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Question
Posted by: Caro | 2011-05-25

Extra-marital affair

I am 49 years old and having an affair with an ex-boyfriend who is younger than me. We are part of an occassional group of friends some of whom he has told about us. Our relationship was rekindled after 25 years though he has been trying to get together for many years while I resisted. We are both married with children and well aware of all the arguments against such affairs. We think that we are in love with each other but I don''t want either to get divorced unless of course the other parties find out. His lifestyle is not compatible with mine as I am a professional academic but I do love him very much and find my time with him exciting. His marriage is unhappy (obviously mine is not perfect but I am the only problem) How do I let him off easily when it is all over? He has told me that he is willing to give it all up if he is certain that I will be there for him. I have promised that I would, but.... I am not ready to leave him now though. And my heart will also be shattered when it ends. Is it normal to have such disparate feelings?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

If he's an ex-bf, why is he ex ? Were there not good reasons why you broke up with him earlier ? Have those genuinely changed ?
You are both married with children, yet choose to ignore the obvious reasons why such an affair is a thoroughly bad idea, and likely to hurt innocent people and children.
And tyou don't want to get divorced if you can maintain the deception of your husband -so you'd prefer to have your cake and eat it, too ?
Then you talk about how to let him down when it is all over, so you anticipate having some excitement for a time, and then parting with him, anyway ?
Havin contradictory feelings is common in many situations in life and relationships. But it seems from your message that you have been highly selective in conceptualizing this affair.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Sista | 2011-05-28

You keep claimingn this man loves you so much, why is he not maried to you? why he never fought so much? or may be he jusy want your easy cake? give it to him full time every day and see if he won''t be running after his other exes.

Shame on you, what goes around comes around.

Reply to Sista
Posted by: Caro | 2011-05-27

I am not proud of myself either and I can accept people''s judgement (I''d probably have done the same years ago). I went to see a psychologist and realise that I need to walk away from this - not easy though. Thanks for the advice and those who try to help by ''scolding''. I know that I am acting in an emotionally immature way but scientific research is much easier than researching my emotional reasons for doing this. In my defense I resisted his advances for 10 years but he has loved me and we broke up due to a misunderstanding al la soap opera. We have created separate lives in the past 25 years and have to live with that as much as it will cause pain (no sympathy asked for) because we will still see each other a lot. we have lived with this pain before - him more so than me - and won''t die because of it.

Reply to Caro
Posted by: Truth | 2011-05-27

If u are a proffesional academic l am not surprised our education system is not in a good state.
I cannot think of anything else to say except that l am horrified by your emotional intellect and values.

Reply to Truth
Posted by: Laurie | 2011-05-26

As the saying goes, sorry comes too late. If you are not going to discipline yourself and consider your children and your husband who had no hand in this, nor did they ask for it, you are going to cry bitter tears. I know, from speaking to many women and observed other people, that when you build happiness on someone elses tears, you are in for a tough ride. that is just the way the cookie crumbles. Seperate from your husband for a while, stay alone and work it out in your head. give him the chance to find someone deserving. In my life, I had many opportunities to find someone else, who was better finanically, intellectually etc. etc. However, I gave those options a blind eye, coz I figured, I had my chance, made my choices and have brought kids into the world who adore their parents and have been married to a husband who still adores me for the past 18 years. There will always be someone better out there, but believe me, things are not always what they seem.

Reply to Laurie
Posted by: Romany | 2011-05-26

Point taken. My advice is that you should leave your husband and continue with your " games" .
He will find a woman deserving of his trust and love. It is unselfish and wrong of you to" tag him along" 

Reply to Romany
Posted by: Caro | 2011-05-26

I know that it is easy to judge and some people know that they will never find themselves in such a situation. Kudos to them. We both feel that we made mistakes in parting ways before though I know I would still not marry him at other times I feel so happy with him. He seems more in love than I am and dreams of a life together (I have said when our children are older) but that doesn''t mean that I don''t have strong feelings for him. I have considered our partners'' feelings but this is just too good to give up right now and I know I should never have said yes to meeting alone with him. I cannot, however, be satisfied with a life of nil excitement and my husband does not want our marriage to end either. I know he is a good man and many would sacrifice lots to stay with a man like him. I appreciate all his good characteristics and the father he is. I made a very conscious and tactical decision in the type of man I married and chose as a father for my children. I guess others will say he was not that bright in choosing a good wife but he loves me and so does my ex as well as others exes though I don''t go around having affairs with them all. I am neither beautiful nor size 34 but believe myself to be academically intelligent, good conversationalist, extrovert and somewhat attractive. I am not the type to put myself out there and I have resisited this and other exes advances for many years - though I dont expect any medals for it now that I am involved in this affair. I do not want sympathy, I am just trying to work through my feelings for two men in my life who both love me very much.

Reply to Caro
Posted by: Romany | 2011-05-26

You know what, I don''t realy care that " your heart will be shattered"  or that " his marraige is unhappy" . I hope your husband (and his wife) soon finds out about this infidility and selfish deception and kick you and him out of the house.
Change the locks, put your personal belongings on the pavement outside and never allow you in again.
That is what you deserve. Not sympathy, not " advice"  not a shrink, not compassion and understanding....
You say you are a professional academic. Why are you so stupid then? Who gave you the right to hurt people close to you like this?
Watch out, you will grow old alone.

Reply to Romany
Posted by: Mrs P | 2011-05-25

Be honourable, and stop the affair now. You have no intention of leaving your husband so, all you are doing is using the man you are having an affair with and giving him false hope.

Let him off easily? What you are doing is wrong, and you are looking for an easy escape route? Your heart will be shattered when it ends? Stop it now, before you shatter the lives of your husbands, wives and children.

Reply to Mrs P
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011-05-25

If he's an ex-bf, why is he ex ? Were there not good reasons why you broke up with him earlier ? Have those genuinely changed ?
You are both married with children, yet choose to ignore the obvious reasons why such an affair is a thoroughly bad idea, and likely to hurt innocent people and children.
And tyou don't want to get divorced if you can maintain the deception of your husband -so you'd prefer to have your cake and eat it, too ?
Then you talk about how to let him down when it is all over, so you anticipate having some excitement for a time, and then parting with him, anyway ?
Havin contradictory feelings is common in many situations in life and relationships. But it seems from your message that you have been highly selective in conceptualizing this affair.

Reply to cybershrink

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