Skip Nav
Read 'Em and Weep! 49 Tattoos Inspired by Famous Books
16 Spectacular Disney Princess Costumes You Can Buy For Halloween
Why I Will Never Apologize For Being an "Aggressive" Woman

Ask E. Jean for DearSugar: I'm Having an Affair and Don't Want to Stop

Ask E. Jean for DearSugar: I'm Having an Affair and Don't Want to Stop

Hello E. Jean and DearSugar

Here’s my situation: I’m a 30-something professional, married, with a couple kids, and for the last couple years, I’ve also been secretly involved with a most amazing guy, who is also married and who travels a lot for his work. We meet occasionally when our schedules permit. Since we cannot risk being seen in public, we limit our interactions to the most amazing romantic encounters I've ever experienced in my life; and he says, the same goes for him.

My dilemma is the following: I’m in love with the guy and want even more than the meetings and sweet emails and chats we exchange. It hurts me that he never talks about any possibility, no matter how far in the future, for anything beyond our romantic hotel room encounters. It might be silly, but if he told me wait for him for 10 years, I think that I would. He says that he is in love with me and he is caring and attentive during our encounters and in email. He also seems to have a good, solid marriage, while I’m in a marriage mainly because I don't want to be a single mother. As I said, I am 30-something years old and know that my feelings for the guy are deep and real. I truly am in love with him, yet some aspect of this relationship feels very painful. What to do? Deeply In Love

To see E. Jean's answer


Ninety-nine out of 100 Dear Sugar readers (whom I love) are waiting for me to bang you over the head with the Three Mortal Floggers: the law of man, the law of God, and the law of the wild goddesses of PopSugar, and 99 out of 100 DearSugar readers will be disappointed.


Because I believe you are profoundly in love with the man. And if you aren’t free to love whom you love, dearest, what is your worth as a human being? Therefore, if you possess the mental strength to keep it quiet, and if you can find the moral vigor to challenge the conventions — a very difficult undertaking — then continue with the affair. Be nice to your husband. Enjoy your children; and stop fretting. The sex, the bliss, the passion, the pain, the craziness, the longing and the lust will not last. They always fade. Always.

