I am 25 and married. My marriage is so so. I recently started talking to a friend of my wife and mine (via Internet chat) – the mother of my 3 year-old niece (my brother unfortunately shirked responsibility). This friend told me that she had, and still has, a crush on me (even while dating my brother). She is 20 and living with someone, and explained that he isn’t as sexually active as she would like him to be recently. We then started talking flirty and sexually with each other, and she said she had just cheated on her boyfriend for the first time with an almost complete stranger. She also mentioned having a girl-girl encounter a while ago with one of her friends, while with her current boyfriend. She has implied she wouldn’t mind an affair with me. I am intrigued by the possibility of having an affair, but don’t want to hurt our friendship or my marriage. I am also worried about her– this doesn’t seem stable (and she seems very different from when I first met her, but maybe I just didn’t know her well enough before). What should be done to help her, if indeed she needs help (how would I find out)? Is it wrong to keep flirting with her (via chat) if there is probably no chance of real affair, as I’m not sure if she’s serious, or just playing it out for the feeling (I kind of like the feeling myself). I know the “correct” answer to having the affair is no, but I still think about it – I feel sexually deprived at times myself.
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Upon reading your letter, I came to two conclusions. Either a) you are a lousy husband or b) your marriage is in trouble. I’d like to think the answer is b. Many marriages experience dry spells that eventually pass with time (and communication). It’s perfectly healthy to find this girl’s advances flattering…but the fact that you can’t decide whether to sleep with her or seek help for her concerns me. This girl sounds troubled…which could be a result of her age. I think I could better relate to your dilemma if you were in love with this girl, but you obviously are not. If you are feeling sexually deprived I suggest talking to your wife. This friend sounds as though she’s attracted to many others, so don’t get too excited about her advances toward you. I suggest that you take your brother’s lead and write this girl off as bad news.