Choosing Between a Spouse and the Other Woman

By Martin and Josie Brown

May 11, 2013 4 min read

Dear John, Although I am married, I have done without love and romance for years. Recently I met Cindy, who has rekindled feelings that I had repressed. It is like a new awakening for me! Feelings that I thought were lost have returned. The problem is that Cindy is also married, and her marriage is also a disaster.

I know that Cindy and I can appreciate each other more than our present spouses can. It would be a dream come true if we could get together, but we realize that this would cause serious complications. I talk to Cindy online several hours a day, and I get depressed when she isn't online. We communicate more every day than either of us have with our spouses in years. She appreciates me. We know we won't make the same mistakes or suffer the same abuse that we've experienced in our current marriages.

So, what's stopping me from being with the woman that makes me happy rather than staying with the woman who is currently my wife? — Ready to Run, in Asheville, N.C.

Dear Ready to Run, How about a little thing called commitment? From what you've written, you've both made up your minds that your current relationships aren't working on many levels. Believe it or not, your respective spouses probably feel this, as well.

Despite your hopes and fantasies about Cindy, there is no guarantee that jumping out of your current situation and into another will have any better success unless you first tackle the issues that have been raised in your marriage.

Remember that you once felt about your wife the way you now feel about Cindy. So do yourself a favor: Go into counseling before you make a final decision. If your wife won't join you, go by yourself. You'll get another opinion on these issues, and then you can make the decisions you need to make before moving on with the rest of your life.

Dear John, My husband and I have a big fight about once a month. During these blowouts, he'll say things like, "Why do I need you?" or, "If you don't like it, you can leave." I've tried to get him to understand how hurtful this is, but he continues to do it. — There Has to Be a Better Way to Argue, in Santa Rosa, Calif.

Dear Better Way, First of all, don't take his comments personally. I realize that is easier said than done. In truth, these words are clearly spoken out of anger. In reality, if he had wanted to leave you, he would have done that by now.

The next cruel comment he makes, dodge it by walking away. Know that you don't need to dignify it with your own anger or his tears. If you walk away enough times, he will learn that, in order to get his point across, he'll have find a way that works for both of you. And that means modifying his behavior for the better.

2013 John Gray's Mars Venus Advice. Distributed by Creators Syndicate. John Gray is the author of "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus." If you have a question, write John in care of this newspaper, or by E-mail at: All questions are kept anonymous, and will be paraphrased.

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