Sunday, October 1

My wife will have me home after an affair, but I crave more | Relations

The question I had a very intense two-year affair with someone who, like me, had been married for a long time. Eighteen months later, I left my wife, feeling confident that my partner was the love of my life, and hoping that she could bring us together. This led to the loss of my home and much of my social network, and the need to change jobs.

My partner decided to stay in his marriage, citing the welfare of his children. He wanted to keep the relationship with me secret indefinitely. This quickly became unbearable for me and now I cut off all contact, which was not his wish. She was noncommittal about whether he intended, or even wanted, to leave his marriage and be with me openly. Her final message to me expressed that this was now her intention, but that she could not give an idea of ​​a timeframe.

I have told my wife absolutely everything and she has been phenomenally sane. She offers to keep me home, for a trial period, with a view to mutual kindness, leading to reconciliation or a better parting. There was much of value in our shared life.

I know it’s rational to assume that my partner can never be with me, but I still love her and think of her with hope. I have never felt the way I feel when I am in her presence with another person. Every day, a part of me wants to walk up to her and tell her this, for the millionth time, to try and win her over. I get obsessed with it. Another part of me wants no contact. my life is stuck.

Philip’s answer “I wouldn’t want to belong to a club that had me as a member,” said Groucho Marx. What is the attraction of a potential partner who does not commit to you? What is this about? Did you have to work hard to get a parent’s approval? A teacher you had a crush on refrained from praising him? Have you had a pattern of falling in love with unavailable lovers, those who lived abroad or were already married?

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I want you to think about your longing. Right now, you are your longing, your longing is you, you are. Take a step back. Look at it detachedly. You’ve told me, “In all my life, I’ve never felt the way I feel in her presence.” And I’m tempted to ask, “What happened to your mother when you were two years old?”

Now this may sound like a stretch, but look at the way a little boy loves his parents. Notice the attachment, the desperation, the longing: it’s all there. I guess he may be haunted by an inner ghost of that baby or toddler he longed for and longed for and sometimes had the ecstasy of being held momentarily, in an intermittent way that reinforced the longing and made him yearn even more.

The problem with what is familiar in this way is that it feels good. Sometimes people say that love feels like “coming home,” like coming back to what’s familiar, from a time before words could even explain that familiarity. You learned to yearn, as a kind of default mood for you, before you knew the words.

The love you have with your lover sounds like an “infatuation” type of love. The kind we see in movies where you’re passively dragged in: it happens to You actually, it’s a lot like what happens to a baby or a small child, no do anything, they fall into longing. But the love that your wife is showing you? Woof! That is a completely different kind of love. That’s not passive, that’s love as a verb, that’s love as action, that’s the kind of constant, committed, available, constant kindness that, if you had experienced it as a little kid, I don’t think you would. d be in this situation now. That is probably the love you need, instead of the one you think you want.

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What do I advise you to do? Go home and develop your appreciation for your kindly available wife (at least for the time being; she probably has her limits) into something deeper. Not the heady obsession, the no-one-has-had-a-love-like-ours madness you had for your lover, not that raging sea, but a constant lake that runs deeper than you could ever imagine. And that old, old scar that your lover scabbed over will heal and, rather than heal, will become memory after memory of love in action, instead of love falling back down a familiar hole. Don’t fall into the trap of longing, to be loving. It’s better, much better in the long run and leads to something more sustainable.

Short answer: don’t be interested in your lover, but in the way you long for someone who doesn’t prioritize you. Discover that part of you. Find a narrative of how that part came to be. Second, appreciate what you have.

If what I have said has any resonance with you, follow it. If everything seems doubly dutch, don’t worry, keep looking for help until you find what you need. You may also find a therapist using attachment theory helpful (

If you have any questions please send a short email to [email protected]

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