Dear John: I've been married for 18 years to a wonderful, loving, caring woman. Recently, I have been flirting more heavily with my best friend's wife. The two of us have decided that we want to involve ourselves in a sexual relationship, but all I can think about is ruining the lives of my wife and my friend. What should I do? My feelings for this woman are almost that of being in love. Please shed some light on my situation. — Bad Husband, in Denver, Colo.
Dear Bad Husband: Mature adults know that every impulse they feel in life is not one that they necessarily must act upon. For example, if the bank teller turns his back on a pile of dollar bills, you might feel the impulse to take a few off the top, but that does not make it right. Both of you have been enjoying a flirtation that you've allowed to get out of hand. But the fact that you feel this attraction for each other does not make your behavior OK.
My advice it that you both understand this attraction, accept that it exists, and walk away from it. You won't be the first happily married people to resist an attraction that you feel for a partner other than your spouse. Then again, if you follow up on it, just think of the consequences: You'll lose your wife's trust and perhaps her love. Three friendships will be broken: the one between you with your friend, the one between your wives, and the one between you and his wife, because believe me, both of you will blame each other and yourselves for what you've lost. Rejoice in the blessings of a good marriage, and don't turn away from the happiness you have known.
Dear John: A guy I met online and I have had a love/hate relationship whenever we chat online. However, we enjoy each other's company and can chat for hours at a time. However, sometimes he carries on other conversations while we are online. This irritates me! It's as if I am talking to a blank screen, and sometimes he gives me replies unrelated to our conversation. Is it polite to carry on other conversations when I have asked specifically for him not to do so? — Chat Brat, in Jacksonville, Fla.
Dear Chat Brat: Online chats lend themselves to "multi-tasking" — doing more than one thing at a time. That includes chatting online simultaneously with two or more persons. However, if he's made a promise not to chat with others then broken that promise, you, of course, don't have to take his chat request when he comes online. He'll quickly learn to respect your request in the future or lose you as a chat partner altogether. If the real issue is that you're looking for him to give you his undivided attention, try making a phone date — or better yet, a real date. Despite the wonders of technology, the best conversations will always happen face-to-face.
John Gray is the author of "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus." Visit his website, http://www.marsvenus.com, for advice on dating, marriage, parenting, romance and workplace issues. Or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about John Gray and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.