Let’s talk about commitment: it is a big deal because it means you made a promise to the other person to stay together, which may or may not work out. But while someone is in a committed relationship, and cheating happens- it shows lack of respect for the relationship and the partner. It is human to be attracted to other people, even when you are committed, but it is what you choose to do about the feelings that show the strength or weakness of your relationship.
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I am an unmarried professional woman and have been in a relationship with a married man for three years. His wife does not know and he has a child. He says he is with his wife only because of their child. He tells me he will leave his wife when the time is right, and that he loves me. No one knows about us because we do not interact in public at all. I know this is wrong but I love him. I have been turning down marriage proposals, hoping that one day he’ll leave his wife to be with me. Am I being stupid? What should I do?
Confused, yet hopeful
AR: It is difficult for me to answer this question as there is no good answer for such a situation.
I do not think you have taken the time to consider how this is affecting his wife, she probably knows - it has been 3 years. If you did consider the presence of the wife, irrespective of the state of their marriage, and still continued to pursue this ‘affair’ then I am not sure if I can say much. There are no gray areas in cheating, it is very black and white.
Put yourself in her shoes: When people get cheated on, it causes them this pain that you will never understand till it happens to you. It scars people and makes them question their faith in love and themselves. Once cheated on, people change forever. They recover but it takes a long time. Cheating does not ‘just happen’, two parties consciously choose to make it happen.
To be honest, if he has not left his wife yet, he will probably not leave her for you. If he wanted to be with you, he would be with you now. Let’s say, he does leave his wife for you, the chances of him leaving you for someone more attractive and younger are high. How can you be sure that you are the only one he is having an affair with, given his time management skills?
No one can tell you what to do because it is your decision. (Most people deserve to be with someone who adores them, you may still have a chance at happiness but first you have to let go and move forward.)
If you ask me what makes me credible to assume what his wife is feeling- it is because I know people who have been on the receiving end of infidelity.