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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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.