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You Asked: I am in love with my married friend

Dear Sugar--

I have been best friends with a guy for 14 years, and about 8 years ago we realized that we had been in love all that time, but neither had the nerve to admit it. I moved to another country in the meantime and married and so did he. My marriage has since failed and his relationship to his wife has been awful. 6 years ago when I was visiting my old town, we met up and realized how deep our feelings for one another still were, and I´m sorry to admit it, but we did the unthinkable and slept together.

We both felt horrible about it and I broke off all contact after that, so that he could work things out with his wife and I could move on with my life.
Last September after almost 5 1/2 years, he contacted me, telling me that his feelings haven´t changed, his marriage is a disaster and that they want to get a divorce. He tells me that he wants to marry his one and only true love: me. In all the years of separation, I never stopped loving and thinking of him, but I am also riddled with guilt, because of our adultery. I prayed and tried to get over this guy, but love runs deep and I can´t let go. The problem is we´re in contact almost daily and even though we´re not engaging in sex, I know it´s wrong to be talking to him as long as he is married. I am going to visit family in my hometown soon and he wants to see me so that we can talk over his plans. I know that I won´t be able to resist intimacy once I see him, and even if he divorces I don´t want to make the same mistake again by sleeping with a married man, even if he might be my husband some day. What can i do? I have pined away for this guy for ages, but the guilt is just too much to live with again. -- Adulteress Abbi

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Adulteress Abbi --

This sounds like a real love triangle to say the least! It's pretty clear you and this man have a deep connection, so I respect your desire to not want to see him when you visit your hometown -- I think that is the right decision if you know you won't be able to keep things platonic. Be honest with him and let him know the guilt you are still harboring from your past tryst -- let him know how much you care for him and how excited you are for the potential to finally be together, but until things are settled between him and his wife, you need him to respect your desire to keep some distance from him.

Since you are clearly still guilt ridden, have you thought about seeing a therapist? Talking about your feelings and getting everything off your chest will instantly make you feel better. Unfortunately, what's done is done, so dwelling on the past is only going to make you feel worse. As wrong as it was, mistakes happen, so try to look towards the future instead of reliving the past.

With that said, it's pretty clear that you two need to have a serious chat. If this man is in such a terrible marriage, why is he still with his wife? 14 years is an incredibly long tome to be pining over a man, especially an unavailable one, so if he loves you like he said he does, he needs to leave his wife and get on with his life. This man sounds pretty selfish, he has been having his cake and eating it too for quite some time now, so making it a point to not see him is a smart move. I hope everything works out for you Abbi, hang in there and if it's meant to be, it will happen for you two!


