True love or infatuation?


True love or infatuation?


your avatar   Vahid, 54-year-old man

I am a 54-year-old man. I got married more than 23 years ago and have two children with an educated wife. I have a reasonable life with a middle-class social rank, good personality, and enough income.

It has been four years since I have developed a friendship with a divorced 36-year-old woman that I have supported financially on several occasions. We have not had any sexual relations. I have a respected social reputation as an educated technical expert among my colleagues and friends, so knowledge of this relation would be disastrous for my life, even to the point of suicide.

This other woman is a low-level ad clerk in a small newspaper while my wife is a high school teacher with a university degree. I want to say that love is blind, but I deeply fear I am developing a dual personality, like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This duality is killing me! Is it a real love or is it only a foolish sexual attraction with a young woman? Please help me. How can I overcome this?


    Bob Rich, Ph.D.

Dear Vahid,

You have not had sexual relationships with this young lady. You are 18 years older than she is. This age difference is big enough that she could be your daughter.

Here is the key. You can love her, without sex, as if she were your daughter. Within your mind, whenever you think of her, call her your daughter. Make this a mental habit.

Naturally, that does not prevent other people from reaching incorrect conclusions. They may assume that you are being unfaithful to your wife. So, yes, you also need to take precautions to ensure safety for yourself, your wife, children and the young woman. Beyond that, give yourself permission to be her support, friend, and honorary father.

Have a good life,


This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.For more information visit:


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