Q: I feel like I'm living in a soap opera, and now I can't tell what feelings are real and what's just bitterness. A few months ago I found out my wife was having an affair with one of her married colleagues. They're still together, and we're getting a divorce. A couple weeks ago I was contacted by the new boyfriend's wife. She wanted to meet. I assumed it was to share evidence of the infidelity that might help us with our divorce settlements. Instead, it felt more like a date. She made it pretty clear that she's open to sleeping with me, and I'm seriously considering it. Not just for revenge, but because this woman has been kind to me and isn't hard on the eyes. It could be a typical rebound, but I think she's special. And frankly, the revenge aspect would be a bonus. So do I do it? — Darrell, 42
Dr. Susan: If you prefer not living in a soap opera, then it's up to you not to keep complicating the plot. Revenge sex isn't nearly as gratifying as you might expect. I doubt that your wife's lover's wife is as "special" as you say. After all, the fact that she's offering herself to you is what's making a soap opera out of your life. Proceed with your divorce, and then, several months from now, date the "new" woman until you really know her. But otherwise, things could get way more complicated. Best to give yourself time to adjust to being divorced before seeking someone new.
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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.