Patricia Redlich

Friday, January 22, 2010

My Lover Won't Leave His Wife

I'm in love with a married man. Our friendship started about a year ago and has grown into a deeper relationship. I kept telling him to tell his wife so that we can start our life together. I was never married but had two failed relationships and have two children. He has three young children. He said that every time he tried to tell his wife, he just couldn't. He couldn't see himself leaving his children. I told him that in the end it all works out. I told him we couldn't deny how we feel. He said he wasn't in love with his wife, but he does still love her as they've been together for nearly 20 years.

Then his wife found out accidentally. She wants to work it out and refuses to let him go. We were supposed to start living together but that plan has been abandoned. He says he needs to give his marriage a chance. I don't understand it. He said he was in love with me.

I'm devastated. I can't eat or sleep. I'm trying to fight for him. When I call him to talk about it I sense his frustration with the whole thing. If only his wife would let him go. He is the best thing that ever happened to me. What do I do?

There is no easy way to say this. Your man friend doesn't want to leave his wife. He never wanted to leave her. He just flirted with the idea when he discovered you. No, I'm not saying he was nasty and deliberately deceived you. He deceived himself. Caught up in the heady excitement of a love-affair, he temporarily mislaid his commitment to his wife and children.

He never actually lost his sense of commitment, however. He just side-lined it. Think about it. He could never manage to tell his wife. And he could never even imagine leaving his children. I know it's not nice to acknowledge, but you set the pace. And by failing to end the relationship with you, he gave the impression he was going along with your wishes. Out of the weakness borne of desire - and yes, perhaps love for you too - he gave you false hope.

False hope cripples us. That's because it involves living in unreality, robbing us of our dignity and sense of direction in the process. If it's any consolation this can happen anyone. And it does pass. Your man friend is hiding behind his wife. Or perhaps more precisely, you're making a scapegoat of his wife in order to avoid facing the truth. He is not going to leave his marriage. He may even regret ever having been unfaithful. He most certainly wants to end all contact with you. He's not frustrated with the situation as you say. He's frustrated with your refusal to face facts. I'm sorry to have to say that so bluntly, but it's true.

This man is not the best thing that ever happened to you. He never really had anything to offer. Forget any notion of fighting for him. Firstly, you won't win. Secondly, he's not worth it. Instead start fighting for a greater sense of self- worth. You have children, and the capacity to love. You have a life. Start living it again, sad certainly, but this time round with the determination to ask for more. If that doesn't seem possible, start asking yourself why you think so little of yourself, and fix it.
Irish based professional therapist and journalist. Website By : Deise Design