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I want to leave my wife and be with my lover, but I can't leave my kids!

Tagged as: Marriage problems, Three is a crowd<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (2 August 2005) 56 Answers - (Newest, 1 July 2012)
A male , anonymous writes:

We'll I'm 41 yr. old male, I've been married 14yrs and met a wonderful woman 7yrs ago and have been loving each other for the past 7 yrs.

I've lied about being married still over the last 7yrs. I love this woman who's not my wife. I want to leave my wife but we have two boys ages 5 & 10 who I love more than the wife and lover, but I can't take not being with my soulmate, my lover of the past 7 yrs.

I love her and it's not a sexual love, I just love her because of how I feel around and how miserable I am without her in my life, she make me feel complete. What should I do?

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A female reader, anodea United States +, writes (1 July 2012):

I've been in an affair for almost 8 years. I left my husband and my 2 teenage boys wouldn't come with me. I started the affair knowing I was leaving and knowing I wanted this man in my future.

He was the first to say "You complete me" "he was going to leave his wife when his son graduated high school (now 2 years out of college)...

I have never loved a person so much in my life nor felt the connection we have...we just click but the conflick comes with not being able to be real with each other. You have to protect your heart.

As the years pass...there's a pattern...when we become close...he disappears for periods of time. Maybe it's fear he doesn't want to fall too deep for than he will have to make a decision. He ultimately can't make a decision so he won't. "You have to be willing to let go of it all in order to get it all! It only hurts for a minute and kids you never leave! They get to be a part of your new life!

I never thought I would find myself in this type of relationship...sharing...sometimes going months without intimacy...waiting. Sneaking around has it's excitement but ultimately destroys the innocence of true love.

You don't know how it is inside of a woman's heart when your spirit is in such tormoil, knowing that this is the man you breath for, live for and plan for...the confusion that we are almost there and than realize we are not. The anxiety of if I give up...it could have been "that close"...I should have waited another day. The guilt... identity crisises...locked up feelings of anxiety and wishing deeply that there was 1 guy that would come along to make you forget him and give you the power to walk away!

I know what would happen if "we got caught"...we did 4 years ago...I was the enemy for a short time but we can't break away so never did. The longer we have made this our relationship...the further the hopes of it ever changing occur and the older I get and the chances of never finding love again...my heart is in constant state of anticipation and anxiety. It wears you down.

I hate when he lies to her on the phone and that I'm the cause of it...I guess we're a special breed!

If you love somebody...nothing else should matter...take a leap of faith before you make a mistake of never knowing because they walked away!

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A male reader, Kocko Australia +, writes (22 July 2011):

Mate. Having been in the same heart wrentching situation, the only thing I can say is: look after your children and be true to yourself. All the hate posts and advice will not help. I'm sure u hate urself...I know I did!

We are only human and right and wrong is opinion only. Be happy dude!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (26 January 2011):

The truth is that all of us want them both in some level. Wife at home and a lover when things are not right at home. This makes us happy.

What makes us unhappy or worried is losing everything. That is the reason why we struggle. We do not feel guilty, we are just afraid about what happens if we get caught.

It’s not the kids, it’s not the spouse; the real problem is that the minute that we leave our spouses for our lovers, our lovers become spouses. Spouses with full time spouse problems. This is what none of us want. We want the escape.

I just wish there were no consequences if I got caught. I am so happy with both. I love my life; I just wish I could get rid of the fear.

What we should all do is form a group to help each other never get caught. :)

Be true to yourselves. Do not lie to yourself about guilt, just know it is fear of losing what you have.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (18 January 2011):

Don't let women tel you how to react. You should live life as a bachelor. You will never be cut out to be married... it's not part of your makeup. Divorce your wife and don't marry your lover.

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A female reader, Shreak United Kingdom +, writes (16 January 2011):

Did it ever occur to you that maybe you should get out of both the women's lives and be on your OWN until you work out how to be a strong, independent human beings that doesn't require constant nurturing and sex from women who are unaware of how used they are and who actually would be much better off without you? And don't delude yourself, they would be better off. My husband left me for another woman and although initially the shock of the betrayal and the sadness for the past and for our children hit me hard, with a bit of time I know see the day he walked away to be with her as the best thing that has happened to me in a very long time. I now realise how he DRAGGED me down in life, made me lose who I was. I am now moving ahead, getting a great job, social life, male and female friends, dating, looking after my kids and whenever I see him he seems very down - he rushed off to be with the OW before he really even knew her in a fit of lust and infatuation, lost everything and is less happy than he thought he would be, because now that he is living daily life with her (watching her snore at night and moan about laundry) the sheen has worn off! But he knows I will NEVER have him back because I find him not just pathetic, but actually really amusing - I now have the distance to see some things about him that make it clear that he never really deserved all the love and sacrifices I made for him.

If you don't love your wife, leave your wife. If you don't believe in a marriage commitment or monogamy, don't get married in the first place. If you want to be with a girlfriend, make sure that you are free from other obligations first. Certainly don' expect sympathy for your predicament, and don't assume that either woman will be as devastated at the loss of you as you think they will be. Maybe initially they will hurt, but give it 3-4 months and they will realise how much better life can be without a demanding and needy liar in their midst.