Join The Conversation
junebrug junebrug 10 years
You're wise to maintain space between you until he divorces. The whole thing sounds terribly romantic: long lost lovers, married other people and didn't work out, and finally came together, forever, sigh. It's a good story, but remember reality may be something else. I think you've built up a great story in your head over the past 14 years, but fantasy is always better than reality. Maybe he leaves his shoes exactly where you'll step on them in the morning, maybe he says misogynist things, maybe he's never washed a dish in his life. I'm NOT saying the two you can't work through the differences created by time, but just be prepared for your Prince Charming to turn out to be Homer Simpson -- it happens. I sound like a party pooper, but I'm a writer with an incredible, vivid imagination, and I have turned guys into something they're not before and the only person who got hurt was me. To avoid being the other woman, don't sleep with him again until he divorces. I hope all your dreams come true in this, but it's wise to check your head as well as your heart while all this happening.
ninjastarlett ninjastarlett 10 years
Good for you for keeping the space between you two after what has happened. I'm not condoning what you did but I respect the way you handled it afterwards (since the sex sounds like it was a one-time thing). If you could just continue to keep the space, I think you'll be okay... definitely minimize the contact while he's still married and definitely do not get close the second he's available if he does divorce. Tell him that leaving her for you is not acceptable... if he wants to be out of the marriage and wants to be with you, there are two separate things and should be handled thusly. Dear's idea about seeing a therapist is also something to consider.
rubialala rubialala 10 years
well said, popgoestheworld.
Alisha_Stiletto Alisha_Stiletto 10 years
Forgive me for saying it like this, but its shameful to cheat on a partner/spouse - if things werent great, you should take the steps you need to in order to end things or whatnot. Cheating is so easy and the grass always looks greener when we're miserable. At the end of the day, he's still married to her. There's NO way Id want a man who cheats on his wife with another woman. He loved her at some point and look what he did. Who is to say that you'd get better? And why should he treat you better considering you were the one he cheated with? If you really need to be with this dude, Id say wait until he's divorced so then you can see if he really intends on making you number one. Being number two is never good enough. To do otherwise is self hating.
calibabi calibabi 10 years
if he's hers, he's not yours. wait until a divorce is final, or you might be very sorry when you find out he's not actually divorcing her after all. if you've waited for so many years to see him again, a little longer won't kill you (or him, for that matter) so just wait until he officially gets out of his marriage.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
Response re: soulmates... I know what you mean about not believing in it until it happens. The guy who made me feel that way is the one I met when he had a GF. We just *knew* we had to be together no matter the cost. And we did get together. And then he went cheated on me... I still consider him to be my soul mate in a way, but soul mates are not the same thing as good husbands and good partners. My current BF is my perfect partner but not necessarily my "soul mate." That used to bother me but it makes perfect sense to me now and for me it's the way it should be. And rubialala you are right that we should be happy just to have had the experience of those feelings. To bring this back to the post... even if you two are soulmates, you might drive each other insanely crazy and not be able to live with each other. So take it slow.
kendalheart kendalheart 10 years
If you plan on being together for the rest of your lives, then wait until his divorce takes place. It may be difficult but for your own piece of mind, just be careful.
rubialala rubialala 10 years
Oh, honey, I know how you are feeling. I really, truly do. You are so right to absolutely not see him while you are in town, and I really respect that you even think of that, instead of just thinking about your own desires. You need to stay away from this man until his marriage is completely over; the divorce has to be final. Don’t even give him hope that you two could be together, just walk away. He can fix his marriage, I know that both of you probably think that the marriage is over already, but people can come back from things that you wouldn’t think possible if only they are both willing to try. If he and his wife choose to not work things out, then he needs to make that decision with her, without thinking that he has something great for him waiting on the sideline. You have to make it clear to him that there is to be no contact – and then stick to that. Then if he and his wife do get divorced, you can’t just expect to swoop in and be with him and live happily ever after. Whether or not he was happy, a divorce is not a positive thing for a family. You will need to allow him time to grieve and get over his failed marriage (notice I didn’t say his wife necessarily, but just the marriage itself) so you aren’t just the rebound relationship. Also, he and his wife and their kids (if they have any) will need to work out their new life situation, and you will need to leave time for them to figure that out as well. And if he has kids, you have to think about that as well. I’m not going to go into all of that because you didn’t mention the kids, but there are some serious issues to deal with there, too. You have waited a long time for this man already. If you think he is worth more of a wait, and you want to have peace of mind about the two of you being together, then you should seriously consider all of this before you continue. If you do go through all of this and end up having a relationship with him, you guys may never be able to trust each other 100% because of these events that took place. I would encourage both of you to see a good marriage and family counselor in the beginning of your relationship to help sort out any issues that you two might have. You made a mistake by sleeping with him, and that’s okay. And FYI, in my opinion, you two may have been having an emotional affair long before you were physically intimate. You are remorseful, and I do believe that God can forgive this. Don’t be too hard on yourself, we are all just human. I never ever believed in soul mates until I came across someone who I knew was my soul mate. And now I know that sometimes we just don’t end up with our soul mates, and that is something that we have to live with. Timing is everything and timing does not always work in our favor this way, but that is part of life. You may not end up together, and your heart may always ache for him, but just be glad that you had a chance to meet someone with whom you experienced such a deep connection. Some people never experience it at all.
