Monday, February 19, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Man conflicted over wife vs. 'other woman'

Man conflicted over wife vs. 'other woman'

Q: My wife and I got married two years ago. Even though we'd been together for a long time, I was reluctant to take the plunge. She's smart, kind and beautiful, but I've never felt "it" for her.

About three years ago, I began an affair with my ex. Now that we've been "just friends" for a while, she's beginning to fade out of my life, but I still think about her incessantly and have a constant heartache in the (relatively short) periods when I don't hear from her.

I haven't told my wife, but I'm sure she knows something's been going on. She's beginning to talk about having kids, but I feel that would be wrong while the Other Woman is in the picture.

Still, every time I try to push her away, I keep thinking I'm making a terrible mistake and that she's the one I should be with. How will I know?

In Doubt

A: "(H)aving kids . . . would be wrong while the Other Woman is still in the picture"?

No, having kids would be wrong because you never felt "it" for your wife and married her while you were profoundly invested in someone else. Having kids with her would be wrong because marrying her was wrong. Cheating on her was wrong, too, but that seems to be the one wrong you're aware(ish) of.

The bigger wrong was to follow through on some misguided, dutiful impulse to marry someone you didn't (and still don't) want, even as every cell in your body gave you the message that this wasn't the right woman for you, and when all of those cells were regularly in bed with a different woman who apparently was/is at least closer to being right.

You're committing one of the most serious emotional crimes there is: Cheating? No. Wasting her time.

I can't speak for your wife, but if I were in this marriage, I'd want the truth so I could get out as soon as possible and get on with the business of building a new life on terms that aren't secretly undermining me. Threat to life and limb aside, I can't think of anything worse than living with someone who doesn't really want me there.

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