny.” Then something changed one day. He “poked” me and we started chatting virtually every day. Hundreds of texts every month. He told me that he is in a sexless marriage and that his wife is wrapped up in her own world and that there is no room for him in her life. For him to open up to me he was really hurting. It’s not just the physical enjoyment of it but the intimate and bonding that happens as a result. We have never been physical but our conversations are very sexually charged with innuendos about “maybe one day.” His wife doesn’t know about our friendship. I asked him if he told her how he felt and what he needed and why she is rejecting him. She never gives him an answer as to why she won’t be with him. (Which I think is BS). He has a child with Autism whom he is completely devoted to. His world is his son. I think he won’t leave his wife because of him. I am not a home wrecking whore who set my sites on a married man. We are friends first and always.
    That was a little insight into my situation. Now to address your situation. You will always be your children’s father…that will never change. It is not in the best interest of your children to be in a unhappy marriage. If you are happy, they should be happy for you. You said you are in love with this other woman. There is your answer. If you were happy in your marriage you would not have found comfort in another person. If you stay with your wife, the trust is gone no matter how much she says she forgives you…she won’t forget. The feelings you are probably feeling toward your wife are feelings of compassion and nostalgia. People don’t seek out another in a relationship if it was sound and secure. It takes a lot to reach a breaking point. I am no expert. But I did my research because I am not one to break up a family and I wanted to understand more how he was feeling. I respect marriage but it is not meant to be a life sentence of misery. Best of luck to you.

  73. Please help. I am desperate to find the answers. I have been married for 21 years. We have a son who is 16 years old. I love my wife but that feeling has changed over the last year and found no soul mate connection with her. Why and how did that happened? My wife never was the one who will cater for her husband. Hardly takes care of house chores. Hardly being as a normal housewife will do. I feel under appreciated. I work 7 days a week and I need to take care of the house chores too, in and outside the house. She has a very strong willed personality and hardly feels that she is wrong. I have to apologize most of the time when we have disagreement just to end the fight. I have sat down and made many talks about my frustrations and until up to when I made my last call that I am filing for a divorce that is when she made a promise she will change. As of the last 3 months, I met my first crush from kindergarten all thru our college years, which I’ve thought of since parting in 1987. I knew something was special with us, but being young, didn’t really know what to do about it. Since she has come back into my life I cannot stop but to think about her. She lives overseas and I came to see her 3 months ago. Since our re-acquaintance we have been emailing each other every day. Both of us know that without a doubt we are truly meant for each other and we have found our true soulmate in life. I can’t do anything without thinking of her. I sometimes cry myself to sleep because I can’t be with her full time. She is widowed and has 3 children a son who is 16 yrs, twin daughters who are 19.. If I told my soul mate that if I had to focus on my wife, she would probably understand, but at the same time be totally devastated, me too. I know I would go throughout my life still thinking of her, wishing and wondering what life would have been like if I could have been with her. It’s not like I have a terrible marriage, it’s just not on the level as this other relationship. I’m so confused, one because I can’t live without this other person, two because I can’t hurt my wife and spilt up the family… Do I settle and just get comfortable as I can be at home and spend my life thinking of someone else, or do I make the move and seperate and go after my soulmate? Please help me, God knows I need it.

  74. pdwalker says:

    Go to the forums and get quick advice there.

    Get the MMSL book and read it start to finish. You need to understand how you arrived to your situation in the first place.

    You feelings for your new “soul mate” are the feelings you’ve not be able to share with your wife. Think long and hard before ending what you have for something else.

  75. Anyone who tries to water down the accountability and responsibility for the choices this man has made is a loser and has issues of their own. This man’s decisions lie directly on his shoulders for HIS CHOICES of having an affair. He needs to face the consequences of that, and unfortunately his wife has been shouldering the blame even if only in part. He who holds the perceived power ( and most men do) need to uphold the boundary, NO MATTER WHAT, and lift those up who hold less power, ALWAYS. If you don’t want the power (perceived or otherwise) then relinquish it, publically , openly, honestly , genuinely, sincerely at every opportunity. If you like the power (and most men do) then shut the eff up and don’t go whining to others about what to do because you can’t get YOUR hamsters needs met in a selfish passionate high of dopamine , adrenlin and serotonin that is short lived, AND accept the consequences as the chips fall….GOOD OR BAD. Case closed

  76. I am a mistress, not by choice, my man let me believe he was single for almost 2 years…I am now in to our 5th year and still with him…why haven’t I left him most would say, when I found out I loved him so deeply, he was my soulmate, I couldn’t bear the thought of losing him…for the past 3 years I have spent weekends, Christmas, New Years and Bank Holidays without him.

