Direct Answers – Column for the week of July 12, 2004
I have been married a dozen years, but my marriage has been purely platonic for the last four. We are good friends, nothing more.
Recently I contacted a pen pal I’ve been writing since the age of 13. The two of us lost contact 16 years ago, but back then we had very strong feelings, and you could say we were in love. He lived in the USA, I in Holland, and we would talk every day on the phone.
When we spoke for the first time in 15 years, it was amazing! It was as if time stood still. We took up right where we ended off. We never met, but I am still completely and utterly in love with this man. I ring him every day.
He is an honorable man and does not encourage me knowing I am married. But I cannot help myself. When I married, I knew my husband and I did not have what my pen pal and I had and still have. Except for my children, I would leave everything I have for this man. He is the only man in the world I desire.
This morning my pen pal told me, even if I divorced, he would still see me as a married woman. His motto on marriage is “Once a Freemason, always a Freemason” and “Thou shalt not steal another man’s wife.” I want my pen pal, yet he wants me to stay in this dead marriage.
Merika, we often get letters from people who are unhappy in their marriage. The letters usually begin with reasons the writer is unhappy with their spouse, then one or three or five paragraphs later they mention someone new in their life.
There are always two questions in these letters, and the two questions are separate from each other. The first question is, should I stay in this marriage? That question has nothing to do with the second question, should I become involved with this new person?
The problem with mixing the two questions is that when we are unhappy, almost anyone else seems desirable. It is a case of “any port in a storm.” Even someone unsuitable may seem desirable.
Are you unhappy enough with the lack of genuine love in your marriage that you would end it? That is the first question, and it has nothing to do with your pen pal.
Your pen pal has answered the second question for you. He said no. You don’t wish to accept his answer, but that is reality. If you no longer wish to be married to your husband, that is another reality. You can deal with two realities, but you cannot deal with one reality and one unreality.
Wayne & Tamara
A friend of mine and I began having sex a few months ago. This was pretty stupid because he was involved in a serious committed relationship. I socialized with him and his girlfriend many times, and I don’t think she suspected a thing.
He told me all the usual lines. When it became clear they were not true, I stopped sleeping with him.
Last night I walked into a buzz saw. I went to their apartment. As soon as I walked in the door, his girlfriend screamed at me. I don’t know how she found out. I feel angry and betrayed. I want to apologize to her, but I also feel he owes me an apology. He tricked me, and I can’t believe that is right.
Alexis, you want him to apologize for what? For being willing to put one over on you, while you were putting one over on his girlfriend?
You knew what you were doing. He knew what he was doing. But you were left out in the cold. That is what you are mad about. Had you acted with character this would never have happened.