At the time, we were living in the same city. He was my husband’s best friend, and he also happened to be the husband of my good friend. They had a boy who was good friends with my younger son. His wife suffered from severe depression.

He once remarked to me that beauty’s in the eye of the beholder, and I teased him that I would tell his wife. It was then that he came out in the open and asked me not to, as she might take it badly because of her depression. He started opening up to me about issues in their marriage. That was when I had become the unofficial counsellor.

Initially, I used to share the things he’d tell me with my husband, but then if my husband ever questioned him, he would get uncomfortable and asked me to keep things to myself. Both our spouses knew that we were in touch, and his wife feared that I would become emotionally dependent on him, as my older son has special needs, and since my husband teases me in public, she assumed that he isn’t capable of being supportive.

I maintained the relationship because I knew my intentions were good, and I loved my family too much to even consider seeking love outside of wedlock. This man, however, became interested in me and eventually fell in love with me. He then said that he wants me to feel for him the way he feels for me. He emotionally blackmailed me to go for a drive with him. I thought I would sit like a corpse and he would then regret asking me out, but as time passed, I got more and more comfortable since we had spent hours talking over the phone. After that, there was no stopping what came after, and it became a full blown affair.

At this point, we moved to different countries but still kept in touch as if we lived together. He started obsessing about me. His wife then got pregnant, but he told me his feelings were for me. He wanted to have sex with me again, and overtime I started finding it all extremely disgusting, as there was nothing left in the relationship besides the physical aspect. I’ve been trying to break up with him ever since his wife got pregnant. I felt guilty knowing that she’d be waiting for him for a meal, while he’d be parked away from home just wanting to be with me.

He obviously resisted. Today, the child is two years old. He and I fight like hell day after day, but we very quickly make up and apologise.

I love my kids to death and I’m absolutely blessed to have a very loving husband who has put up with all my mood swings.

What should I do?


Dear X,

There are some points in your story which are not really clear. You wrote that this married man, who was your friend’s husband, ‘emotionally blackmailed’ you into going out with him. How did he do that? It is not so easy to blackmail someone, emotionally or otherwise, unless you have something over them, and I do not think he actually had something to hold over you until you went out with him. Maybe you meant that he made you feel sorry for him, so that you felt you had to cheer him up because of his depressed wife. Again, to clarify, did you ever see signs of his wife’s depression for yourself, or know about it from her, or was he the only person ever to refer to it? Since you were her friend, reasonably speaking, wouldn’t it have been better for you to try and mend her problems with her husband, acting as an ‘unofficial counsellor’ in truth and helping them both, instead of simply getting closer to him as a man? One could also ask why a husband would lie to his wife in her time of need, instead of helping her.

Another thing – you said that after you spent time talking over the phone as time passed, ‘there was no stopping what came after’. There is quite a bit leap between talking to someone and communicating as a friend, to jumping into bed with him. A very big leap, considering the people and children both of you were consciously lying to. I do not want to be judgemental and am merely stating the facts as I understood them from your letter. Even after his wife became pregnant, which also shows that he still had an active sexual relationship with her, and that they were continuing to build their family, he still continued telling you he loved you and pressing you for a physical relationship. I cannot but ask the question, if he loved you and had loved you for months, why not leave his wife, instead of getting her pregnant and so cementing their relationship even more, not to mention bringing another child into the world, who would be dependent on them as parents?

Years have passed since you started the relationship and now you want to break it off. I do not know what has changed, however you are obviously at a crossroads. If you are actively ready to break it off, you must do so without hesitation and be strong in your conviction. Sexual attraction is all well and good, but if it’s making you unhappy and jeopardising your family, it is not worth it on its own. You have a loving husband and children, yet this did not stop you from having a ‘secret’ life which you did not want to share with them. Are you ready to tell them the truth now, or will you decide to close this chapter of your life and forget it forever, leaving it closed like a Pandora’s box? In that case, make sure your lover never talks about it either. Better for them to learn this hurtful truth from you, than from a hateful ex. It is not an easy issue, however you were both fully conscious of your actions when you started the relationship. Now, as the adage goes, your chickens are coming home to roost – you must face your responsibilities as a knowing adult, before you can move forward.

Good luck!