vmruby vmruby 10 years
I also agree with fluffyhelen's advice. No matter what, he is still a married man!!!!!Stay away from him until he either puts up or shuts up.I just don't get why someone would stay in a marriage for that long if he is as unhappy as he claims to be. And if he truly believes you are the love of his life then why is it that he's waited so long to correct this whole situation and be with you.Personally if someone meant that much to me i know that i'd move heaven and earth to be with him and i surely wouldn't continue to stay married to someone i supposedly never loved.You also say you know that the things you are doing should not be happening but yet you continue to have contact with him which makes me wonder exactly how deep your guilt is.If you feel as bad as you claim you do, then you really shouldn't have too much trouble keeping your distance since you feel so guilty about sleeping with him in the first place. Just remember what goes around comes around so you might want to keep that in mind.....
vanyvrgs vanyvrgs 10 years
Hmmmm.... if he is still with her after telling you he wants to be with you... there is a problem. Is he not even separated? Wait until he is divorced, but I have a feeling he may not know what he wants and having an emotional affair is as bad or worse than a physical one so stop talking to him.
bluejeanie bluejeanie 10 years
it sounds like you're sorry for the mistake you made and you're trying to make it better for yourself by distancing yourself from him. this guy is either immature or doesn't know what he wants - he can't have his cake and eat it too. he cannot have a mistress and a wife. don't go for him. you know that you deserve a nice guy who won't cheat on you. you deserve to be number one (wait~the only one). :)
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
I second fluffyhelen's advice. Do NOT even entertain the idea of talking to him until he's divorced. A guy once wanted to leave his GF for me, but only if he was sure I'd be with him after the fact. I told him that he could not contact me until he broke up with her, and that if he did break up with her, it was a decision he needed to make irrespective of whether I'd be around afterwards. This guy needs to make some decisions about his marriage. Then, separately and later, you two need to figure things out. If you have waited 14 years (minus the little infidelity), you can continue to wait. It's only fair, and if you were his wife you'd want the "other woman" to be as respectful as possible.
mendo mendo 10 years
If he hasn't left her in the next 6 months, it might be time to look into his motives.
anony1111 anony1111 10 years
Sounds like you're his "comfort person" when things aren't going well between him and his wife. Didn't you feel a little used when he slept with you, but then went back to his wife anyways? I say just keep it a friendship. Obviously the both of you will always be there for each other. It's just the case of wanting what you can't have. And you're single now, so turning towards him is only natural.
sparklestar sparklestar 10 years
You tell him that once he is divorced, then you'll talk shop. You have been away from him for a considerable amount of time - leaping into a marriage with him (after he's already cheated on his current wife with YOU and it has broken down to the point he is now communicating with you daily) is just a mistake. You break off the contact and tell him to come to you when he is divorced. Until then you are merely filling in the gaps in his life where his wife is lacking and quite frankly he could end up staying with her and just talking to you if that is the case. I personally would not want to marry a man who goes off and gets married to somebody who he wasn't really in love with, cheated on that person and then communicated with the woman he cheated on her with whilst the divorce is going through. =)
traytrayc traytrayc 10 years
Don't have sex with him. Talk. I have been married for 12 years and I am lucky to be married to the love of my life. I can't imagine my life without him. I know a couple who has been married for 20 years and it has been HELL. Some people are long suffering. Time flies Marriage is part luck if you ask me, finding the one can be almost impossible. So if he is THE ONE, wait till he is divorced then make love like RABBITS. LOL
pinktulips pinktulips 10 years
whats to say that once yall get together he wont do the same to you? and hell be telling some other lady that he is in this horrible marriage and sleep around...Maybe its because he was your first love...I still have some feelings that will never go away about my 1st love..but it didnt work out so thats the end of those feelings...14 years is an extremely long time to be in a "bad" marriage so I dont think hes being very truthful...I dont know just follow your heart..but this sounds like youll just end up getting hurt
ALSW ALSW 10 years
Just saying - it sounds like he's been married less than 8 years. Not that that changes much, but still, that's what it looks like she's saying to me!
divalicious23 divalicious23 10 years
14 If yes, then maybe for the sake of his kids. No kids..well a bit strange for a man to have stayed that long. Has he slept with anyone else? My guess is he has. You should ask him that question.
Marci Marci 10 years
divalicious23 says it perfectly! And I think Dear raised a very good question. Why is this guy still in a 'bad' marriage 14 years later? Don't make excuses for him on that. Really ask yourself WHY.
divalicious23 divalicious23 10 years
honey talk it over with him. Whatever you do don't sleep it over with him. Best of luck!
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