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In Denial With a Married Man

Cecelia (Bronx, New York) asks:

I have begun to fall in love with an unhappily married man.

I didn't mean to do it but it is beginning to happen. We are such good friends for and to one another. We spend time together, talk on the phone each day and understand each other so well that we sometimes complete each other's sentences. He truly is one of the first really "together" men I've experienced -- and, he "gets" me. I finally found someone who really understands, appreciates and celebrates me as much as (and even more than) I do him! We truly are in tune with one another and we sincerely enjoy each other's company.

But, I told him from the beginning, I didn't think it was a good idea to become friends with a married man because this type of development is almost and inevitability. That being a married man's best gal pal represents a recipe for trouble especially since I'm single and we both think of each other as immensely physically and soulfully attractive.

I'd like to save our friendship before this thing goes too far because who knows what might come out of a great friendship with a great man (who is coincidentally on the verge of a divorce). I'd like to rescue myself and us BEFORE we start to play around and eventually have sex. What should I do?? What boundaries need to be set between us (and by me for myself) to prevent us from going too far?

Signed, Hopelessly n'sync with the untouchable

Dear Cecelia,

Thank you.

I have read what you have shared several times and I won’t beat around the bush with you. Something seems a bit off to me. It SOUNDS like you want to set some boundaries; it FEELS to me like you don’t.

In the beginning you told him that you didn’t think it was a good idea to become friends with a married man. You said, “Being a married man's best gal pal represents a recipe for trouble…” Especially if there is a strong physical and “soulful attraction.” Then you went right ahead with the recipe and started cooking up what seems to be more than just a friendship.

Sister, Cecilia, I think it’s time for you to be real with yourself. What you have written to us appears to be riddled with subconscious cues that you may be trying to excuse your behavior. He is “unhappily married” and he is “coincidentally on the verge of a divorce.” The fact is, regardless of the condition, he is MARRIED.

Cheating on one’s spouse doesn’t have to be sexual. How would you feel if you were married and your husband had an emotionally intimate relationship with another woman? How would you feel if your husband had the type of relationship that you and your married friend have?

You don’t seem to be JUST FRIENDS, whether you are sleeping together or not. Perhaps if you were friends you would be helping him to realize light and healing in his marriage, or helping him to find clarity in making the choice to seek a divorce.

Alas, you cannot help him because you cannot be impartial. You are not "beginning" to fall in love with a married man--you ARE in love with a married man.

Own that.

Otherwise I think you may continue on pretending yourself into bed with him.

Now, this isn’t about right and wrong and I won’t tell you what to do. I will suggest that you be aware of your intentions. I suggest that you get real clear about the choices you’re making and the impact those choices have on your life, his life, and his wife’s life. Let’s take the “OOPS” out of this scenario now so that when it’s all said and done “the how did we get here” act has already been exposed. Acknowledge your true feelings so that your eyes will be wide open to the part your playing in this situation.

Get centered in the truth and move from there.



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