To see more advice from E. Jean visit Elle Magazine and

Join The Conversation
ali321 ali321 7 years
Okay maybe you love the guy and maybe he loves you back. But don't use your husband just so you don't have to be a single mom. Seriously if you want to be with other people than don't' be married. It's really just that simple people. It's really not fair that you get to live two lives while your husband most likely is faithful to you and your children. Let him move on and live the life he deserves. Then go do whatever you want.
Bernadetteoc Bernadetteoc 9 years
People like you are what's wrong with the world. You made a commitment to this man through good and bad and broke your word. If something is missing in your marriage, then work on it. If the grass is greener on the other side, water your own damn grass. Seriously, you are destroying the gift of your husband and children and not only are you ruining the faith they have in marriage but the stability a mother and father together can provide. If you are being beaten, or abused that is something else, but just being "happy" with someone else is a joke IMO. He doesn't even seem like he's willing to risk it all for you. He's just using you and if you can't see it you're blind. If you must leave your husband, at least wait until your children are grown and won't be as messed up by your selfishness. Oh and I believe what goes around comes around. Although I pray you don't because I wouldn't wish any bad on anyone, I'm sure you'll get yours someday.
candace117 candace117 9 years
*note* The Iraq part was just over 3 years ago :)
candace117 candace117 9 years
My husband and I are both in the Army and we met when I was at Oregon State and he was in Iraq. I faithfully waited for him the entire 13+ months he was gone, and that single act of waiting has built the foundation for us to work and build upon for the rest of our lives. We can't predict tomorrow or 10, 15, or 20 years from now, but with our honorable intentions from the very beginning and realistic outlook on how relationships should function, I would say that the end of our lives will see us as much in love as we are right now. That being said, everyone asked me if it was really hard waiting for him. Well, it was, but not in the sense that I had physical needs that weren't being met. It was hard, of course, because he was so damn far from home! A lot of people said that it would be acceptable if I slept around when he was gone because we weren't married and he was so far away, so how would he find out? Being honest to a fault, if I did something wrong I would have told him the next day, LOL. I can't hold onto secrets, they burn me on the inside. Anyway, I found it appalling that people have this opinion about relationships. People are so jaded! Cheating is never okay! Even if you aren't bound by marriage! Our policy is always this - if we are tempted enough to do something about it, we talk to each other and part ways before anything happens, if at all. It's TOO FREAKING SIMPLE! I think the bottom line is, people make bad decisions. They aren't friends with the person they marry, and they look for companionship elsewhere. Then they try to make up excuses for why they don't buck up and admit their mistakes and leave the marriage or try to resolve their problems. My husband is my best friend as well as my lover. I can't tell you how many times I have people telling me that they don't hang out with their spouse or enjoy doing things together, they just work and raise the kids and that's about it...I can't imagine having such a compartmentalized life like that. I'm not here to judge people, I just think people need to be a little more realistic, try to value the right things and not make excuses if they mess up!
brown_eyed_grrl brown_eyed_grrl 9 years
pumpkinsugar70--YOU are the kind of person my heart breaks for. I don't feel badly in the least for "Deeply in Love," and I can't for the life of me understand why others here do. People want to act like it's okay, as if it's some small indescretion. I guess cheaters just ignore the other people involved, like the families and spouses and children whose lives will be affected. And E. Jean should have at least advised the woman to make sure she's having protected sex if she is going to advise her to keep sleeping around on her husband. It's not fair to bring home God-knows-what to him.
mirawilliams mirawilliams 9 years
Oh my god, pumpkinsugar. I'm so sorry you have to go through this.
vanyvrgs vanyvrgs 9 years
Wow, pumpkinsugar that is very sad but it does go to show others that the betrayal is hard to handle and as much as you think that no one will ever find out -- these affairs have a way of coming out. and good luck with repairing your marriage -- I know it is a hard road.
pumpkinsugar70 pumpkinsugar70 9 years
Maybe no one else will read this, but here goes...I was looking in the local newspaper of the town where my husband's affair partner lived. The affair ended 7 months ago, when her husband came to our door, and announced the affair in front of my children. Again, in the newspaper last night, I see his OBITUARY from last week. He killed himself. Her husband killed himself. I'm not saying he had no other issues, but the guilt MY husband is feeling right now is tremendous. Imagine what his wife, who plays the same role as the Dear Sugar advice seeker, feels. Our actions affect everyone. Don't fool yourself that your spouse and children won't get hurt. They will.
DCStar DCStar 9 years
I'm sorry Deeply In Love, but I think you're going to get your heart absolutely broken into a million pieces. I'm so sorry that your marriage is so unfulfilling. This man is not likely to leave his wife for you. Can you live with that? My heart aches for you, and I wish you could move on past this man who is using you so cruelly. Maybe if you put the effort and love into your relationship with your husband, you could still turn it into something salvageable.
gossipqueen gossipqueen 9 years
"some are still too stupid to live at 60" :rotfl: I couldn't agree more! I have one rule and only one rule for my wanna cheat...get a divorce first...
looseseal looseseal 9 years
Add a sarcasm tag after "stand up guy". As they say: birds of a feather flock together. So long as you remain a cheating slimebag, you'll attract cheating slimebags like the fine specimen you currently fool around with. As Hellena25 say: "Stay single, only mess with other singles." Hear, hear! *virtual high five* *oops, I messed up the last post.
looseseal looseseal 9 years
<---add a sarcasm tag after "stand up guy". As they say: birds of a feather flock together. So long as you remain a cheating slimebag, you'll attract cheating slimebags like the fine specimen you currently fool around with. As Hellena25 say: "Stay single, only mess with other singles." Hear, hear! *virtual high five*
looseseal looseseal 9 years
