10 year affair

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I have been having an ongoing affair for the past 10 years. I am married, he is married. We met about 12 years ago…I would have been with him had I not gotten pregnant with my son. I had left my husband and after finding out I was pregnant, went back to him. My question now is that we are both miserable, we want to leave our spouses, we know what we are doing is wrong, but there are children involved same ages 2 boys 7 and 2 girls 5…I have tried to tell my husband that I am unhappy but he won’t hear it and thinks we can make it over this so called “hump”…we have done counseling together and seperate. My husband is very co-dependent, I am not. I just don’t know how to do this and it is consuming my life and starting to drive me crazy!! Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

A: Neither you nor your lover have given your marriages a chance. You started this when you were only in your twenties. Your spouses haven’t had your full attention and love for 10 years. It makes sense to me that your marriages aren’t working. Maybe your husband is “co-dependent.” Maybe it’s more that he’s in your marriage 100 percent and you’re not.

With four young children involved, my vote is that you give counseling another try. For the kids, the breakup of their families is an enormous loss. For all the parents, raising four children in what could ultimately be three different households would be very, very hard on everyone – especially if the adults are furious with each other. But counseling can only work if the counselor knows what’s going on. My guess is that you haven’t told your husband or your counselor the truth.

I hope you and your lover will each take a look at why you have stayed married and built families with people you aren’t willing to commit to. I’m concerned that if you don’t, you’ll find yourself in the same situation if the two of you leave your spouses to get together. As painful as the present situation is, it may be that there is a good but hidden reason why you have each maintained this double life.

I wish you all well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 2 Jul 2009

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). 10 year affair. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 1, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/07/02/10-year-affair/