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Being Involved in an Inappropriate Relationship

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I am divorced, and after almost 30 years, have been seeing my first love for a year now who is not yet divorced. We had an 8 year relationship from ages 17 -25, when youth and distance led to us going different ways. Now we are at the point of wanting to move forward with our relationship, but I am wondering about the stigma attached to it beginning before her divorce is final and the effect on kids, friends and family. Those that know seem to be supportive. But her family (husband and two children) do not know of our relationship. I am just struggling with burden of knowing that it began as an inappropriate relationship, and because of that wonder if we will question our feelings at some point.

Being Involved in an Inappropriate Relationship

Answered by on -


I can certainly appreciate the difficulty of your situation and I do believe your concerns are warranted. As powerful as your feelings are now, thinking ahead is important for all concerned. I would highly recommend that you and she discuss the need to deal directly with her marriage. If it is going to end, then she needs to take the bull by the horns and talk to her husband. If she’s not willing to do this — then you have to ask yourself a deeper question: Is your relationship with her sustainable?

When people have affairs it is typically because they are dissatisfied in their primary relationship. To have something genuine and sustainable with you she will have to come to terms with ending her marriage. Otherwise, it will serve only as a distraction.
Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Being Involved in an Inappropriate Relationship

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Being Involved in an Inappropriate Relationship. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 21, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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