The thing I find interesting is that you keep saying you're over 30, which you say is why you know your feelings are "deep and real". Because... you think you're not a stupid flighty young person or teenager? Give me a friggin' break! Some people are wise beyong their years at 10 years of age, and some are still too stupid to live at 60. Guess which category I think you fall into? Of course it's a good time when it's nothing but sex and romance everytime you get together. Hotels are inherently full of "magic". The room is "magically" clean with "magically" fresh sheets and towels. "Magical" mints appear on the "magically" fluffy pillows... Like others have mentioned, I'd also like to see how "deep and real" those feelings are if you have to deal with the real world when you're with this guy. You know? The real world where you fight over that mess he left on the sheets and his towels stink and you don't have time to do his laundry for him? That real world? "Challange the conventions"? I'm sorry, let me pick my eyes off the floor... they seem to have rolled right out of my sockets and into the next room. In the modern western world, we are free to love who we want. We're free to get divorces. We're free to share parental duties without getting married. Unless you happen to be in one of those countries where you're forced to get married and your man can stone you and set you on fire if you decide you don't love him - baby, you ARE free. Any ways in which you're tied down was by your VERY OWN CHOICE. Also? Sometimes cheaters go the other way and argue that it's okay because "everyone does it!" Yeah, you're certainly not a unique and special snowflake. (For your reference: it's NOT okay just because a lot of people have done it.) In fact, you're infringing on other people's free choice to be in monogamous relationships. (Yeah, it's probably difficult to pull your head out of your behind for long enough to realise there are people who CHOOSE TO and WANT TO remain monogamous, but stay with me here...) Haven't you heard that thing about how you pretty much sleep with everyone your sexual partners ever slept with? So you're kind of making your husband sleep with your "lover", and he's making his wife sleep with you (and most likely, several other women as well). And your husband is indirectly being forced to sleep with the probably many, many women your "lover" is sleeping with, and all the other men those women are sleeping with, and so on and so forth. To sum up: you're forcing your husband and his wife to be involved in polygamous relationships without their knowledge, much less their consent. Who's the tyrant now? (Here, let me help you with that: It's YOU. You're the tyrant. There's no big bad conspiracy to keep you from being with whoever you want. No, it's ALL you.) If the spouse is a major ass, you divorce him. Cheating on him makes YOU the major ass. If he's not a major ass, maybe you can be truthful with him about your lack of love for him so that he may be hurt, but he gets a chance to find someone who's better for him. Either way, the other man sounds like a major ass who'll never leave his wife for you, because he only sees you as a booty call (possibly one of many woman for him to booty call). At least he didn't bother to lie to you after how he "needs some time" to get away from his wife and kids. Stand up guy. <---sarcasm As they say: birds of a feather flock together. So long as you remain a cheating slimebag, you'll attract cheating slimebags like the fine specimen you currently fool around with. As Hellena25 say: "Stay single, only mess with other singles." Hear, hear! *virtual high five*
PattyLauren PattyLauren 9 years
Wow... Society is seriously screwed up.
princess_eab princess_eab 9 years
"And then we wonder why we hear of men killing their wives and vice versa." I couldn't let this statement go by. No woman deserves to be murdered at the hands of her significant other, I don't care what she's done.
vanyvrgs vanyvrgs 9 years
I am with Trixiefire, he will never leave his wife and it appears he has intimated that to you already since you know he is in a solid marriage. Why exactly were you seeking advice? I don't care that you love him, you are lying to everyone especially your family...
Hellena25 Hellena25 9 years
Like the original advice-seeker, I am also a 30-something professional who loves the intensity, passion and romance that occurs when a relationship is new. Unlike the original advice-seeker, I'm not married. I have no children who may be harmed by my romantic meanderings and my aversion to commitment. Also (and this is a BIG "also") I never have dated, had a one-night stand with, kissed, groped, or in any way messed with any attached man. Ever. I don't mess with married men, I don't mess with men who have girlfriends or fiancees. There are PLENTY of unattached guys with whom one may have a passionate fling. Believe me, I've met tons! And I'm having a lot of fun without hurting ANYone (or their kids or partners). I've honestly never had my sex life suffer because of my policy of "Stay single, only mess with other singles" And I can truly, honestly say that I've never fallen for an attached man, or been attracted to one to the point where I'm compelled to become the third point in some creepy triangle. Stay single, only mess with other singles. Yep. Works for me.
Eternity Eternity 9 years
awesome advice. the point is that she already did it. jean is telling her how to make the most of it, because in the end, shes screwed :P
EatYourVeggies EatYourVeggies 9 years
popgoestheworld hit the nail right on the head. I feel sorry for your husband and those kids the most.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 9 years
Id like to think that people cheat because they're emotionally immature and lack self-respect.
emalove emalove 9 years
I have no respect for people who cheat...none. It's never an okay situation or solution.
ragus ragus 9 years
You said "He also seems to have a good, solid marriage" ummm people don't cheat when they are completly satisfied with their marriage... just like your not satisified with something in your husband. People always cheat because they are not fufilled... Ask yourself whats not fufilling and is this man willing to give that and everything else to you? If his wife died tomorrow... would you still want him down the road or is it the chase and excitment you are after? I don't think that you can truthfully answer that question right now because your just around him occassionally,... you know all the little ticks and annoying behaviors in your husband because youve lived with him.... This man is no different...I can tell you are living in a dream world because you'd wait 10 years for him when you got him he'd probably cheat on you.... Why put yourself #2? And What would your kids think?
lily8206 lily8206 9 years
If a friend were to tell me that this was her situation the first thing I would ask her is: Are you in love with him or the idea of him? This is such a messy situation, I don't understand how/why people get into it. If you're so very truely unhappy in your marrige, then why bother with it anymore? PS. Don't trick yourself into thinking the kids don't notice you're not happy!
Things to Discuss Before Marriage
Best Compliments to Give a Woman
Bridesmaids Pet Peeves
Why It's OK to Be an Aggressive Woman
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds