After two years of friendship with a man, we became really close after my fiancé died. Then, intimate.
However, he’s been trapped in a marriage for some time, after being put in the position of not being able to say no when his girlfriend proposed.
I’ve had to relocate for work 1500 km away.
He told his wife that he’d be leaving as soon as his son would finish school this year. He was never in love with her.
It seems I showed him what happiness really is.
His family now barely speaks to him. He says he doesn't care.
My family doesn't know that he’s married and that we’ve been so involved. I'm afraid of their reaction when they find out.
My relationship with them is fragile. We've never really gotten along; they never agreed with a lot of my decisions.
How can I be as brave as he is and stand up to them? He feels that as long as I’m next to him, he’ll be just fine.
I love him. We’re both mid-thirties and we feel like teenagers again…
You’re not teenagers. And you both have relationships with others who affect you, and who are affected by you.
So, despite a powerful love affair, you need to confront just what you can handle and what you cannot.
About your family: If you already don’t get along, why care about their reaction? But you do. And you know it’ll be negative.
You need to think through whether it’ll detract from your happiness if your family disengages with you completely. Or, whether you’re willing to face their judgment in order to try to maintain some ties and have them see that you two intend to build a committed lasting union.
About his family: They’ll have an impact on your relationship – financially and emotionally - for years after he leaves. His son may be difficult, for sure his wife will be.
You both use phrases that suggest you’re not responsible for these situations e.g. he was “put in a position,” “couldn’t say No.” You say, “they never agreed with my decisions.”
Going forward, you both need to take responsibility for your actions. You may share a profound love but real courage comes from dealing with the others who are involved with your situation, fairly and responsibly. Even if it means his owning up to having cheated, and your acknowledging that you were the other woman.
My friend recently told me that sex with his wife is boring, always has been, and he sees no changes coming. He's never had truly great sex.
Their marriage seems comfortable and happy otherwise. Is it possible for relationships with no heat to actually last a lifetime? Or should I be warning him that affairs are not the way to go?
I'm worried that's what he's thinking.
He’s not asking your permission about an affair; and by revealing this personal information, he’s already partly out the door (or trolling online).
If you’re truly a close friend – and not a woman he’s trying to get into bed – alert him to the complications that occur if an affair is discovered (financial and emotional – see above).
But if you’re a woman he’s trying to reel in with, “I’ve never had truly great sex” (implying he believes he’d have it with you),” just say NO, and don’t listen to any more confidences.
He’s not leaving her. He just wants sex. And yes, they could stay together indefinitely.
FEEDBACK Regarding the high-school student who’s scared of the future and doesn’t know what she wants to study or do (June 24):
Reader – “I’ve raised three daughters. The first only went to university because she didn't have anything else to do. She later told me that after the first year, nothing could’ve prevented her from completing her degree. She’s now working for the government.
“The second daughter, suspended from high school for poor attendance, was later accepted into three universities with scholarships. She’s now a lawyer.
“The third went to university for two months, dropped out for a year. She returned and is now a veterinarian, working on another degree.
“Many university students change their major. They’re exposed to a far wider world. Education is never a waste. I feel sorry for high-school graduates having to make decisions when so young. But these decisions aren’t carved in stone, and the money spent isn’t wasted.”
Tip of the day:
Courage regarding a love affair is being honest and responsible with others involved.