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Thread: I'm in love with a woman who is not my wife. What should I do?

  1. #1

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    I'm in love with a woman who is not my wife. What should I do?

    Hello. I am deeply in love with someone else who does not feel the same way about me. For the long story, please read below.

    Year 1: A few years ago, halfway through a masterís degree, I had to quit school and work because I came down with panic and anxiety attacks. Some time after leaving school, a friend of mine told me about a seminar she attended. You just needed to apply and, if selected, they would give you an all-expenses paid trip to the US to attend. I applied and got it.

    Thatís where I first saw her. She was from Japan and her name was Manami. She gave me stomach butterflies from the very start and was very nice and fun to talk to. She did tell me that she had a boyfriend, but she did not seem too happy about that.

    At some point I told her that I intended to spend one day at Disneyland and she agreed to come with me. When we went, she asked to hold my arm while we went through one of the rides and did a couple more things that I thought might be flirting. So at the end of the first night, I told her I wanted to show her some of my music (Iím an amateur musician) and she came to my room. We had a very deep conversation that night and finished at like 3 AM. However, I did not try anything, because she had a boyfriend.

    We said good-bye to each other a couple days after that. She promised me we would be long-term friends. I realized I was in love with her. And she gave me the spark I needed to retake control of my life.

    She and I exchanged some emails through the rest of the year. In one of them she told me about her breakup. The spark grew into a flame.

    Year 2: One day, in February, I saw her online and I said hi. This led into an awesome phone conversation. This happened a couple more times, always resulting in an awesome talk into the late hours of the night. I still felt in love and I had to do something.

    I formulated a plan: I would spend the summer learning her favorite song (a K-Pop tune she showed me in California) and recording a cover version in a professional studio. Then I would give it to her as a gift and confess my feelings over a video call.

    This actually happened and I could tell she was really excited and touched. Then I told her about my feelings for her and, believe it or not, I asked if she wanted to be my girlfriend (I know, way too aggressive). She replied, that if I lived in the US itíd be an immediate yes, but since I didnít, she asked for a few days to think about it.

    Thatís where it all went downhill. After a few days I asked if she had a decision, and she gave me a vague answer of not being sure yet. Later, she stopped responding. Then I realized it: I had alienated her and I had probably lost her trust and friendship.

    I prepared some gifts for her and sent them along with a letter to her college mailbox. It was basically me apologizing for what had happened and asking if friendship was still available. She sent me a brief message on FB thanking me for the gifts and saying that friendship was still on. However, my next email went unreplied. I seriously thought chances were that, despite her assurances to the contrary, the friendship was done.

    Year 3: One day, a massive earthquake hit my city. I received a message from her. She seemed really scared and was asking me to please give her a sign that I was well. I was very happy to know that she still cared enough for me to ask about my well-being. This was how we resumed contact.
    Some time after that, she broke some very impactful news: she had been accepted at a graduate program at Harvard. I was happy for her but also a little troubled. I felt jealous of the super smart and accomplished men that would surely pursue her.

    In October, I wrote saying I was going to visit NYC for the first time on Thanksgiving and asked her if she wanted to hang out with me during those days. She came back saying yes, she would love to spend that evening with me!

    Seeing her again was like a dream come true. After dinner we went back to my hotel room: I told her I had a surprise: I wrote my first English language song inspired by her. She was so touched that she was actually in tears. Then I asked her if I could kiss her. She said yes, so I did. We spoke some more and then she went back to her hotel room.

    Weíd agreed to meet the next day (before she took her train back to Boston). It took 2 or 3 calls before she picked up the phone. She told me she was going out with friends to sightsee and that I was welcome to join. I did, but something had changed. I felt that she was not too happy to see me. Maybe she just wanted to hang out with a friend the night before. Instead, I just treated her to an overwhelming display of emotion and drama. Again, I felt Iíd blown it. I sent her a few emails after that. Most went unreplied.

    Year 4: In April, I received a call from an international business school in Boston that saw the results of my GRE test and were interested in interviewing me. After the process, they made their offer: 40% scholarship to join that September. I took it and started fantasizing of the day Iíd break the news to ManamiÖin person.

    The meeting was disappointing to say the least. She did not seem to care much for the fact that we were living in the same city. However, we later had a follow up meeting for dinner and drinks and it was loads of fun.

    Towards the end of December, I asked her out for dinner and she did not reply. I went back to being all depressed about it and thought again that things had not quite been the same after New York. I beat myself up over this to no end.

    Year 5: I saw Manami only a couple of times before the end of my one-year MBA. Both times, she was polite, but somewhat distant.
    Then, I met my now wife. We met during a networking event and started dating. When I could see the moment to start a relationship getting closer, I thought that it might make sense to get closure with Manami before moving on. I contacted her again and she told me she was in Texas finishing an internship. I offered to visit.

    At first she seemed excited at the prospect. But then I started receiving weird messages. First she said that she would not have the whole weekend to spend with me. The third time she sent a message along those lines, I just let it go. I would just move on to my new relationship. Later, I got married.

    Year 6: I was browsing facebook one night and looking at peopleís comments on the wedding photos. Soon enough I saw one from her. Weeks later, for the first time in her life, she sent me a message without me contacting her first, congratulating me. Some time later, she asked me out for drinks. This was too tempting so I said yes.

    The conversation was weird. She started telling me about a married boss of hers that tried to take her to bed and she resisted. Then she said things like ďIím very liberal, I donít care for that ring in your handĒ. At some point, after too much drinking, I tried to kiss her. I know, despicable, but please donít judge me.

    She kissed back for a second, but then she pulled back. I tried a couple of times more, but she would not let me. She even made fun of me saying ďif I resisted my boss, what makes you think Iíd let you do it?Ē. I apologized for insisting and we kept on talking as if nothing happened.
    I felt really bad the following morning and did not tell my wife. I decided it would be unwise and unethical to call Manami again and made a very sincere commitment to myself to not do it again.

    Years 7, 8 and 9: The following year, towards the end of the winter, I again was tempted and I called her. Maybe I just missed the adrenaline rush she usually gave me, I donít know. The first time, she seemed pretty distrustful. However, we met a few more times over the next couple of years and they went well. It think I managed to regain some of her trust, but not all. After a couple years, she moved to NYC to take a job offer.
    A few weeks ago, when I texted, she told me that she ran into some visa problems that may or may not be resolved. I offered to go see her in NYC to take her out for dinner to help her forget her problems for a while. Although the situation ended up being resolved, we still kept the dinner appointment.

    The evening started out very well. We had a pretty nice conversation but I realized at some point that this could not continue. I realized that this was going absolutely nowhere. I reminded myself of how unethical and unfair to my wife this was. But most importantly I understood that was still pretty much in love with her.

    So I told her that I felt this was the second to last time we would see each other because there was just one more thing that I wanted to do with her (taking her to a concert, but I didnít say that). I also told her that, unfortunately, I still loved her and that I didnít quite know why.
    I expected her to be surprised, but she wasnít. She told me about this guy sheíd been in love with for many years, in silence, for fear she would be rejected. She told me she knew exactly what it felt like. She said she had recently decided it was in her best interest to let that fixation go and maybe I should do the same with regard to her.

    She also said that she felt guilty, because maybe she had let this story go on for too long and that the reason she had is that I have a special place in her heart, just like I told her she had a special place in mine. And she said that if I needed one last meeting to get proper closure, she would be glad to give it to me. She said that day sheíd give me all the time I needed to make sure I got closure and moved on. We agreed to meet one last time, in a few months. Then we parted ways.

    Trying to end it as soon as possible, I sent her an email telling her that I would like to have that last conversation before the year ends and I proposed a few dates. She says sheíll respond today, but Iím dreading now that she may have said it just to evade the situation and that maybe her intention is to just disappear like she did a couple times in the past.

    But I do feel I need this conversation. Thereís so many things Iíd like to ask her. Iíd like to know why I tried my best for years, but failed miserably. And many, many other things.

    My problem / question:

    How do I get rid of my feelings?? This is unfair to everyone involved, most importantly my wife. I keep reading stories online of men and women who love someone who is not their spouse (many times, unrequitedly). I thought I had matured but here I am, where I was in my early 20ís, begging her to spend time with me and fearful to even look at my phone or email for fear of not seeing her reply. I should just move on, but I really feel I need that last conversation just to be able to tell her everything I need to say. I feel like a freaking teenager. Itís shameful.

    So please, tell me, how can I deal with this situation and just let her go and move on? Could it be the case that Iíll never get over it and be in the ridiculous situation of being lovesick even though I am married to a wonderful wife?

    Thank you very much in advance for any advice that you think would be useful.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Are you trying to relive lost youth?

  3. #3
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    "I'm in love with a woman who is not my wife. What should I do?"
    - Stop doing it.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Pablo360
    Thank you very much in advance for any advice that you think would be useful.
    I think you need to realize, not theoretically but ACTUALLY REALIZE, that you're acting like a fool.

    I suggest you tell your wife what you've been doing for the last few years, behind her back. Then tell her how you plan to meet up with Manami again before the year is out. Your wife will put things into perspective for you.

    I'm serious. These things just fester in secrecy.

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  6. #5
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    Look, I understand the saying "love is blind" is true for a reason, but I think you've been blind about this situation for WAY too long. Nine years??!! This woman is obviously beautiful and charming and this whole time she's completely had you wrapped around her little finger. But I'm sure in nine years she has been seeing other guys or flirting with other guys too and leading them on just like she did with you. Maybe even playing games with her boss. Make no mistake here, if she's been willing to string you along for NINE years, I'm sure she's been capable of also doing it to other men. She probably just never told you about other guys because then she would have lost her loyal admirer. She knew she could play you like a fiddle, and play you she did.

    Sorry but you are completely deluded and have been for the past nine years. You've had very clear signs the whole time from this woman that she doesn't feel the same about you. Even if not for the fact that in nine years nothing actually happened. She wasn't even into kissing you because you only kissed her twice in nine years and you were forcing those kisses upon her and she pulled away. She never wanted to date you and many of your messages went unanswered. These are all very clear signs of romantic disinterest and I don't know how you couldn't see them.

    Look, I really do understand. I was madly in love and addicted to a guy for two years. I was so fixated on him and we were actually lovers, but he didn't want to date me. He was seeing other women and I tried to end it many times. Eventually I deleted him on everything and stopped talking to him. When I found out he had a serious girlfriend though, it hurt sooo much that I swallowed a bunch of pills and tried to kill myself. But I lived and I blocked that guy on everything and never contacted or spoke to him ever again. This was six years ago and I moved on and had two other serious relationships. Now I'm genuinely really in love with my partner and engaged to be married.

    The reason why I told you this story is because you need to understand how important it is to make a conscious effort to move on. This woman is also not your real friend because she's just been using you all these years. A real friend would just tell you straight away: "Sorry, I'm not into you and nothing will happen" and allow you to move on. You should have deleted and blocked her many years ago because this isn't even a friendship. You are completely obsessed and addicted to this woman and it's gone on for almost a decade. I'm sorry but that is really messed up!

    Why did you actually bother to get married if you don't love your wife? You are being extremely selfish because you're lying to her and cheating on her emotionally and even physically through kissing. You are also just using your wife to get over the other woman, but yet you haven't even made any effort at all to get over her.

    So I guess the question is what now? You can't change the past, but you can change the future. I think you really need to find peace within yourself and just accept once and for all that this woman doesn't love you and nothing will ever happen. Then say goodbye and delete and block her. NEVER contact her ever again. You can try to focus on your wife and fixing your marriage, but if you don't love her, is there really a point? I feel like your wife has just been an innocent pawn in all of this and she doesn't deserve any of this.

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    I think you are missing a big part of what was going on here. In Japanese culture, it's not polite to tell someone "no," or to turn someone down. Manami could not tell you to leave her alone or to break things off. This is why her answers seemed vague to you or why you wouldn't hear from her until you texted her. If you were Japanese, you would understand that she was turning you down. The story about her boss in a good example of what happens in Japan. A lot of bosses will push themselves onto young women, especially by using their position of authority, and a young lady has to be diplomatic in rebuking their advances and to not lose her job at the same time. She basically equated what you have been doing to her for 9 years to the scenario with her boss.

    Look, the bottom line is she doesn't love you. She never loved you. She was only being polite as her culture dictates. In the US, and I'm sure in your own country, women are somewhat more direct although there are still instances where they don't speak their minds in a relationship. But Manami was only being polite to you and you should stop forcing yourself on her and give your wife the respect she deserves instead of trying to cheat on her.

  8. #7
    Super Moderator annie24's Avatar
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    I think you are missing a big part of what was going on here. In Japanese culture, it's not polite to tell someone "no," or to turn someone down. Manami could not tell you to leave her alone or to break things off. This is why her answers seemed vague to you or why you wouldn't hear from her until you texted her.
    good point - I've heard this from other Japanese people as well. Even if they do not like you at all, they will not tell you that.

    My advice that I hope you find useful is to really decide if you want to make things work with your wife or not. The truth is that monogamy is difficult, even in the best circumstances, and even if you are married to the most beautiful and wonderful wife, your eyes will eventually stray. The key is if you want to work on your marriage and work through this or if you want to throw in the towel. If you are no longer interested in being with your wife, then leave her. Go to counseling, figure out your feelings. If you want to be with your wife, then put this woman out of your head and go to marriage counseling so you can work out whatever you need. What isn't fair is to have these fantasies about a long-lost crush while there is a real-life woman at home who is your wife.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DanZee
    I think you are missing a big part of what was going on here. In Japanese culture, it's not polite to tell someone "no," or to turn someone down. Manami could not tell you to leave her alone or to break things off. This is why her answers seemed vague to you or why you wouldn't hear from her until you texted her. If you were Japanese, you would understand that she was turning you down. The story about her boss in a good example of what happens in Japan. A lot of bosses will push themselves onto young women, especially by using their position of authority, and a young lady has to be diplomatic in rebuking their advances and to not lose her job at the same time. She basically equated what you have been doing to her for 9 years to the scenario with her boss.

    Look, the bottom line is she doesn't love you. She never loved you. She was only being polite as her culture dictates. In the US, and I'm sure in your own country, women are somewhat more direct although there are still instances where they don't speak their minds in a relationship. But Manami was only being polite to you and you should stop forcing yourself on her and give your wife the respect she deserves instead of trying to cheat on her.
    Great insight. For six years, I worked for a Japanese company, for Japanese bosses, in a Japanese business culture. It is true that there is an aversion to a direct "no" response.

    On the other hand, Manami did keep meeting him when she could have used the distance to her advantage. NOT THAT I AM ENCOURAGING HIM!!

    It is his responsibility to draw the line here.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member itsallgrand's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like you like being single. Whatever the culture, there was never interest here on her part beyond when she wanted it. Some things are universal. Rather telling she only reached out once you stopped and were going to be married.
    Round and round, it's never gone anywhere and never will. That's the appeal. You never had to commit to a real warm woman who wanted you. And now that you are married, you still can't.

    You don't even know Manami. She's barely an acquaintance. You don't love her. You love being able to retreat to the fantasy. To not face reality.

    What do you do? Be real. Face reality. See Jibraltras post.

  11. #10
    Super Moderator annie24's Avatar
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    On the other hand, Manami did keep meeting him when she could have used the distance to her advantage.
    I totally understand. For years, I was in love with this guy whom I dated briefly but he broke up with me when I moved away for college. We kept in touch, sometimes he was flirty, sometimes he was cold. Sometimes he would put the moves on me when I was back in town, other times he would say, "what are you doing, we are just friends?" This went on for years and tore me apart. Finally I rejected one of his advances and I basically never heard from him again. I was just upset at the games and the push and pull and couldn't do it anymore. I wanted to talk to him and he never responded. So that's that. It made me realize that he was just sort of using me for comfort/entertainment, but hadn't put any effort into us being in a serious relationship. I would have totally married him had he asked, and he was more treating me like a FWB. So there was a pretty big discord there.

    I think it is a bit the same here - despite her staying in contact with you, I don't think that her feelings come anywhere close to what you feel for her. For you, this might be a deep love, for her, this is a hobby, passing interest.... just my impression. I think you need to focus on your wife and what you have that is real with her. People can get sucked into the fantasy, especially when things with your own wife at home can be boring (jobs, bills, auto repairs) but your wife is real.

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