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November 28, 2015 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Love

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I care for my wife but love another woman


I am 42, married for 15 years and have two wonderful kids (7 & 3). My wife and I had about 13-14 pretty good years before I began to realize that I wasn't really in love with her, and maybe never was. For a year a co-worker and I began a relationship. I had always been attracted to her, and I acted on it. Until a month ago we had carried the relationship from some very exciting sex to a very strong emotional relationship. She finally said the words that we should not see each other socially anymore, at least until I decide what to do with my situation at home. I agreed.

My wife and I have been in counseling for about six months, and she doesn't know about my affair. Neither does the counselor, who recently told her she thought the marriage was over. I am deeply in love with the woman I have had an affair with, and told her so during our last encounter (after we decided to call it off). She told me she loved me, also. Now my wife and I are so distant. I do not find her attractive in the least - and we have not had sex for months. When we did it took all I had to get through it.

My heart hurts badly for the woman I love. She is putting up a strong front and moving on. Even seeing other men. She said in a year, if we are both available, maybe we can try to build a real, honest relationship. My two kids, who are my world, are trapped in between. I don't know what to do. I love another women, but I still care for my wife - just don't love her anymore, and not sure I can again. I've made these mistakes, but I believe I am truly in love for the very first time in my life.

How do I keep hope that things will turn out all right?

Doug (42 year-old man) from Indianapolis


Dear Doug,

You say you care for your wife. If you are concerned about hurting her with the truth, now hear this: you are already hurting her with your lies! So why continue in this dishonest, half-hearted way? I believe it's time for you to be up-front, and at least respect your wife enough to be honest with her. Then see if working things out is the path to take.

Firstly, you must get clear on what you want. Explore your options, thoughts, and feelings out loud with both of these women, and know that although you put it all at risk by doing so, you also increase the chances of getting clear and establishing some integrity. By not doing so, you are even more at risk of losing everything.

You can always "do nothing", wait, and hope things will work out, because hope is an experience independent of circumstances. I don't recommend that. I recommend telling the truth and taking bold action.

It sounds like being together with your children is the fulcrum around which you have made your choices, and that is loving of you. However, if staying with your wife is designed to maintain merely a semblance of togetherness for the sake of the children, and it is loveless, you are not necessarily being of service to the children. Your situation is already messy, and the sooner you start being honest, the better your chances of saving anything worth saving.

Do the right thing. Good luck!


Andy Bernay-Roman

This question was answered by Andy Bernay-Roman, RN, MS, LMHC, NCC, LMT. He is a nationally certified counselor in private psychotherapy practice in South Florida working with individuals, couples, and families with a deep-feeling therapy approach. Andy's medical background as an ICU nurse contributes to his success with clients with difficult medical diagnoses and/or chronic physical conditions. He also serves as head of the Psychological Support Department of West Palm Beach's Hippocrates Health Institute.

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