QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
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behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other SelfhelpMagazine.com staff.
I am a 50 year old married man and I am involved with a 30 year old
married lady; we each have two children. We both love each other very deeply.
Though I love my wife, I am not in love with her anymore. I told her I am
seeing somebody and she said that she does not want to hear about it. The
lady I am seeing told her husband, and he said that he still wants to try to
put the marriage back together. He said that it was his fault for not
realizing that his marriage was falling apart. She loves him, but is not in
love with him. What would be the best thing to do?
This is a very common story. Two people in marriages that have lost
its luster find one another. The romance of meeting a stranger, developing an
illicit relationship, all seems so very exciting. The adrenaline surges
through you veins, and you feel as though this is the best romance since Romeo
and Juliet. The problem is that these two people are operating out of need,
dissatisfaction, fantasy and boredom. They are not meeting as two independent
strangers who meet for the first time. The relationship is based on similar
baggage and conspiracy. It is not based on freedom and autonomy.
There are other people involved, including four children. What attempts have
been made to revitalize your marriages? What professional help have you
sought to gain a perspective on your life and your marriage? How realistic are
you being about a life together? What impact will breaking up two families
have on your self-respect, the lives of your children, her children, and their
respect for each of you? Have you done everything in your power to make your
own marriage work before deciding to move on to greener pastures? Would you
be considering dissolving your marriage independent of the affair you are
You ask, "What is the best thing to do?" The best thing for you both to do is
spend your energies working on your respective marriages. If that fails and
you want a divorce, then do so. Live alone for a while. Be sure that you are
not simply moving from one situation to the other. You and your lover only
know each other in the context of having an affair. To be fair to yourselves,
you might want to get to know one another in a different context.
Dr. Edward A. Dreyfus is a Clinical Psychologist,
Marriage, Family, Child Therapist, and Sex Therapist. Dr. Dreyfus has been providing
psychological services in the Los Angeles-Santa Monica area for over 30 years.
He offers individual psychotherapy to adolescents and adults, divorce mediation,
couples counseling, group therapy, and career and vocational counseling and
assessment.His book, Someone Right For You, is available in the Amazing
Dr. Dreyfus can be reached at: (310) 208-5700.