As for the kids, my kids see their Dad about as often as they did when we were married. Between working long hours and conducting an affair, he wasn't really there for them anyway. In fact they probably get more and better time with him now that he has left the house, because he actually has to make an effort, look after them by himself, and not take them for granted.

Now if anyone has a problem that doesn't stink of selfishness and weakness and lack of character, please step forward now.... ;-)

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (20 November 2010):

I know this an old post but it happens everyday so I'll add my two cents.

If you leave your wife it should be because you're unhappy with your wife. If you leave because you found someone new, and that new relationship doesn't work out quite the way you envisioned, you will resent the new girl; more or less blame her for destroying your life.

You are not found your kids any favors by staying. Think of the lessons in love and marriage you are showing them? Separate beds? Fighting? Is this the type of marriage you wish on them? No matter how young they are, they can see the misery. You would be doing them a favor by leaving. But leave for you, not for the new girl.

Lastly, the wife.... She may have feelings for someone else. Why dis she move to another bed? Is this younger child really yours....? She could very well be in love woth someone else and feel what you feel. She may want out but is feeling guilty about the kids, etc. I'm not saying come clean to the wife. You're better off to say that you don't love her and want out.

Now... The girlfriend. Unfortunately, you will have to come clean. You can't hide the fact that you're going through a divorce and the kids, etc. I know how difficult a conversation that will be but you have to tell her and give her time to digest it. If she chooses to not stay, there really isn't anything you can do. Your relationship is built on lies. If you want to build a life with her, you need to tell her the whole truth; and tell her this.

Bottom line: life is too freaking short tone miserable. Personally, I'm a female who has been married for 14 years with two beautiful sons, 10 and 8. I've had two affairs. My second affair made me realize how unhappy I was with my husband. I've left him and we are in the middle of settling things. He doesn't know about the affairs because they are irrelevant. I left him because I don't love him, not because I fell in love with someone else. I needed more out of marriage and he was unwilling or unable to give what I needed, noatter how much I begged him to work withme; ie marriage counseling. I came to realize that the affairs were my way of finding happiness. I left to be happy and I am VERY happy. I don't have any lovers but I'm finding my way out of a miserable marriage and couldn't be more excited about the road ahead.

Good luck!!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (10 November 2010):

I'm in the same situation, I left the love of my life when I knocked up a random girl, I now live with that random girl and have another baby on the way, we've not been gettin on and haven't slept together in 2 years, except to get her pregnant, now my ex has come back and I don't know what to do, my hearts always been with her, she has forgiven me for gettin this girl pregnant and wants to be with me again but she doesn't know about the second pregnancy, I'm truly screwed. If I were in your position I'd say, it's your life, you only get one, do you want to look back on your death bed and regret not spending your life with the one you really love? You can still see your kids, infact it would be better for them cos seein you unhappy will greatly effect their lives too. It's your life, live it for yourself. I just wish I had taken that option while it was there.

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A male reader, confusionhaze United States +, writes (4 November 2010):

The topic started in 2005 and people are still adding threads. Gives the issue some validity.

I'm 37 and have been carrying on an affair for 5 years. Neither my wife or the other girl knows about each other. The girlfriend thinks I am still separated and living in an apartment I still keep. There are no kids so its makes my situation a little easier.

I separated with my wife when it first happened but slowly got pulled back in by year 2. I hate myself for this cluster of lies and deceit. I honestly feel trapped in a blackhole. If I come clean to either it will ruin both of their lives. My wife is fragile and the mere thought of me leaving puts her into a breakdown mode where she goes into this deep depression. She becomes helpless and won't reach out to anyone (neither family or friends) for support. I am deeply in love with the girlfriend and would surely be happier with her. She would survive a breakup but it would be hard on her as well. Plus she's vengeful so letting me go on in my marriage would never happen. Insult to injury is both girls want babies and both are in their mid 30s where its now or never.

For those of you who think I am being selfish, I can tell you this. Every waking moment is hell. I have weaved such a tight web of lies that any one wrong move will untangle it and my whole world will come down. In the process I would destroy three lives. I want nothing more than to live a normal life again and give both of these girls a chance at true happiness. They both deserve to have families and every day that goes by makes it harder for that to happen. But, I am not sure how to do this.

My point is not that I am innocent, I don't claim to be. But I am a guy who started off trying to do the right thing. In trying not to hurt my wife I made things uncontrollably worse.

I want my life back and I understand it means that I will likely lose both in the process. I would be miserable but it wouldn't be me I'd be most concerned with. It would be them. The damage I have caused may be irreparable.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (28 August 2010):

ok i understand you being stuck in a relationship with a woman you are not in love with anymore, but i don't understand why you have lied to your lover for 7 years. Don't you think that she will leave you for lying to her for so long when she finds out? If you want to make a life with her you are going to have to come clean.

As for the kids i'm in a similar situation myself.

