Can't Stay, Can't Leave
Q: I have been married for 30 years to a man who does not love me, care about me, or even look at me. I had my car fixed at our friend's garage who I had not seen in a while. We started talking about our spouses and how unhappy we are. Long story short: we got together, had sex, and for both of us it was so awesome because we hadn't had it for a long time. It's been a year now and we are madly in love with each other. He feels obligated to stay married and I can't seem to leave my husband because I kind of feel sorry for him. We are so afraid of getting caught because he is a businessman and his wife would cause a scandal if she found out. We have talked about breaking up, but it's not working. He thinks about me all the time and I can't stop thinking about him. We have so much in common and love being together. What should we do? -- Teresa, 55
Dr. Susan: Two choices, very simple. Keep doing what you're doing, living in fear and uncertainty, thus ensuring the sex with your affair partner will stay hot for some time. Anxiety and secrecy stir up all the hormones and fool a lot of people into thinking they've found "true love." Or behave like genuine caring adults and figure out how and when to tell your respective spouses you're leaving them. You say he's staying out of obligation and you feel sorry for your husband. But do you think your mates would appreciate such gestures if they knew the truth? Admit that both of you want it all, a safe marriage and a sizzling affair partner. Sooner or later something has to give, and the longer this affair goes on, the more everyone is going to be hurt. A counselor might be of some help figuring out your next steps.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.