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We've been having an affair for 5 years but we won't leave his family for me - how do I move on?

Tagged as: Breaking up, Cheating, Forbidden love, Marriage problems, The ex-factor, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (8 May 2007) 9 Answers - (Newest, 6 January 2008)
A female United Kingdom age 30-35, anonymous writes:

Help, I'm in love with a man whos 18 years older than me (I'm 28 now) whos married (unhappily) and has 2 kids (both now over 20 years old). We've been together for 5 and a half years. I understand he can't leave her because it will hurt so many people (his kids, his parents, brother etc.). So I try to keep things cool between us, it really has been a rollercoaster of a ride to say the least over the years but at the end of the day I love him and he loves me...it has got to the point where I can't bear the thought of life without him, he is my whole world...he is what mades me tick, makes me confidant, strong and sooooo happy, I could give you a whole list!

I know I have to shake him out of my head but he's my dear friend as well as a wonderful lover, I confide in him and he gives me such fantastic advice, I wouldn't be here today with a great job and prospects if it wasn't for him!

What can I do? I want to move on but I love him? Everybody thinks I'm single and they wonder why I don't have a bf...I couldn't possibly look at another man when, to my mind, he IS my mr right!!

Help :(

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (6 January 2008):

Being in the same position, ie. having been in an affair with a married man for 4+ years on and off, and having finally tried to take the step of making the break (he recently confirmed he won't leave until his daughter's at university and plans to "muddle on"!), I've been finding things very difficult and don't know how to get over him - anger, forgiveness, ignoring him, whatever - particularly as he works within a few feet of me at the office, and we used to email each other all the time about all sorts of things, so I miss the chat too. I'd just like to say thanks to everyone for their answers - I think it's given me more strength to try to move on.

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

Take it from someone who did the same for 10 years - get out of it right now. The guy I knew always always used the kids as the excuse and I thought he was my world. I took so much humiliation and constant let downs from him (missed dates because something happened at home) His wife found out and he had an open door to walk away from her - but he chose to stay. Please understand that you have low self esteem to be accepting second place like this. Its an easy trap and he has you right where he wants you - feeling weak and waiting on the 'crumbs' of time he is able to afford you while his family gets the full 3 course meal. You are 28. You have time. Please do not end up going on and on playing the lady in waiting - you could end up childless through your 30's if you're not careful. I am so glad I got out - it took the love of a single, available and very decent, loving man to show me what a proper, healthy relationship is. My self esteem is now back on course. You will look back and feel sorry for him in time. When you end it, he will actually be the loser and try and claw you back (just watch) but be strong - you are currently the third leg of the three legged stool of his marriage - propping it up. Please move on - there is a great world of truly available men out there !!!!!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (13 May 2007):

This also happened to me...I was in it for 9 years...His wife caught us many times...and He would always say he had one foot out the door...Never happened....no matter how many times she caught us .... He always stayed...the kids - the business whatever....always an excuse...finally he actually stopped calling me when we got got again...and this time he didn't call me or come see me for over a year...I cried and tore my hair out and thought I would never get over him...but I did..took me 2 years..he came back to say hello...and I felt nothing for him...and now I feel sorry for him...I am currently not in a relationship and haven't been in one since he and I broke up...and I am alone but not lonely - so if he hasn't left..he won't...turn your back and move on...it'll take time..but you will get over it..I promise you will...

Hang in there..

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A female reader, eyeswideopen United States +, writes (9 May 2007):

eyeswideopen agony auntYou are wasting valuable time with this sordid affair. Years down the road as you sit by yourself staring at the phone, He's going to be cuddled up on the couch with his wife looking at pictures of their wonderful grandkids. You'll have nothing except regrets for a wasted life.

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A male reader, eddie Canada +, writes (9 May 2007):

eddie agony auntYou paint a picture that is aimed at justifying poor choices, yours and his. All the feelings this affair brings you are really irrelevant because they were never yours to enjoy in the first place.