I have a lovely 2 year old daughter whom i love with all my heart, but i have no feelings for the mother. If she hadn't fell pregnant i would have split up with her long ago, but i stuck around for the sake of being a good father. It's really tough, man REALLY tough.

I want to be happy in my life and find a woman i truly love, not being stuck with my miserable sour faced partner.

she brings no joy to my life at all, she is like a happiness black hole. But i'm still there for the sake of my daughter.

At the end of the day your kids come first, not you. By becoming a father your life as a selfish individual ends. Get yourself a hobby, take up golf or something, do things with your kids that don't involve your wife. But just remember, how broken hearted your kids will be when you walk out. At least stick it out until they are 18, at least then you have raised them to adulthood, and then you can go your own way.

Sorry to say it buddy, but having kids is a life time contract with no get out clauses lol.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (3 July 2010):

I really have to chime in here. I am in this situation now and I have been for nearly 6 years. I never wanted to be involved in this sort of thing. But... here I am. I met the man I feel I was meant to be with and we became very good friends, but I was falling in love and fighting with myself about it. At some point we told each other how we were feeling about one another. Believe me when I tell you that this is a difficult situation to be in and not one that either of us entered into easily or lightly. We spent over a year denying the way we felt for each other. We cried together and we talked about all the reasons we could not be together.

I have never experienced anything like this in my life. There is absolutely no denying this connection or this love. We have both tried.

Over the course of our relationship, he has told his wife that he is in love with someone else. She completely falls apart. I have come to believe that she knows he cannot stand to hurt anyone and she uses this to keep him there. They have seperated 3 times over the past 5 years, but he ends up going back because she doesn't seem to be able to handle life at all.

My advice is this. Do not judge others. I have learned some big life lessons through this experience. A person may be able to control the actions involved in cheating but they cannot control what is in their hearts.

If you are not truly in love with your wife, you are not doing her a favor by staying in the marriage. Most likely, her soulmate is out there, too. The truth is the only way to go. It is unfair to your wife because everyone deserves to be loved and in staying with her, you are depriving her of that.

Your children will feel pain, but you can be a good father and your wife can be a good mother without the two of you living under the same roof. I know in my situation, the children know that things are not right and they lose respect for their parents because they are being lied to.

I don't condone cheating, but I have more of a problem with lying to people and to the world by staying in a loveless marriage.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (17 April 2010):

I am in a similar situation. My lover and I met 15 years ago and somehow lost touch. We have reconnected and discovered we have been trying to find eachother for years. During our time apart we each married and had children. We care for our spouses, but are not in love with them. My lover wants to get a divorce but is afraid of not seeing his children everyday. I do not pressure him about it, for I too fear what a divorce will do to my own family situation. I know in my heart that I cannot continue on like this for much longer. I feel that moms and dads can be wonderful parents even when they are divorced. It is better for a child to have two loving parents in separate homes, than to live in a home where there is unhappiness, arguing, and tension....just for the sake of everyone 'existing' (not really living) under the same roof. Follow your heart. Be prepared that either decision will bring some heartache. It is better to ripp the band-aid off quickly with a flash of extreme pain, than to peel it back slowly with a long neverending pain that just kills you.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (2 April 2010):

You must do the only respectable thing. Tell both women of the situation and declare yourself as lord and master and treat them subordinately. It is natural for men to have more than one wife. Their jealousy is their weakness but not your problem. If they are disobedient, disrespectful and leave you, don't worry. There are many women in this world. Your sons will appreciate that they have a strong-willed father who chose his own path. Do not fear their criticism. As they grow older they will understand the ways of men. If your wives are obedient, then you are free to do as you wish. Do not expect your second wife to give you any more happiness than the first. You must work hard to be honourable and provide well for both of them. Treat both women with respect and do as you please.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (30 March 2010):

Did you take vows when you got married? Do they mean anything to you?! You worry about being happy, but you don't seem worried about being faithful, honest, responsble or kind. How could you possibly expect to have a decent marriage when you have been cheating, and cheating for 7 years at that? You are lying to your wife and to your lover and being deceitful to everyone around you. You are depriving your wife and children of many things by your actions, e.g. time, attention, loyalty. You don't want to leave your kids so they're stuck with a lying cheat for a dad. Would you want your boys to lead the kind of life you are living? Would you want them to be so needy that they must seek another human being, albeit not family, to make them complete? By the way, be sure to let your boys know that you don't expect them to be satisfied with the crappy old bikes you bought them last year when the neighbors have new bikes that could make them so much happier, and they might as well dump their faithful old dog, too, because there's a cute little puppy down the street. If your soul mate is worth anything, do you think she would want to be with a man who lies and cheats? If she already knows, then you are leaving your wife and family for someone who is as dishonest and disloyal as you are. If you are not happy with your wife and marriage, then quit cheating and work to make yourself (and your wife) happy. You do not have the right to destroy a family and their lives so that you can find happiness with someone else just because it suits you. Create happiness instead of looking to someone else to create it for you. Live with integrity. Be the kind of father your boys (and you) can respect. Honor your marriage vows, your wife, and yourself.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (12 December 2009):

