-- Question for John --
I’m 46 and in love with a married man. I’ve been in love with him since I was 18. No one has ever compared to him. He has declared his feelings in the most passionate and sincere manner. If I hadn’t known him so long and so well I wouldn’t have believed it. Of course, his marriage complicates things. I’m not interested in an affair, nor am I interested in breaking up his marriage.
A few months ago I decided to apologize for some bad behavior of mine that 28 years ago (I thought that enough time had passed and I was still feeling bad about it) that put our relationship on a non-romantic basis. After many conversations and tears we admitted our attraction to and love for each other.
No one has ever compared to him as far as I’ve been concerned. He has declared his feelings in the most passionate and sincere manner. If I hadn’t known him so long and so well I wouldn’t have believed it. Of course, his marriage complicates things. I’m not interested in an affair, nor am I interested in breaking up his marriage.
He has expressed interest in an affair (he is a man after all), but admits that a more spiritual sort of relationship is preferred and of course, he is worried about endangering his marriage. I won’t give this up, but is there really any way this can work out without ruining three lives?
-- Answer from John --
I rather doubt it. If I understand correctly, whether physical sex enters the equation or whether you call it a “spiritual” and platonic love, you are contemplating pursuing a deep emotional and intimate bond with him. This will undoubtedly encroach on the relationship which he has already chosen — like it or not — as the repository of his emotional intimacy. And his interest in an affair already completely spells out the degree to which his interest can easily move into his groin. That is very unlikely to be transcended — and very likely to come up, so to speak. I am not speaking as a moralist. I am a pragmatist. If you choose to pursue this, unless all three parties are totally clear and extremely mature emotionally (i.e. all three of you have an experienced track record in negotiating this kind of situation already), I see danger ahead for all involved.