Red Responds: Sleeping With Her Son-in-Law

Marlene in Santa Clarita writes:

I just turned 60 years young. Everyone says, I don’t look or act my age. I’m married to a man who acts his age and then some. We have never had a sexual relationship and he doesn’t want one. But I have missed being close to a warm body and we sleep in different rooms. I had been celibate for 20 years, until three years ago, when my son-in-law came to live with us. He needed to stay a few days and three years later he is still here. He is 45 years young. I love this man very much and he says he loves me. Should I continue this relationship? Does he really love me or is he confused?

Dear Marlene,

You have quite a dilemma on your hands, and I am not about to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. All I can tell you is what I see. What you do with that and the decisions you make, are entirely up to you.

First, your son-in-law does love you. The emotions that bind you to each other are very real. However, both of you have a lot of confusion and guilt regarding this relationship. Perfectly natural under the circumstances, I’d say.

Your son-in-law is content with the relationship you share. While the circumstances are less than ideal, it does seem to work for him, with things just as they are. The same could be said for you. The two of you became lovers by circumstance. Your compatibility and respective loneliness brought the two of you together – in a sense balancing each other’s needs. The living arrangement is just gasoline on a fire. Convenience, risky or not, has played cupid in your home.

I don’t see you ending your marriage in order to have a life with your lover. Equally, if you did take that step, you would be disappointed because I don’t see your lover making you his wife.

Some people around you already speculate about how close the two of you are, including your husband. That’s dangerous ground, so I would advise you to be careful. If the whole truth were to come out about your relationship, things will go about how you’d expect. Judgments will be made, people will be hurt, and this love affair that has been such a guilty pleasure would not likely survive.

I do see this relationship continuing because neither of you want this arrangement to come to an end. The guilt and confusion that plague both of you will continue as well. It’s a price you have to pay.

There is, and always will be, limitations and consequences attached to this relationship. Only you can decide if it’s worth it and if this is how you want to live your life.

Best of luck to you.
Ext. 9226

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