Dear tormented

Position is as you have stated

Problem is you are torn between and any move you make will hurt everyone including you

Solution - re-invent yourself, get a councillor - agree divorce terms - leave your wife, support the children.

live life with your lover - be happy life is short.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (2 December 2009):

mate dont listen to the silly answer you recieved. its easy for some silly little no it to call you selfish. but when the heart is involved its serious. did the guy who invented the clock say hold on i cant do this because i am being selfish. follow your heart. so basically you have to be unhappy for the rest of your life. i dont think so. you only get on shot at life dont waste a single moment.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (2 December 2009):

Don't be selfish. You married this woman. You led her to believe that you would love her for as long as you both were alive and now you go behind her back and not only do you cheat on her, but you have lied to her for half of your marriage span. That is disgusting. You came to this website, asking others what you should do to make YOU the most happy. You are so self-centered. Sometimes there are bigger things than having the one that you love beside you, as "yours". These things are called dignity and respect. After you pull this kind of stunt for 7 years, you deserve anything than being happy.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (6 November 2009):

Don't tell your wife the truth if you plan on trying to make it work with her. It will only hurt her. That is a selfish end to an already selfish act. Just dont do it again and give her your all, the minute if and when you decide to make it work

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (1 November 2009):

I think more people are in the same situation than are willing to admit. I have been married ten years. It's been mostly bad. About a year ago my wife an affair with my best friend. Things were bad before now I can hardly stand the sight of her and I cringe when she comes near me. We have two kids 7 and 9. I have thought about leaving many times and have for a few days here and there, but I need to be with my kids. I have thought long and hard about divorce or separation but always rule it out. I can't be away from my kids. This is really what it comes down to. If you are willing to give up everything for your happiness or stay and try to make the best of it and when the kids are old enough then but your needs first. You need to find a way to be true to yourself and keep the kids in your life. The reality is if you leave your wife to go with this other woman your life will still be hard. By the time your divorce goes through you will not be the same person mentally or financially. think long and hard you will find the answer.

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A male reader, Ropin71 United States +, writes (22 October 2009):

Please, if any of you are thinking about leaving, or even having an affair, THINK HARD before you do this. I have lost a beautiful wife of 21 years, 23 together, and I have never been in so much pain in my life. I took her for granted, and pushed on with the affair, and now, she's done. I thought this other woman was my soulmate, she wasn't as pretty, sex wasn't even close to what I had (and I had a good sex life too) I was just SO in love with the way she talked to me, felt so close to her. After 2 days with her I couldn't stand to look at her, she WRECKED my life by coming into it. Yes, I made my choices, but now I think of every little thing my sweet wife did for me, and how she loved me with 100% of her soul, and I threw her away.. I was absolutely out of my mind. I feel like I woke up from a bad dream, only to find it was oh so real.. I want her back, but she is done with me, and I have to face that, and like I said, you will never understand the pain until you are where I am now, but I suggest you save what you've got before you get here...its a lonely place.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (2 September 2009):

Hello all,

I have enjoyed reading a number of these replies but I can’t help but notice that half of them have been written either by someone who has left or someone who is waiting for their partner to leave. I want to offer another opinion…… that of the child.

I have recently discovered that my father has had an affair and has decided to leave to be with “the other woman”. I just want to share my side of the story and let you know what it does to your children. I am by no means a kid and have been living “independently” for almost a decade. I have a couple of brothers who have recently left the family home and are chasing their own dreams.

This whole saga unfolded recently and I had to rush home (almost 8 hr drive) to provide support to my mother who had discovered that her whole world had been turned upside down. In one foul afternoon she had her life’s companion taken from her, the person who she thought she would be with for the rest of her life had left. I pray that no one has to see that look of abandon and disbelief in someone’s eyes, let alone their own mother.

I always thought I had a good relationship with my father and he was someone that I looked up to. Throughout my life he had stood above me with his high set of morals and opinions. He had always set the bar high and I could have only prayed that I could have been the man I thought he was. Now I have come to the realisation that he is in no means a moral or just man. He has deceived our family for a significant period of time. Now to add insult to injury he has left. He has abandoned us! All based on the “chance” of love with another woman. He has thrown us to the wall and walked away. He has made no attempt to remedy this situation, he has not sought counselling. He did not even tell my mother that something was seriously wrong. She just arrived home to an empty house.

I pray that he does not find himself in the need of love and care. I wonder how his new found lover will care for him when times are hard? Should we show him any regard, or merely return the same level of care and respect that he has shown us? If our family is not good enough now, then why should we care?

I myself have had experience with love and I know that it changes over time, I know that the “honeymoon period” doesn’t last forever, and that you only get out of love what you put into it. Apparently, the grass always seems greener on the other side. And you will only find what you are looking for, maybe you should shift your attention from outside your marriage back into it. Be a man, grow a backbone, and live up to your word.

