E. in Chicago writes:
I’m in love with another woman but currently married and also in love with my husband. She was a very good friend of mine, but it grew into something more intimate towards the end of last year. She is also married. It was a passionate experience that I believe came as a surprise to both of us. She has since moved away, but it’s been very difficult for me to get over her. I think about her all the time and would like to be alone with her again. The biggest part of me, though, wants to move on and forget about her. I don’t want to put my marriage or family at risk for this. I do feel, however, that there is a very strong emotional and romantic bond with us that I can’t deny or shake off. Any advice for me? Can I keep her in my life but still preserve my marriage?
Being caught between two people is never anything less than complicated. However, in the realm of complications, you really should consider yourself lucky.
You do have love for your lover, but at your core, you aren’t truly “in love” with her. The familiarity, the trust, and the passion you feel when you think of her is very real, but it also appears to have roots that are deeply embedded in lust. While there is nothing wrong with that, and I’m certainly not trying to diminish your feelings, desires, or experiences with her, it will help you in the long run to understand this.
If you don’t want to risk your marriage and family, then it would be wise of you to make the conscious choice and effort to move on and stop fantasizing about your friend. Be happy for what you had and happier that you got away with it. Look at it as a wonderful experience that you can never have again. Only when and if you can get past your deeper desires can you and your friend actually once again be friends.
For now, the safest thing for your marriage and family, really, is to let her go.
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