Should one keep trying to get someone who’s married?

Laura asks:

I am in a relationship with a married man. He is very caring and we found a true love between us. He confirmed that he will divorce his wife and come to me and marry me. He in fact tried that several times, but his wife is not ready to divorce. Also his mother is not happy about him getting married to a new girl. I convinced him that that this is possible and nothing wrong, because he was not happy with his married life. Also we planned many things about our future. He takes care of me and he is very loving. But recently, he has gotten very influenced by his family and said he felt that this might not work. So he asked me to end this relationship and he is asking me to get married to another guy so that my future will be better and I don’t have to live a dark life. But I feel very heartbroken, because, all this while we were thinking of starting a life together to live happily, but now he is trying to get separated from me and it hurts. I agreed for separation, but still I am unable to leave him. I want him back. At the same time, I don’t want to pressure him to leave his family. I want him to consider me as a priority and start a happy life with me. Is there any possibility, and what would be your advice?

Hi Laura –

I am horribly sorry for you going through this.  I know it’s very difficult, as I’ve seen others struggle with similar situations.

I fully respect the institution of marriage (after all, I’m in a licensed relationship with someone myself!), but I do understand that sometimes marriages don’t work out, and people need to move on.  And I certainly understand how a good person could fall in love with a married person, or a married person could fall in love with someone other than their spouse.

But I don’t like affairs.  And here’s why – EXACTLY what you’re going through.  He may be fully sincere in his confusion and difficulty, but you’re the one who’s stuck alone most of the time.  When he’s having good times with his family, you’re home feeling crummy. 

My advice to people considering an affair is to wait until the married one leaves their spouse.  Even if they’re not legally divorced yet, they’ve shown they’re willing and able to take that step.

Your guy hasn’t done that.

And now he’s even telling you you should move on.  Because he doesn’t care about you?  No, I don’t think so.  I think it’s because you finding someone else would take away the guilt he’s experiencing because of dragging you into this.

And I don’t see any solution to this.  You say, very appropriately, that you want him to leave her because you’re his priority, not because you’ve manipulated him into it.  That’s great.  But he has shown you just what his priority is – staying with her, pleasing his family, being cautious.

That’s his right.

So your job is to do whatever it takes to move on from this.  If that means not speaking to him for a while, then do it.  If that means dating ten guys, that’s okay too (but please please PLEASE keep yourself safe from this awful virus!).  And if that means eating ten boxes of ice cream, then that’s okay too.

You’ve had an adventure, a beautiful romantic fantasy.  But it’s ending.  He’s going to be okay, as he’s showing.  All that matters now is what happens with you.

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t love him for the rest of your life; I imagine he’ll feel just that way about you.  But this is your life, and you deserve more adventures, and a love that’s all yours.

Get through this now.  A new, better, world awaits you when you’re done.

All my best,


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