Wants First Love and Hubby, Too

Q: I am a 52-year-old woman who has been happily married 30 years. But my first love, who I never got over, has returned. I have been seeing him for a year. We are in love with each other, but we will not leave our partners - till death do us part. Now we only talk daily on the phone, and I have not seen him at all this past year. He wants to, and so do I, but we know it's best not to. I know I need to stop this, but I just don't have the courage. What do I do? -- Nancy, 52

Dr. Susan: I don't know if it's courage you lack so much as rationality in regards to this one issue. Someone semi-new, someone who you loved long ago so that he seems familiar and safe, is tailor-made for an affair. You say you never got over him, but I don't know what that really means: you were happily married for 30 years, so you certainly did get over him. There are plenty of old lovers lurking around that any of us might feel a renewed spark for, but to destroy our lives over them, to cause our mates unimaginable pain? That's just dopey. I would suggest you tell your old lover that you need to stop speaking to one another, as that only aggravates your mutual frustration. You're playing a masochistic game that is keeping you from living your real life. We all have to make choices. I hope you make a smart one.

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