Dear Stavroula: The Pitfalls of a Relationship with a Married Man

Dear Stavroula,

I do not know why I’m writing to you, but I’m rather desperate. I’m in love with X, so in love that when I’m away, I feel I am not alive – I’m not happy, I find no point in life. And he’s in love with me. He tells me so in words that I have not heard before, and he shows me all the time when we are together.

Only, X is married with two young children. His relationship with his wife is problematic but he cannot stand the thought that he will be deprived of his children, so he will not divorce her. He tells me to wait until they grow up a bit more. I have often made the decision to leave him but when I see him again and he holds me in his arms, I forget everything and go back. I cannot find a moment of calm; I think about him all the time. I want to live with him, I know that he is the man of my dreams, but waiting for him fills me with insecurity. What should I do?


Dear Nadia,

A relationship with a married man is a difficult, painful, and often dead-end situation, and you have already found that out yourself. You tell me that you cannot calm down, feel insecure, suffer from it, and that, in my opinion, is a negative emotion that should not exist in a loving relationship. From the way you write, I feel like you are a very young lady and I would love to help you think about things.

First of all, I would advise you to talk to a specialist so you can understand and manage your feelings more effectively. You’re in a relationship of intense love and passion, and that does not allow you to think logically, to properly evaluate your partner or the whole situation. It seems that this relationship has become an obsession for you, and that you have made your own mood, your joy, your energy, subordinate to the experience of it.

But your life also has other aspects, such as family, work, studies, friends who can offer you joy and satisfaction, and you may have to rediscover them from the beginning.

Joy and happiness do not depend on a relationship; they exist within us and in simple everyday things, as long as we have the will to discover them.

As to what you have to do, continue or separate, it should be your decision alone, because you will suffer the consequences.

Before you decide, you should think about a few things.

Staying in a relationship with a married man, you deprive yourself of the joys of a ‘normal’ relationship, such as sharing your everyday life with your partner, taking excursions, going out with friends, taking part in family celebrations, in two words, living together – getting to know each other’s world.

But how well can you get to know someone when you see him for a few hours each time, when what he gives you is precious mainly because it is rare, and when you have not seen each other when sick, in a bad mood, or tired? How can you say that he is your man when you have not lived with him?

Then you take the risk of spending years in such a dead-end relationship and losing opportunities at every level of your life. There are many single, unattached men who can offer you what you want, as long as you are “open” and do not miss opportunities, being emotionally entangled. There are business opportunities that you can take advantage of, as long as all your energy is not consumed in your emotional impasse.

Think about how difficult it is for a father to lose his children. What will happen if your partner’s wife finds out about your relationship and forces him to leave? How will he react if he is denied daily contact with his children, and this gives him remorse, anxiety, and other negative feelings? Keep in mind that it is possible he will consider you responsible, blame you, and change his attitude towards you.

Let’s assume now, that your partner gets divorced and you live together. How confident are you that this excitement you feel now will continue to exist if your relationship entered into the routine of everyday life, when you are faced with economic issues and other problems? Do not forget that your partner has two kids. Are you prepared to deal with their reactions, their possible rejection, or even more difficulties if you live with them as well?

Even if you are confident about your own feelings, how confident are you that your partner will not change in the routine of a relationship? Obviously, he married his wife because he had feelings for her – what happened to change those feelings? Did the responsibilities and the children tire him out? And why should that not happen with you, too?

You will decide on the future of this relationship. Write down all the details and think about everything with love – especially for yourself.


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