Question: Dear Luise: Okay, this one has May-December, infidelity and depression all rolled into one! I’ve tried to summarize as best I can. I don’t know if you’ll be able to answer but thanks kindly for reading. Here goes: I was six months shy of eighteen when I met my husband, who was quite a bit older. After living together for about ten years we got married and have now been together for over a decade and a half with two beautiful children. I am in my early thirties and he is now beginning his sixties. I have never lived on my own, and when I met him I was in a very bad and abusive situation with my parents (alcoholism, molestation, you name it). He saved me from all that and created the stability I desperately needed in my life. He is kind, patient, highly educated and a wonderful father. Whenever we have run into problems he has willingly gone to marriage counseling and we have worked it out. I love him very, very much. The sex is rather unremarkable now, (which we have talked about several times) but I don’t know if anything can be done about that since we are in completely different stages of life. Anyway, about two years ago I felt like something was just gnawing at me and I couldn’t figure out what. Maybe it was loneliness (husband works very far away and is gone a lot), mommy burnout, or just plain existential angst; I don’t know. But I remember wishing something would come along to change that. Well you know the saying about being careful what you wish for? A few months later I met a man through my job and fell in love. He is handsome, only a little older than me, and we have a lot in common. Never been married, no kids. Financially he makes about a third of what my husband does and could lose his job at any time. We had an affair that lasted somewhere between six to nine months. I stopped the physical end of the affair after three of those months because it was causing so much pain to both of us with the guilt and it was clear to me he was dangerously depressed. (I am prone to this myself and it was not helping my own fragile mental state at the time either). Then I stopped all contact with him for six months, to get my balance and hoping my feelings for him would simmer down. They didn’t–not really. In fact I had another affair in a stupid/desperate attempt to erase him from my memory…purely physical…you can guess how well that worked. Anyway, we have recently been in contact again. He is on meds now and seems happy, and as much as I was hoping I was over it, I am still deeply in love with him. Nothing physical has happened yet but the tension is there and getting stronger every time we meet, trying to be “friends.” I know our mutual situations make a life together impossible, but I love him so much I can’t imagine letting go completely, forever. He has very few friends and I feel like he needs me. I don’t know how to stop loving him. This whole thing has been going on for a year and a half now and I’m starting to get health problems because of it. The husband has no idea about any of this. Help! T.
Answer: Dear T.: It sounds like you are having trouble finishing what you started. Health and peace will return when you back off all the extracurricular activities. In the name of pleasure and romance you are seriously hurting yourself. Blessings. Luise