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Dear Stavroula

How Can I Convince Him to Divorce His Wife?

Dear Stavroula,

I am 28 years old and he is 36, married with a young child. We have been together for a year and a half. From the beginning, when I met him at my work, I did everything to avoid him because [although] I really liked him both as a man and as a person, I knew that this relationship should not go forward. Unfortunately, the feelings were and are mutual and we both got involved in a strong relationship, with a lot of love, a lot of passion – with a love that gets stronger as time goes by. We see each other every day after work and we stay together some evenings because our work involves traveling, but that’s not enough for me. I want to live every day with him, go to sleep and wake up in his arms, take care of him, have children with him. He, despite the fact that his relationship with his wife has been problematic for a long time, asks me to be patient and not to pressure him, because he wants his child to grow up a bit, before divorcing. As time goes by, I can’t stand this. I suffer every time he goes home and is with her. I don’t know what to do to convince him to stop with this story that is not helping anyone, not me, not him, not his wife who might lose her chance to find someone else. I’m thinking of asking to change positions at work so he doesn’t see me every day and then he’ll really miss me. But I’m afraid that instead of helping, it will drive us apart and end up hurting me. How can I convince him to divorce his wife without losing him? What do you advise me?


Dear Natasha,

As strange as it sounds, it seems that the choice of the person you fall in love with depends not so much on who the other person is, but on ourselves, because everyone has different standards within themselves that determine the characteristics that their potential partner will have.

These are created by each person’s relationship with their primary caregivers. Every child, as he grows up, experiences love, as it is offered to him by the people he was close to in his childhood. And usually, this kind of love (and the feelings it evokes) he wants to relive in his adult life, as it is familiar and comfortable to him.

If a child grew up with controlling parents, they may look for a partner who does the same. If someone has grown up with parents who were distant, it is very likely that as an adult he falls in love with people who make him experience alienation. This means that he can fall in love with people who live far away or who are committed, in other words, someone who is unavailable.

Therefore, what would perhaps help you in the first instance to clarify what would be best for your life, is (perhaps with the help of an expert) to better understand yourself and the way you choose a partner. The fact that you chose to invest emotionally in an unavailable man may be something that can help you figure out what’s going on for you in the relationship realm, especially if there are some similar patterns in your past relationships, i.e. relationships with married men, or long-distance relationships, or with people who keep an emotional distance.

The other thing you may need to consider is that many times in similar cases, when the situation changes, that is, when he breaks up and you find yourself together, there is a chance that the feelings will also change. And this can happen for many reasons. On the one hand, because right now you and your partner are showing each other your best selves, you are in the mood to be together, and without facing any of the problems of cohabitation. On the other hand, because the situation in which one experiences love changes, so does everything that sustains the feelings in that situation.

Finally, it might be interesting to also focus on how the person you have fallen in love with forms relationships as well. Has he had other relationships while married or engaged? Why does he choose to stay in a relationship that doesn’t work, other than the excuse he makes that has to do with his child?

Perhaps after thinking about all this, you can answer the question of whether it would make sense to somehow pressure your partner into divorcing his wife.


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