Married wrong woman
I have been married 7 years to whom I believe is the wrong woman. We have enjoyed some good years together, as I have always considered her to be a good friend and a good person. But we have never really connected like I wish we could. This need of mine has only been surfacing in the last couple of years.
Here is the bigger problem: Over the last 5 or 6 years, I have been developing a very close relationship with her brother's wife. We have always been close and have more in common with each other than our spouses. It appears that she feels the same way I do and up until recently, have been very supportive of helping each other out in our own marriages.
Many people including our spouses have made comments about us being more compatible than anyone they know, and have wondered how we never met in the first place. In the last year, we have discovered that we really do care more deeply for each other than we realized, and although we haven't slept together, we have had some very sweet and intimate moments together.
We both feel really guilty, and would like to try to get things back to normal, whatever that was, but we are falling madly in love with each other. I have never experienced such a connection with anyone, and neither has she. We both feel that we have found our soulmate, but are trapped. To top it all off, my wife is pregnant. As of today, we have both expressed our unhappiness to our mates, but are still silent on the matter of each other. Any advice would be appreciated.
Al, feeling trapped is probably one of the worst feelings we can experience in life. Whether it's being buried alive in a coffin or feeling claustrophobic in a crowded football stadium, there are many triggers for this feeling and they can vary from person to person. Hopefully we won't have to experience that feeling too much before we die. In fact, one could say that freedom of movement, freedom from fear, and freedom to pursue happiness are fundamental rights.
But you are not actually trapped anywhere; yes, you are married and yes, you have responsibilities and commitments to fulfill. But you can be the director of your own life. You can have the life you want - you can stay in your marriage, get marriage counseling and perhaps personal therapy to get the kind of marriage you want with the woman you're already married to. Or you can trust your heart and risk everything, leaving your newborn child to grow up as a child of divorce and helping to end your sister-in-law's marriage as well. These costs may well be worth the prize - but I caution you to consider that all too often the marital grass looks a lot greener on the other side.
Having said that, keep in mind that many successful relationships have been forged under circumstances more dire than you are considering contributing to. If in fact true love is in the air, there's not much that anyone can do to stop it from blossoming. The proof will probably turn out in the pudding - in other words, there's really no way to predict the outcome of either staying or going. Your posting of your question suggests that you are looking for whatever help you can get and want to be as aware of as many options as possible. That's a good approach to any problem.
This question was answered by Michael Mesmer, MFT. Michael is familiar with several therapeutic approaches, including brief, holistic, transpersonal, narrative, and body-oriented therapies. He works with issues of domestic violence, grief and loss, relationship and phase-of-life challenges, teenage concerns and parenting skills. For more information visit his site or his compact information page on QueenDom. For more information visit: http://www.therapyalternatives.org/