In summary I just want to let anyone know that family is more that brick and mortar, or a photo on the wall. It’s a commitment and a promise. This decision will have long lasting effects and will change your relationship with your partner and also that which you have with your children. You will always be family, but no longer a role model. I think that role models are hard enough to find these days with out people losing their own father.

Be an inspiration, a rock, not a coward, a fraud or a deserter.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (30 June 2009):

Your children will still be your children. If you have found someone ou truly love, you should be with her. I am in this situation now...the man I love always has to do what is right and even though I know he loves me, he will not leave because he does not want to be the bad guy, in his family's eyes. It is devastating for both of us.

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A female reader, nicole050208 United States +, writes (28 August 2008):

I am in the same situation, I have the love of my life now! It feels like I have known him forever! I am just waiting for him to leave his wife! But I will wait no matter what!

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A female reader, SuzieH Canada +, writes (24 May 2008):

First of all do you want to leave your wife to be with your lover or do you want to leave because you do not want to spend the rest of your life with her?

What excatly are you struggling with?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (19 February 2008):

enough of all of this. You have to tell the truth! The truth will set you free peroid. If your a good father now you can still be a good father later. What you have been doing is a shame to yourself and the others involved. Tell the truth.

IF you don't want to be with your wife anymore it is your choice not the kids or the wifes choice, or the other women. It takes two to have a marriage. That marriage belongs to you and your wife.The children do not have a say so over the parents lives. Staying in a miserable marriage is a fruad. And no one benefits from it. It was you choice to get married and should be your chioce to get out of it.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 January 2008):

This is simple, though it does not seem that way at the moment. Get a divorce and be with the woman you love! Be fair and amicable with your wife--share your children and always operate in their best interests; don't rub your lover in her face. Remember, life is short. If you're not happy, it's time to take steps to become happy. Seize the day for tomorrow is not yours.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 January 2008):

you have lied to your mistress about your marriage. that was wrong right there. She will think of you different about you, cause you lied to her.She should make the choice ie wants to stay with you or not. But if you love this mistress please tell her the truth and you have to be happy with your self and if you dont have the feelings about your wife no more then you need to leave her and the kids will be great just stay in there lives and always tell them how much you love them and never talk bad about there mom. life is to short to be in a marriage that you are not happy in, do what you go do and always take care of your kids. they will love you alot.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (31 December 2007):

Every moment your wife spends with you is wasted time. Show some consideration - commit or go!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (20 December 2007):

You will not be leaving your kids. Your relationship with your wife has nothing to do with your relationship with your kids. That's two totally different things. Follow your heart.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (18 December 2007):

I love it! I've read all the responses and there's absolutely no consistency for the poor guy.

So you get my $.02 worth. I like you, was a coward for years. I hated my wife and my life with her, but didn't want to hurt her....I don't know why, she had no trouble hurting me, but I really didn't. Finally i found a good woman who wanted nothing more than my company, understood about my marriage ( I had lived apart from my wife for a year by that time) and just wanted me for me.

Simple, awful word : Divorce. Get yourself free. The pain will be short lived, the kids will adapt, and you may actually have a crack at being happy before you have to take a crack at being nothing at all. I'm older than you. Trust me, don't waste your time or theirs.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (4 November 2007):

Dear Male,

above all do not blame yourselve, I'm in the same situation but without the kids. I told my husband that I care for someone else and think we should end our marriage. I was'nt mean or hateful I just explained that I did'nt start out to have these feelings but they just happened I was doing ok untill he broke down and started crying asking me not to leave. I caved in and I will give it another shot. right now I'm miserable I'm hoping that we can find that love that comes with a happy couple. If not I wont cave next time. I'm not going to see the guy I care so much for, I cant if I want to honestly say I gave it my all. And in your case you have your two boys try for their sake. Pour all your extra time into your family and give it your best shot one last time before you call it quits. Then you can honestly walk away knowing that. Good luck I know it hurts I feel your pain

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (23 October 2007):

Dear,

i wana you just think of one thing, which is:What is the end of your love?is it the marriage?ofcourse no, so you should handle your emotions towards your lover and belive to let your lover live her life because she wana also be a mother one day..is it true my friend??

best wishes,

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (19 October 2007):

Dude you have a problem first have you realized you have aready left your wife in your heart because if you can say that this other woman is your soulmate than where does the leave your wife she is already the loser, and what does this teach your boys { oh marriage vows show go like this } I do untill I meet the right person bad move dad get out and let your wife find a real man

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (2 September 2007):

just ask your self is this the woman you think u want to spend the rest of your life with. if so than stay with her but if not and u two break up you're going to be alone.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (28 August 2007):

Well, let me tell you about my experience. I met my wife at age 23...in 1988...to say I was inexperienced and green would be an understatement. I had slept with other women before, but she was my first girlfriend. She had a job and was very mature and we moved in together after just 6 weeks.

Things were never good...she was very controlling and difficult not at all interested in sex or imtimacy. I always figured that if I was understanding and patient she would come around. We married after 5 years and had 2 children.

