"How can I go with a married woman without hurting her family?"
Hi Ayal, I'm a 48yo man, widowed some 2 1/2 years ago from my wife of over 20 years. Since then I have had quite a few relationships, many casual, some with more than that. Many would see me as enjoying this time, but I have had enough of it. I have been seeing one or two women more frequently and was basically focused on one woman who's company I enjoyed immensely.
Recently I visited a colleagues office and met a woman there. Honestly just talking with her for a few moments made me feel so good. I met her again at a function and spoke with her for many hours. I loved her company and her, mine.
We have for the past weeks seen each other many times, we have become lovers and I have never felt so warm, comfortable and loved in my life. I think about her constantly, we talk many times a day, we see each other every minute we can, we laugh, we touch, we make love, it is all so wonderful.
But, she is married with 3 children, 18 - 6. She has been married for 20 years. I cannot let go of her, nor she of me. Nobody wants to cause pain for her, her husband or her children. She is not the victim of an abusive marriage or anything bad like that. Simply we have met and fallen deeply in love, so easily and quickly. She makes my heart sing to hear her voice.
It is only a matter of time before we are found out. I truly don't know what to do. I would think of nothing more exciting and rewarding than to spend my life with her, but how can this happen without hurting those around us ? Is there an answer ? Must I walk away from these feelings ? I don't know if I can.
Hi - Well, if you both aren't getting off on the illicitness of the situation, or the thrill of doing something outside of society's "standards", if that isn't the motivating factor behind the attraction, then it is a heart connection, which is what it sounds like. However, there are other people involved who, as you say, can and will be hurt by this situation.
When a person makes strong vows, such as marriage vows, to be untrue to those vows can cause damage on many levels, even to the point of bringing on a physical illness. That is why, if a person finds themselves in a situation where those vows no longer apply, one has to consciously rescind the vows, in order to live from a place of personal and spiritual integrity - in order to stay healthy on all levels - and that health includes the health of one's family. That means facing oneself and one's life situation, what one needs and what one is choosing, honestly. This is what I believe, at any rate.
If there is something in her marriage for this woman that is not working any longer or not fulfilling her needs, then she needs to be honest with herself and her husband about that. To go behind someone's back is not an empowered way to live or do things - it is a disempowered and unfair way to do things, as a teenager or child would, and it shows a lack of trust in herself and her own ability to take her life into her own hands. It shows a lack of trust in her own power, a fear of what will happen if she is honest about what she feels and needs. Because she and you have become involved, a wounding then, a lack of trust has already happened in her marriage. Maybe it was always there - her choosing this wouldn't have come from nowhere - there had to be other factors involved - and if a person does not trust themselves, they cannot offer true trust to another. So I find myself questioning the level of trust going on in her marriage, the level of trust she offers others and lives from. One must take responsibility for one's choices and actions. That is living in integrity. If this woman is finding in her relationship with you what she cannot find in her marriage, then that needs to be faced honestly and squarely, and addressed with her husband, so that he, too, can make a conscious, clear choice about where then, he wants his life to go.
You said eventually, in all likelihood, you would be found out and then damage will occur. Well, the damage has already happened because you both have chosen to take this path. There is nothing ever wrong in loving another person. Nothing is ever wrong with a beautiful heart connection and sharing joy with another person. However, when one has awareness or knowledge, in this case, the knowledge of a marriage, and a family, and vows given, and then one takes an action with full knowledge of this situation, then damage is being done. You are not acting from ignorance. You are acting knowing what harm can result, but doing it anyway. When doing something that is not operating in truth, then harm does result, and there are consequences to that.
Since you believe that you will be found out anyway, why then, not take the high road, the place of empowerment and truth, and come out openly and state to those who need to know that there is a situation that needs to be addressed and resolved. Obviously something is going on anyway in the marriage, or this woman would not be going outside of it and forsaking her vows. Better, in my opinion, to deal with it openly, as adults - not as hiding children - and sit down and discuss what is going on and how best to deal with it, as adults. Distress will occur no matter what - and it may mean the end of her marriage. However, better an honest distress and discussion than a finding out the hard and ugly way, wouldn't you think?
If this woman wants to continue her marriage, then what future do the two of you have anyway, except for living in a loving but dishonest situation, full of impossibilities? What will you be left with then - stalking her, if she decides to call it off in order to have the security of her marriage and family? That's a possibility for a nasty and obsessive situation. You said yourself that you didn't know if you could even let it go. This all sounds like red flag stuff to me, on your part. This situation is bringing you both love, and a kind of stolen delight, as you said, which could be wonderful if it existed in the freedom to be truly together and had honest integrity along with it. If you both feel you have found true love and a soul mate, then be empowered and state to those involved that being together is what you need to do in your life. Or, be honest with one another and realize that it's not going to be a relationship other then a stolen one and will not take the place of her marriage.
But the way it is now, it's not a love that can be proclaimed to the world as an honest one, which, to me, is something love ought to be able to do - and it's ultimately messy. Very stressful for all concerned, and can only finally adversely effect everything, unless somehow this woman thinks she can pull the wool over her family's eyes and get away with it... and if she is simply seeking a temporary respite from a boring or stagnant marriage but wants to keep her security - well then, where does that leave you? And if it is truly love for you both, then, in my opinion, that love needs to be honest and honored. Otherwise, how can it work? It will eventually collapse, one way or another.
You have responsibility here too. You know she is married. So, the question to you is, what level of integrity do YOU choose to live in, or is self gratification the only thing that you are concerned with? I understand the power of love and loneliness, but there are children involved here, as well.
If she is staying in the marriage for security, then that is something that also needs to be addressed - it's one thing if both parties want to stay together for security and family reasons, but agree to let one another go outside of the relationship for fulfillment. Then that is a clear and honest and mature agreement - it's another to pledge loyalty but then go behind the person's back who is providing you with that security and who is still offering you that loyalty.