Is married boyfriend having a fling or planning a future? [Ellie]

Question: I’ve been dating a married man for several months though I always vowed I wouldn’t. We met through a business-related course. I thought he was single, until our first date.

He told me that after 20 years together, his wife is pursuing her own interests in another city. She shows no interest in returning home. He has his own company here, which makes a lot of demands of his time. He goes to visit her only occasionally, though not since we started dating.

Still, I feel guilty about his wife, and worried whether they’ll suddenly get back together. We have a powerful connection and have both declared our love. He seems happy for us to carrying on dating this intensely. His one adult child is married with a baby.

Is he just having a fling while his wife’s away? Do I have to end it because he’s still married, insist he gets divorced or just ignore my unease about the future? I’m 40, he’s 46.

Guilt vs. Passion

Answer: You can’t just turn off discomfort with a tap. You have to do something about it. Decide what kind of future you want…. because if it’s the whole nine yards of a relationship you need to be prepared for the storm ahead.

His wife is not going to appreciate her husband acting as if they are separated when it hasn’t been discussed. His son certainly won’t welcome you at first.

If you have enough grit and love to deal with these problems, ask your guy what he expects/wants for the future. Should he declare that he, too, wants to be together, then insist on a timeline for when he’ll ask for a legal separation.

Your guilt has to do with insecurity about what both of you are doing, so be clear that you cannot carry on this way. You may need to back out of the picture while he makes his decision about whether you and he are having a fling or a shared future.

Question: My husband’s parents are judgmental, negative and though supportive financially, not in other ways. Last year when they were buying a property they didn’t consider using me as their realtor. They told my husband it’s because I’m not with the “biggest brand-name company.” Had they done their research they would have found that I’m with the top company.

It was insulting and I feel completely unsupported. My husband stood up for me and also feels they didn’t support us.

Because of this and a few other matters, we’ve estranged ourselves from them for the past year. Turns out they bought privately after using another realtor’s time so I know this was for the best as I didn’t have to deal with them. However, I feel this says a lot about them and their support for us. It’s almost as if they don’t want to see us do well and they don’t want to see us more successful than they are.

I just find this odd. I know it must seem extreme that we’ve estranged ourselves from them, but it felt like such a sting, and they’re difficult to communicate with.


Answer: What’s really “odd” is how much I believe you’re not saying. These in-laws supported you financially but chose to not buy a house through you. Perhaps they find you difficult and judgmental, too.

Money is such a personal and emotional issue; it’s not unusual when people feel their most important business matters should be done through neutral parties. They gave their reason, and you and their son estranged yourselves from them, despite their past handouts.

Pretty harsh. And odd.


Dating a married person inevitably reaches a turning point, or turmoil.

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