Things never got better, sex or otherwise. In 1999, she moved out of our bedroom, telling me she needed to sleep better. We would occasionally sleep in the same bed but rarely would anything (ie: sex) go on. Her position was that I should understand and not complain and that there was nothing she could do.

In 2001 I had my first fling and I felt really guilty about it. I thought about telling her but thought better. A few flings later I finally met a woman and for a few months we met regularly...she was a good person and the sex was incredible, but she got very demanding and I ended it after 4 months. It took me over 1 year to tell her not to call me anymore. I had to threaten to call the police on her.

Fast forward to December 2005. I meet this incredible woman. We start chatting about everything and nothing. She is married (unahppily) and has three kids. Within a month it becomes intimate...imtimacy like I have never had in my life. She is the most fascinating lovely giving woman I have ever met. No presssure on any level. She loves me (tells me every time we're together..I love her too..my all my heart).

I am miserable with my wife. She's a good woman, but has serious trust and intimacy issues that I just can't gloss over anymore. She knows I am miserable, but will never leave me. She's just not the woman I need. Our marriage is an empty shell, a fraud. We went through 15 months of counseling, and it changed absolutlely nothing. A lot of my friends know I am miserable, but they will tell me that she's a good woman (I agree) and a good mother (ditto). But that's not enough.

I am 42 years old, self employed, told I am a good looking man. I go to the gym 4 times a week. I am still with my wife because I don't have the courage to leave. I want to be happy...I never will be with her. With the other woman, she wants to leave her husband too. We have decided that when and if we leave our spouses we won't live together right away...she will have her place and I will have mine.

Long story, but leaving a spouse is never easy. My parents stayed together when I was a kid (they split in 2002) and I can't say they did me or my sisters and brother any favours. Living with two parents who don't love each other and are constantly fighting is not a good thing. Life is way too short.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (5 July 2007):

The fact that she makes you feel good about yourself, tells me that you only want to satisfy your ego, you dont love her.. you need her feel better about yourself.

When you love, you "give", ask yourself what you want to give this lady from you. Do not think what you obtain from her. I just come from a situation like yours. He told me he needed me to complete himself, so he was going to leave his wife for me, because he felt great when he was with me, so he left his family and came to me, we made crazy love, and the next day he felt guilty about all he said, and returned to his family and 3 months passed of not hearing from him. He only needed me to feel man again, but never love me cause he didnt give me WHAT I NEEDED FROM HIM.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (24 June 2007):

hello thgere i have just read your question first of all what you are expereincing is an infatuation have you evr thought about your wife and kids and just how much this is going to hurt your wife.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (20 September 2006):

This is to the gentlman who wants to leave his wife for his lover. I will share with you my experience on this same situation. I was married to my first wife for 13 years,she was my first love and during our marriage we had two wonderful children. The marriage went stagnent and I met another woman who I thought was more the love of my life. I told my first wife that I did not love her anymore and that I was in love with someone else and I left. My kids were 10 and 8 at this time. I married the second lady. This destroyed my kids not only because I left them but because I did it for another woman other than they're mother. Kids even at this age do understand whats going on whether we see it or not. My son and I had a bond so strong that I thought nothing would kill it but this did. I have been married to my second wife for 14 years now and have come to find that this marriage has become stagnent at this time also. Now I say to my self did I fall out of love with my first wife or did I help in letting our marriage get old. Did I lose my bond with my kids over something that I thought was better but turned out to be the same. You may find yourself falling out of love with your wife and think you have found it somewhere else but trust when I say you will not. Do not make the mistake I made. If you do not love your wife and want to leave thats fine but do not do it for someone else. My advice would be to seperate and be by yourself for awhile with out seeing anyone and if after awhile (and you are honest with yourself) you may find out that you did not want to leave. Remember your kids will always love you unless you give them a reason not to. I find myself day after day now wishing I had not made this mistake. Don't get me wrong I do love my wife now but like I said after years go by in a marriage you can easly let it go sour. I miss my bond with my kids and believe me it is rare that two seperate familys for kids work out. You kids will always be torn between mom and dad and this hurts them more than you will ever know. I have talk to my grown children now and they have finaly told me the truth about being hurt and we are working on it. Please think about it real hard and honestly with your heart and be honest with yourself before you do anything. Sorry this was so long but this is the truth.

Sincerely: Hurting Inside

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (20 September 2006):

grow up

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (16 August 2006):

Ok this is an old post but I am sure that men in your same situation will come across this post at some point. So, this is what I have to say.

First ignore the female answers as the responses are only made to set you up for male bashing.

If 7 years has gone by and no one has been hurt by your lie that in its self is amazing. Not nice. But amazing.

To come clean as the female posts all recommend would do nothing but bring hurt, distrust and deep emotional scares that your wife and or girl friend would carry with them in future relationships. Telling the truth is a BAD IDEA!

It is never alright to tell the truth or come clean about affairs. Lie Lie Lie. When you are done lie some more. If you can't live with this lie then leave both of them and find someone new. With that said 7 years is 6 and 1/2 years to long. It time to leave one of them behind.

