I am having an affair with a married man with whom I am totally in love. He says he will leave his wife and asks me to bear with him. Will he ever leave her? Sarah
Thanks for your letter. I understand your pain but I have to question your saying you're totally in love. Feeling secure, cherished and valued above all others is part of real love. And that's not something you have, is it? If he offered you that feeling of security you wouldn't be writing in to me, would you? If he valued you above all others, he wouldn't still be with his wife. If he could do commitment, how come he's not committed to the woman he made his wedding vows to? If he could do true intimacy, he wouldn't be able to deceive her either. So what you're really saying is that you love an unfaithful, dishonest man that you can't trust or rely on. One who only values you enough to be with you sometimes. So long as nobody finds out. When it suits him, basically. Is that really the kind of love you dreamed of when you were a teenager?
So will he leave his wife? Maybe. Is that in your best interests? I'm not at all sure. Most men who have affairs don't leave their wives. Of the ones who do, the greater part continue to have affairs once they're in the new relationship. After all, if someone falls for a married man, they obviously don't really think about his unavailability, emotional or practical.
Now you have choices. You might start by asking yourself, "Do I want my family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances to know I'm a home-wrecker? Do I want the guilt and shame of knowing I'm an adultress? Am I so uncaring that I can live with myself knowing I've helped destroy another woman's marriage? Do I want the insecurity of being with a guy I know can't do fidelity? Do I want to stay hidden away until it suits him? Do I want to be picked up and put down again at his whim? Don't I deserve good, stable love?"
I don't know what your answer to the other questions is but yes, you deserve good love. While this guy's attentions might make you feel good sometimes, it's only a part of the package, isn't it? Doesn't his neglect upset you? Don't you get jealous of his spending time with his wife? If he has kids, don't you worry about them and how they're going to feel about their dad having a mistress?
I don't know whether he'll eventually put his money where his mouth is. If you stay entangled with this unavailable guy, he might keep you waiting for decades. Maybe forever. Because the way things are, he can have his cake and eat it, can't he? Or you could set yourself a cut-off point and say, "If you and I can't get it together within six months, it's obviously not meant to be." If he doesn't demonstrate his willingness to act on his statements within that time, then you could find someone who is emotionally available and willing to make you his number one relationship.
Or you have to learn to live with the guilt. And the ex. And the knowledge that he's so good at infidelity and deceit, let alone keeping you waiting.
Personally, I hope you value yourself enough to act in your own best interests and kick this selfish blighter into touch. I wish you confidence. And good luck.