    Every Friday night when we say our goodbyes, a piece of me dies, he is a man who is older than me and is convinced I will leave him, he’s 58 and I am 46…I was married for 18 years, but I have never loved a man the way I love him…it seems to me that in the triangle that is man wife and mistress, it is the mistress that is the one hurting.

  77. Joanna,

    If you really believed he was single, then the first two years are not your fault. However, the next three years is *clearly* by your own choice. If you don’t like that situation, then the only one to hold responsible for it is you.

    Your sitation is the White Knight’s lament. Clearly this man make you tingle in all the rigiht ways and you’ll never want to give that up for the safety of a man who’d be there only for you.

  78. Pd walker I can’t disagree with a single word you say…I do sit and wonder if one day I will find someone I can call my own and once again fall in love…but with the right man this time…he has become almost an addiction for me, when we are apart my heart breaks, but the time we spend together is magical…he ticks every box I have, except he isn’t free to be mine…I pray one day I will have the courage to call time on it and finally find true happiness.

  79. What about polygamy? All needs are met that way and nobody gets left out. I am a 35y/o woman in a polygamous marriage with our 40 y/o husband and my 27 y/o SW (sister wife). Happy to say our husband would never have this agonizing decision to make, and there are many benefits to having my SW in my life.

  80. Well Brendan and Aunt Haley are quick to judge, aren’t they?… giving a strong “should” steer in their advice. I’ve been in counselling (both individual and as a couple) for a long time over my own situation, very similar to the OP, and the counsellors always challenge “should” as unhelpful, externally legalistic, one-size-fits-all advice that takes no account of individual weaknesses and past hurts. Richard Cook is also quick to judge the OP’s choices as unmanly epitome of weakness. Yet the W’s unwillingness to work on the sex life probably made the OP feel unattractive, unmanly, and helpless in his situation: she was calling the shots and making him feel unmanly. Yet the GF made him feel like a man again, stronger and more attractive to the GF than he was to the W. Maybe the fact that the GF found him attractive woke the W to realise that he is attractive and worth having?
    Those who are quick to judge need to understand more what is going on under the surface, recognise that human weakness exists, and that hurts leave wounds and/or scars. A man with a broken leg may limp for the rest of his life, but who would call him unmanly for doing so? Only those who have a perfectionist view of what a man should be. If the OP’s W made him feel unmanly, and if she refused to change (or only make a token change to get him back in his box) then would just staying ever really change anything? Would he remain feeling unmanly for the rest of his life?
    Sometimes we make wrong choices. Sometimes they make us feel good for a while. Sometimes good can result from “wrong” choices. Sometimes doing nothing, after a long time of trying, can seem like giving in to weakness. He did something that some people may judge. I would have judged him once. But now I’ve been there I understand. I sympathise with him. And whatever outcome he and his wife achieve, I respect his struggle and the difficulties he’s been through.
    The most manly thing to do, I believe, is to admit your mistakes, and work to improve. Remaining in a position of weakness simply to obey a set of externally-imposed expectations from others is not manly, it is simply compliance.
    Those who judge will also be judged. Those with much to be forgiven also understand the need to forgive.

  81. Moderation…good…I didn’t complete a sentence that went on too long, may I submit my refined comment, having added a few clarifying words in the middle? Thank you.

    I was looking for advice on my own situation like this and online searching led me here. Other than a few…um…overly opinionated and therefore less-useful posts, I have found the advice–some obvious and even pedestrian, some wise beyond compare–to be very insightful. Based on that, I immediately ordered Athol’s latest book. My therapist–though maybe I gave up on him too soon due to expense–never got close to this kind of honest brilliance, bravo to you all! I feel way more like I do now than I did awhile ago…thank you.

  82. Man keep both women happy together. My husban have long term relation with another girl. I cannot tolerate to loose my husband so I talk to my husband and I told him that I can live with your girlfriend and Now from 3 years me my husband and his girl friend living together I have 4 children from my husband I want my husband to stay happy and stay stress free my kids also like to be okay with my husband girlfriend. I know dear there is 100000 % negative views there but If you keep one positive aspect then life will get good
    me 34 my husban 38 and my husband girlfriend is 29, I leave all negative thought because I dont want to loose my husband I talk to my husband girlfriend also she take care of my husband and keep him stress free and We are living fine


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