As for the kids. Well, there is not an easy answer. If they love you now they will continue to love you after you leave. Be good to them and this will not change. However, do not let them meet your new girl for at least a year after a divorce. They are kids but they are not stupid.

The best response was the one that stated you need to live for today. If something makes you happy even for a day it is worth the time and sacrifice you must make to have it.

Life is short and time that you have already lived may be longer than the life you have ahead of you. Don't be that guy that talks to everyone about the life you could have had. Be the guy that lives it.

To your wife and children I am sorry. But you will be better off without a man that is in a relationship that he is not happy with.

Good Luck.

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A female reader, willywombat United Kingdom +, writes (15 July 2006):

willywombat agony auntYou know, if you are unhappy wiht your wife then let her go......

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (14 July 2006):

Do some research. The other woman feels like soulmate precisely because you are not with her very often. It is called dopamine addiction; if you were with this woman for a month, the dopamine would disappear but since you never get that chance you spend 7 years high on thinking about her. If you force yourself to stop thinking about her for a day or two, the "soulmate" will vanish and you will be left wanting to repair your marriage.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (29 June 2006):

If you love someone .....no matter who it hurts... be with them. Life is so short... you have less years ahead of you than behind you... you need to be happy... so be with those who you are happy with. Even if it lasts just one day its better to have love than not. You cannot think of others at this time YOU are YOU and no-one can ever know how YOU feel. It will never feel right to leave, never. It will always be at the wrong time but if you dont you will die a lonly sad old man with just memories of what life could have been . Love i not an easy thing to find so grab it with both hands and go with your heart.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (6 May 2006):

Your situation is difficult, I have been in your shoes and boy I hated it. My advise to you is GET RID OF YOUR LOVER! You will never get over leaving your children. This "wonderfull" relationship you have could end over an argument especially if your lover has kids of her own. Do your kids a BIG favour and be there for them. I wish I could!! Good luck

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 May 2006):

your children would probably be better off with seperated parents if you argue a lot. theyll appreciate why you left when they're older a lot more than they'd understand you continuing to lie to them and to your wife.

Ive been seeing a married man for 2 months now. when we initially met he told me he was divorced. it really is the most painful situation possible, as however much he reassures me i'll never be sure he'll leave his wife. how long i stick around i have no idea. if you love this woman you should really leave to be with her

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A female reader, willywombat United Kingdom +, writes (6 April 2006):

willywombat agony auntWhoa, you continued to have another child with your wife whilst seeing this so-called *soul-mate* lover....mmmm? Why can I ask did you do that? Have things got too mundane for you at home? Have things stopped giving you athrill like they did at the beginning.

You dont want your kids to hate you for *dumping on* their mother. Well to be truthful at some point they may not HATE you but they sure as hell will lose respect for you. I dont mean now, I mean in 20 years time when they realise you ahd this other relationship thing going on. They will see what you did as a betrayal of their Mum at whatever age they find out. Sorry but thats just the way it is.

You cannot go back in time and undo this relationship. But you can do your wife the courtesy of telling her you no longer love her and wnat to move on. No matter what age you do this to your kids at some point they will dislike/dispise you for it. You are a dishonest man why should your kids have any respect for you in the future.

Also you have lied to yourlover as well! Please!!! Do you think she will want you when the truth comes out?

How will she EVER trust you either?

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A male reader, The Terrier +, writes (6 April 2006):

Difficult one there.You do not want your sons to hate you for leaving their mother for another. Children especially boys are congenially attached to their male parents in sometimes not so obvious ways more than female children are. You will be doing them a great deal of harm if you left cos they definitely look up to you for almost everything. No matter how big and powerful a son grows to be either physically, financially or socially, his DADDY IS HIS DADDY forever. It gives them that stability usually not found in other males whose fathers have been virtually absent. If you love these boys a lot more than your wife and friend, I will suggest you eat your cake and have it. Continue your covert relationship and marriage simoultanously. In fact it is a good way of keeping your marriage not for the sake of the wife whom you may have a dog and lamp post relationship with but for those wonderful children that are the essence of your being happy forever. The wife is an unnecessary item that is not easily expendible with the advent of good children. You can keep yourself happy that way because you know that there is always some good person to look forward to once “the wife” begins its shenanigans.

Wish you good luck but remember, the children are your essence. Don’t let some unshakable nuisance of a female appendage in your life ruin that. TAKE THE SHIT FOR WHAT ITS WORTH.

The Terrier

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (21 February 2006):

Be a man. You have already cheated your children out of seven years. ( not to mention the woman who gave you them.)

Grow up

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 September 2005):

Hi the way i see it you are hurting your kids by staying in a relationship unhappy. If your in love with her you have to think about your happines to be able to make others happy. If you stay in your marriage you will loose this other person forever you will never loose your children and in the future they will understand their dad needed to be happy. Good Luck

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A female reader, Delila +, writes (18 September 2005):

Aw! Your poor heart must be wrenched in pain

Those two lovely children

You might lose them

Don't even think about them losing a Dad

Your soul mate

Sorry

Your Hole mate

Not your whole mate

Just wait till she finds out

You've been shagging you wife behind her back

You sound so broken

Like your life sucks

Is your wife ironing your shirts

While your lover

Well

You are 41

It probably doesn't take much

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A reader, anonymous, writes (17 August 2005):

I think the most important thing a father can be is an example for his children. Children learn how to love at home, and believe it or not, children are very perceptive. Your children must feel that something is missing from the relationship they see between yourself and your wife.