I'll use this scenario, from another reply again....you stole a car 5 years ago. You really enjoy it. It's a convertible and it's fun to drive in the summer, especially to the beach. One day the police stop you and they find out it's stolen. You argue that you really liked it and couldn't stop yourself from taking it form the young women who worked day and night, saving her money to buy it. You just had to have it because "YOU" felt your needs were more important than the rightful owner's needs. So you figured your reasons for stealing the car form the young women were justified. After all, you deserved a nice car too.

Guess what? You do deserve a nice car, if you earn the money to buy it. Your "lover" has a wife and kids. What do they deserve? He's not your "Mr. Right" He's not yours. You are not "entitled" because you desire. They are not the same thing or even related.

I don't distinguish between the married person and the lover either. You're both in a rotten situation. He's breaking his vow to his family and you're breaking a moral obligation that we should hold toward society in general. Get out of this situation and take the right path.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (9 May 2007):

If his marraige was unhappy and his kids grown up and he truly loved you - he would have already left.

You bein used gal.You just need to see it.If you happy to remain his mistress - ok - up to u.But he aint goin leave for u.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 May 2007):

Yeah, yeah, these married men: they're all unhappy with their marriage and can't possibly leave because it would hurt their children, parents, wives, the dog, etc.

Meantime, he gets the benefits of being married (I feel sorry for his wife and kids, frankly) and you at his beck and call. Lady, he's married! he's betraying his wife and children and wasting your time by tying you up for five years - with your agreement, of course - so that you are not free to move on and find another man equally wonderful who really will love and value you for who you are.

Not to mention that you are acquiesing in his cheating, and cheating yourself out of a good future!

Take a clear, hard look at this, and make an informed, rational decision to bid him a permanent sayonara - no more contact! THAT's how you move on!!

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A male reader, sleepyhollow American Samoa +, writes (9 May 2007):

Words of Wisdom:

Most men who cheat on their marriages say their marriages are unhappy. And instead of trying to make their marriage happier, they're off telling their sob story to a younger woman, ostensibly to try and cheer up, but really all they're doing is trying to get some on the side.

In other words, you may not want to hear it, but you're the side dish, and you may even be a delicious side dish for all I know... but he isn't going to leave his family for you, ever. And even if he did, I'd recommend that you don't take him, because once a cheat, always a cheat, and he'll find himself in another so-called unhappy marriage, and he'll find another dish to tell his sob story to.

In other words, he's playing you. He has been playing you for five years. Dump him and move on. If he persists, threaten him with a restraining order... and public humiliation.

Really, you should be angry at him. He's been cheating on his wife with you, and in a sense, he's been cheating on you with his wife. And if he's told you that he and his wife haven't had sex in years, he's probably lying - else his wife would've wised up to the fact that he was having an affair, and taken him for half of everything that he has.

Move on. Dump him and stay single for six months. Reestablish your old friendships with other women your age and go out and enjoy life. It'll be hard at first, but just imagine that you won't have to hide your relationship anymore from your friends. No more lies. No more secrecy. No more being alone in the dark while he's off with his family doing all the things you want to do with him.

No, really - you should be angry that he's stolen from you five important years of your life.

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A female reader, Cateyes United States +, writes (9 May 2007):

Cateyes agony auntIf he was your MR. Right, he would be there...plain and simple. I have been in your shoes and said the exact same thing about someone I too have cared so deeply for and thought HE was MY MR. RIGHT. Unhappy or not, he more then likely will not leave her or I would have thought he would already be with you just because you mentioned the kids are all grown. (because that's the #1 thing they say, then there unhappy) All the other excuses, are just that, excuses. Ok...so he helped you get a great job, thank him and move on. Don't stop living your life...you WILL meet that special someone who will place you FIRST in his life and even have a family of your own. You ARE wasting your time and I am so sorry to tell you this because I know it hurts more then anything to hear it, BELIEVE ME, I do!!! Stop all calls, emails, texts, you name it and do things for you, do things that make you happy...and meet new friends...take a vacation with your girlfriends and have some FUN!!! Go back and remember what THAT was like...it will take time to get over him, I know 5 yrs is a long time, BUT, do you want to go another 10 and have nothing? If you ever need to talk, I am here for you. Good Luck and I will pray you will do the right thing!!! Take Care.

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