Ask Dr. V: Loving a Married Man

Venus Nicolino, Ph.D. of clinical psychology, answers your questions in this section. This week: loving a married man
Dear Dr. V,

I’m in love with a married man. He also says he is in love with me, but doesn’t want to leave his wife and kids. What should I do? I love him with all my heart. I believe we are soul mates and have too much in common to just give this up. I know it sounds so wrong but it feels so right when we’re together. I’m confused … I don’t want to be a “home wrecker.”
Karen from Michigan
Dear Karen,

If it sounds wrong, then it probably is. And if you’re involved with a married man, with children, who doesn’t want to leave, you are already complicit in “home wrecking.” Take heart, you still have a chance to do the right thing even if he can’t.
Let me help you with your confusion: Let’s flash forward to 10 years from now. You’ve been married now for about six or seven years. You may be experiencing a few marital problems, but you love your husband and you’re willing to work it out. Let’s also picture a child or two. You wake up one morning feeling ready to face the day. As you come downstairs, in the house you both purchased and spent time decorating and fixing up together, you see your husband still sitting at the kitchen table. Your heart flutters for some untold reason. You sense something unpleasant is about to happen. As you walk in he tells you that, “we need to talk.” Grabbing your cup of coffee or tea you sit down and brace yourself. He then begins to tell you that for the past few months he has been seeing someone else.
It doesn’t make a pretty picture. No matter how much you feel you are in love with him, or vice versa, a marriage is a marriage. You need to let him handle whatever problems he has with his wife before you can even begin to expect to have a relationship with him. Naturally, he is telling you he can’t leave his wife because they’ve built an entire life around each other together. Marriage is not glorified dating. It is an entire lifestyle. Everything you do from the time you get married is for the good of the marriage. Your retirements, your life insurance, your children, their education, your house, your cars … there isn’t a single thing that isn’t affected by it.
By saying the words “I do,” you’re making a commitment to that person. If he isn’t able to figure it out on his own, you need to be the grown up here and let him fix his own problems. If you still have doubts, grab a hold of all the affection you feel for him right now, and imagine what it would feel like for him to sit in front of you and tell you he has been seeing someone else.
Lastly, “having things in common” is not a soul mate, and while you may feel in love, you certainly don’t sound happy. How could you? It is impossible to be selfish and happy. Do the right thing and get out of this relationship. You deserve a man who is available to build a relationship on solid ground.
Note: All information in the Ask Dr. V column is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnosis and treatment, please feel free to call or email Dr. V, or consult your doctor.
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