You also owe your lover the truth. She may or may not want to continue your relationship but in the end it should be her choice. She may surprise you and be willing to stick by your side while you go through the hard times.

You should also get things over with and come clean with your wife. I believe you wouldn't have cheated if there wasn't something fundamentally missing from your marriage.

Something that you need to think about is this: You only live once and when you are at the end of your days, do you want to say you "settled" or lived a life you are happy to look back on. Regret is a terrible thing to live with.

Ask yourself what makes you happy, besides your children. In 13 years your kids will be out of the nest, who do you want standing next to you?

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A reader, anonymous, writes (3 August 2005):

My advice to you. End one of these relationships now. Do the honorable thing for yourself, for your wife and family, and yes, even for your lover. Get back to a state of integrity and respect with yourself and come clean with both women, at what you have been doing to them.

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A reader, Rebecca Batchelor +, writes (3 August 2005):

Rebecca Batchelor agony auntI can't help but wonder how you have managed to keep everyone in the dark for the last seven years!

I am assuming that your 'mistress' doesn't know about your wife and children and vice versa?

You say you love your children more than your wife and lover. I think you need to consider them when you decide what to do. They would want their father to be happy as this affects them.

Indeed you are heading for losing both women as I'm sure neither of them will take too kindly to being lied to not to mention the other implications of such deception.

I think you must have realised that the responses you would receive wouldn't be highly complimentary of your actions!

Further, it is hard to understand why you would have another child to add to the sorry situation when you had already been having an affair for two years.

It is time to come clean and own up. Neither of these women deserve this and you need to be honest with both of them.

If you leave your wife, you can arrange contact with your children and be a major part of their life. I do understand you having a dilemma because of the children involved but this can't continue for another seven years as the pain and upset will certainly rip your family apart.

I'm afraid it is time to come clean and only then, when the two women respond, will you be able to decide what to do as there is a possibility they will make the decision for you.

Remember though, you have every right to be a part of your children's life and never lose sight of this.

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A female reader, sally_schumacher +, writes (3 August 2005):

As a woman who's been on the recieving end of this kind of situation, i'm sure you don't really need to be told the answer to this mess do you?

You've got to come clean to both women asap and then give them both time, so that they can decide what they want to do about you and the situation you have caused! You may end up with neither of them wanting you because of your deceptive ways, but at least you wont be living a lie.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 August 2005):

Hello,

Wow this is a biggie. You've been lying to everyone all round which isnt good and you know that.

Firstly, you should really tell this woman whom you love that youre married. Just think, you've not told her for 7 years about it and led her on? For 7 whole years.

You probably do love her and I know this must be hard for you, but at the end of the day, you have to come clean if you really do love this woman. Not to mention the fact that you have kids? Does she know this as well?

This isnt going to be a walk in the park, but you have to underdtand that whatever you do, you have to face up to the consequences.

You need to think of your 2 lovely boys and what would happen and be prepared.

best wishes to you, but think of your boys, ok? x

yours,

Madison

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A female reader, Kayleighbabe +, writes (2 August 2005):

First of all, Im quite young and i have never been in this type of situation before. However, there are two points that struck me in your answer. First of all you have said that you have lied about being married for the past 7 years and was unsure whether or not you ment that you had been lying to your lover that you were married. If this is the case then i recommend that you tell your lover, she may not be too pleased about such a big lie! Also, how does she feel? Would she want to be the reason for your sons to be deprived of their father if you left your wife? It CAN work if you leave your wife, hundreds of couples seperate each year with children in their relationship, there is something else probably holding you back? What I dont understand is the fact that you have had a child with your wife, who is now five, even though you are supposably in love with this other women.

How do you feel about your wife? Could it not possibly work? You may feel differently about your lover once you are living with her. It might be a nice thrill or a nice feeling seeing your lover because you are not spending every minute of the day with her. Your situation is very difficult but i dont think that you have made it easier for yourself. If your wife knew how you felt, she would probably have different feelings for you anyway and that sense of trust and respect has been broken between you and your wife and also your children. Your children will probably find out the real truth one day and they will not respect the fact that not only have you lied to their mother, but them. You are probably trying to protect them but they are probably sensing the distance between you and your wife. I think that you have been very selfish to have been cheating on your wife after so long, something needs to be done soon.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 August 2005):

stop being so selfish and consider the betrayal you are causing to all around. stop wanting your cake and eating it. You talk about soul mates and yet i believe you are only thinking about the warmth that is generated for yourself. Trust and respect are so important and you are showing neither, not to your wife , your lover and you are cheating on your kids as well.

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