I’m having an affair – well, actually it just started – with a work colleague. I have been married for 7 years and have 2 kids. My marriage is lonely and although I love my husband, I feel lost. My “friend” is many years older than myself and I’m afraid that I am falling in love with him. We seem to have connections that realistically my husband and I have never had. Neither of us wants to hurt our respective spouses. However, we are both very drawn to each other. How do you decide that it’s “love” and not excitement? How do you decide whether you should leave your partner and risk hurting so many others?
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I sympathize with your desire for connection and excitement with this colleague, but I don’t agree with your method. Affairs are poor solutions to relationship problems. The problem is in your marriage, not outside of it. Your going outside of your marriage will not solve the problems inside your marriage. Rather, going outside of your marriage will probably make your marital problems harder to solve. So stop the affair as soon as you can and find the courage to face your real issues. There is no need to discuss the affair if your husband has not already found out about it. That won’t help things. You and your husband have got marital problems. You ought to get yourselves into marital therapy. At least, you owe it to yourself and your husband to have a heart to heart with him about the severity of your dissatisfaction. You and he need to work on identifying what is wrong with the marriage, and how it can change to make you both happier and more content. I believe this is best done in a marital therapy setting where a neutral third party counselor can help you do this hard work. But some people are able to do this on their own. Figure out how you can do this for your own marriage and get to work. Good Luck, – Anne