In Love with another man

Dear Nat,

I am a mother with 3 kids. I have been married for 15 years, everything with my Husband seems fine until I meet V. We have been seeing each other quite often lately, I think I have fallen with him. I feel so bad as a mother and as a wife. My husband has always been very good to me. Should I leave this man or should I tell my husband the truth? I have been trying to tell V that it is not possible for us, but he constantly assured me that he just want to care for me and does not want anything else from me. I cannot live to see that my husband treating me so nice yet I am with another man. And I love my kids and I want my kids to grow up in a complete family. But I can never let go of V too.

Confused.

 

Dear Confused,

Thank you for sharing your predicament with asknat. Even though you may be feeling guilty or selfish, the fact that you are taking positive steps to resolve this problem implies that you care about the best interests of everyone involved (your husband, V, your kids and of course, yourself).

At this point in time, it seems that you have a couple of options, depending on what is important to you and what outcome you would like to see. For example: a) you could choose to leave your husband and begin a new life with V, b) stay with your husband and avoid V as much as possible, or c) simply maintain the status quo by living with your husband without sacrificing your close relationship with V. These are not the only possibilities; there are many other arrangements that can be made especially with regards to your children. They could stay with you and V, your husband or in the case of option c), with you and your husband (the current situation).

Ultimately, you must make this decision for yourself by evaluating what your priorities are in life. What you choose depends on how important V, your husband and your children are to your happiness. It also depends on how important your personal happiness is to you. For example, if V is more important to you than the other factors, then options a) and c) would be your most likely choices. However, if you are willing to sacrifice your personal happiness for the sake of keeping your family together, then your most likely options are b) or c).

Option c) here is obviously the middle ground, the option where you can ‘have your cake and eat it too’. While this option may seem the most reasonable, be aware that it is also the trickiest choice that may lead to many more complications. For example, going with this option, V may hold a vague position in your life. He could be a close family friend to you, your husband and your children or your personal friend. You may see him very often together with your family or by yourself, or choose not to see him at all but keep in contact with him through other means. Whichever arrangement you choose, be aware that there may be such consequences that do not spell the end of the problem.

Another way to approach this problem is by trying not to think of choosing ‘the best option’ or even ‘the most logical option’, but perhaps the ‘least harmful option’. Whatever you choose to do, it is impossible to please everyone involved – at least in the short run. Even if your children have a great relationship with V and you can envision a new life together with him, there are many risks involved in giving up what you have for what is not certain. On the other hand, if you completely avoid V and try to focus on your marriage, you may find that your family life becomes unfulfilling and even become depressed without V in your life. Even if you choose the tricky middle ground of maintaining the status quo and sacrificing some of your personal happiness, ignoring your feelings for V will not be easy.

Above all, do not hesitate to seek help from a qualified counselor or health professional. Such a dilemma may cause extreme emotional stress. Remember, even if you feel ‘bad’ for being in this position, it is an opportunity to re-examine your priorities in life, your marital life and your relationships with the people around you. It is not ‘bad’ at all to take positive steps to solve your problem! Even if society dictates that such feelings are ‘bad’ or ‘immoral’, we cannot always control how we feel at all times and we cannot deny that these feelings exist! The important thing is to try and understand our own behavior and use all possible avenues to resolve the dilemma.

You know you can do it :)

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