I met my lover 33-plus years ago, but I was already dating my eventual wife.
Eighteen months ago, I tracked my past love down, started communicating with her and have been meeting her weekly, carrying on a six-month affair.
Because of Covid and her occupation as a teacher, we now won't be seeing each other over concerns of exposure.
For a variety of reasons, I feel like my marriage is over. At my age, which is 53, it seem like, if I'm going to make a change in partner, now is the time.
But she won’t leave her husband before her kids are both launched. One is now off to university this September, the other will go in a year from now.
It means several more years of delay.
Is this valid or is it just an excuse, and will she never actually be leaving her husband?
Life On Hold
She’s been a mother a long time, so this decision weighs heavily on her. It’s as much about her love for her children as it is about her feelings for you. She doesn’t want to rock the security of these almost-adults right now.
Will it lead to endless excuses and postponements as you predict?
If you pressure her, the answer is a more likely Yes . . . or even a cut-off from contact.
Instead, tell her that if the feelings you two shared these past six months, and, if her marriage to her husband had already been unhappy for some time (not just during your affair) and warrants leaving her husband, then you two can survive a period apart that she finds necessary.
Do not link her decision to your personal age deadline. A couple’s future together can be launched at any age.
Ask her these significant questions: What does she define as “launched”? If her children appear settled and secure in a year or two, would she still make plans with you?
Once you have those answers, you’ll know whether the six-month affair was all she could handle, or you two have a chance for a life together.
My husband and I had decided to invite a few of our closest friends for a socially distanced gathering to celebrate what was then the “opening up” allowing 10 people in a bubble.
Between us, we had some very interesting friends, some of whom had not yet met. We expected some lively conversations.
But one woman, normally very outgoing was unusually quiet. When I went to my room to get a sweater, she followed me and closed the door.
She confessed that she had had a secret years-long affair with another guest’s husband!
They’d met regularly, she (unmarried) had even nursed the man through a week-long illness while his wife had been travelling on business.
She didn’t know if the wife had ever suspected an affair.
Suddenly, in my house, she saw the face of the woman who’d been cheated on. She left early.
Is there anything hosts can do to avoid being involved in such an awkward situation?
Some hosts like to surprise the people they invite hoping for a lively gathering.
Your experience shows it may be more prudent to say ahead who’s going to be present.
While that one woman probably would have stayed home, she also wouldn’t have had her nerves in a knot.
Or, maybe it was fate that she finally saw the face of reality.
FEEDBACK More regarding the daughter’s letter about her mother put under pressure from her elderly father to send money to her irresponsible adult brother (Aug 22):
Reader – “Does the mother not need to consider her own upcoming retirement needs? Will this be the last “ask” for funds, given the brother’s history?
“You advised that the daughter stay supportive of her mother. Shouldn’t they discuss together how much she can send him while still protecting herself?
“Some might say this is not the daughter’s business. But she might end up having to help her mother financially later.”
Ellie - Here’s what her being “supportive” meant to me: Telling her mother that her money is her own, she worked for it just as her grown daughter is working and independent.
This mother is free to spend as she pleases - even on a wayward adult brother if she feels a family responsibility.
Tip of the day:
An extra-marital affair will fade under pressure from one side. Either the other person has reasons to leave his/her marriage, or it was just a fling.