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Seeing a married woman and I'm strongly conflicted (long post).


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We're only a week into it at this point, I met her on Tinder and should have guessed from the beginning she was married but it just didn't cross my mind, I'm 24 and she's 39. I found out she was married the second time and have since seen her twice more. After the third time I started to get cold feet, I'd had a really stressful day and attended a friends funeral and my mood spiraled hard. I wanted to talk to people about a lot of other issues I'm facing right now but felt like I couldn't because I have this secret I can't possibly tell anyone and I'm one to share everything with someone I confide in. I'd recovered a bit the next day and didn't feel as hopeless, we met and talked and I ended up staying with her. We had a pretty fraught text exchange while I had cold feet, I was really stressed about it and she revealed afterwards she'd had to stay off work because she was so upset.

She's in a loveless marriage but they keep it together for the kids and appearances, they both "go to see friends" late at night and come back late, so it can be assumed he's seeing others as well. Given she's come out 4 nights in one week and stayed for hours I'm inclined to believe this as it would be glaringly obvious to anyone who was paying attention and cared. I have no intention of taking her away from him or otherwise interfering, the outcome I would like most at this point would be for them to miraculously (it would truly be miraculous by the sound of it) rekindle their love for each other and me to be able to happily leave.

I've honestly never had a very fulfilling relationship, they've generally been short (<1 year) and I've never felt I've been able to truly open up with someone and give them all my love and affection, or have them do the same with me. This has been the only exception, we have amazing, loving sex, and cuddle and talk with each other the whole time, we share a lot with each other, text a lot, and I make her laugh and smile. This is the only time I've experienced this amount of affection or appreciation from someone and when I'm not in a bad mood and worried about the situation as a whole this makes me incredibly happy. Alongside what I'm getting out of this I would feel bad about cutting things off as she's a lovely woman and her marriage situation is lamentable, it's been this way for a long time and while she's seen a few other people she's never wanted to see any of them again as they weren't good in bed and/or kept completely distant emotionally. I intend to keep dating and she's fine with that, as soon as I have scheduled a first date I stop seeing her (I had one this week but it was dull), I'm not stupid enough to stop looking for a real shot at love over this and would never cheat on someone or see her while in the early stages of dating.

In short when I'm not worried about this I'm happy to keep seeing her as long as I don't hurt myself, her, or anyone else by doing so. I also worry a little about the future as I would ultimately want to disclose this to a partner at some point that felt appropriate and it'd be kind of heavy, though I feel I'm basically already in pretty deep. This situation is pretty specific and I myself would end a marriage if I found myself in this situation rather than take the same course of action (perhaps easy to say at 24 having never been married). Open to profound advice that will shift my perspective but mostly just looking to vent.

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46 minutes ago, FartGarfunkel said:

 I also worry a little about the future as I would ultimately want to disclose this to a partner 

Sorry this is happening. You seem extremely anxious about a lot of things that are self-induced and unnecessary.

For example, your sexual history is your business, especially this fling with a married woman. So wringing your hands over this is pointless.

However you should worry about STDs and her husband finding out. This is clearly not her first rodeo.

The only person you're hurting is yourself. Clearly you're afraid of real relationships, that's why you chose someone unavailable.

 

 

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1 hour ago, FartGarfunkel said:

She's in a loveless marriage but they keep it together for the kids and appearances, they both "go to see friends" late at night and come back late, so it can be assumed he's seeing others as well.

If you click around this site and others like it, you will see that most cheaters and the people they cheat with cling to a story like this. The cheater has some variation of, "My marriage is over. We only stay together because of __________ . You're special." The person in your role then justifies sleeping with them by saying, "Poor cheater. He/she has no choice but to cheat. I am helping. I'm special."

Unless your inside that house, you don't know what's going on. She is a stranger, and all you know about her is what she told you. The husband may be desperately trying to hold his marriage together, pleading with his wife to stay home every night. Or she may just be in your area on a prolonged business trip, which is why no one is keeping track of her at night.

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1 hour ago, FartGarfunkel said:

She's in a loveless marriage

They are always in a loveless marriage OP. Its just an excuse to sleep around.

Its not a problem if you are in for the same. But if you want future, there is no future there. She wont leave her marriage and kids. Over a 15 year old younger guy she likely just uses for sex. So, if you are thinking there is something more there, stop that. Go on dates, meet other women. This one would probably fade away after she gets bored with you. As she did with previous ones. So dont invest anything on something that has no potential at all.

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Don't be a home wrecker.

You have no idea if any of what she claims about her husband and loveless marriage is true. And even if it is, you really want to associate yourself with a woman who is?:

- not honest with herself

- not honest with her family

- hides you

- clearly has a mentality of "I want to have my cake and eat it too".

With that aside, you honestly sound desperate and you're hanging to whatever you find just to be with someone.

Get yourself enough self respect to not allow yourself to go into situations that are THAT bad. You can do better. Just believe in yourself.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, FartGarfunkel said:

 

I've honestly never had a very fulfilling relationship, they've generally been short (<1 year) and I've never felt I've been able to truly open up with someone and give them all my love and affection, or have them do the same with me. This has been the only exception, we have amazing, loving sex, and cuddle and talk with each other the whole time, we share a lot with each other, text a lot, and I make her laugh and smile

 

Then it's no surprise you choose someone who is unavailable and if the circumstance were to change this has little to no chance of going anywhere.  If you were to look at it this way, it's probably safe for you to be vulnerable with someone/something that has no future.

You need to address your inability to have an intimate connection with available women and not continue to perpetuate this.  Continuing in this just reinforces an unhealthy pattern.

Edited by reinventmyself
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I'm so sorry about the loss of your friend. 

Are your choices now out of character? I just wonder if this isn't related to your grieving. Grief can be confusing, and complicated. I know for myself I've sometimes done things out of character when trying to deal with loss. I think it's not uncommon. I don't usually drink more than a glass here or there, but after funerals I've been known to have one big binge. It's coping, even if not the best one. It's ok, so long as you can recognize it and not allow it to spiral. 

You might be surprised if you allow yourself to open up to someone close who you trust. I know, it can feel really hard to do that when you are hurting so badly. And maybe you are embarrassed by this. But I promise, those who love you are more concerned with how you are doing and supporting you than judging. 

Sometimes it helps to start out with sharing with those who aren't so close. You could share here if you are comfortable, or even write things for yourself only, or talk to someone who listens who is trained in grief work. 

Nothing works as well as support of those close to you though. If you can do that, I hope you do. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, FartGarfunkel said:

I have no intention of taking her away from him or otherwise interfering, the outcome I would like most at this point would be for them to miraculously (it would truly be miraculous by the sound of it) rekindle their love for each other and me to be able to happily leave.

_ yeah I don't think so... you are contradicting yourself.. Red below. ..

 

21 hours ago, FartGarfunkel said:

In short when I'm not worried about this I'm happy to keep seeing her as long as I don't hurt myself, her, or anyone else by doing so. I also worry a little about the future as I would ultimately want to disclose this to a partner at some point that felt appropriate and it'd be kind of heavy, though I feel I'm basically already in pretty deep.

- You say you'd happily leave - then admit you feel you're in pretty deep already.

YOU are still young, she is hitting 40 with a failed marriage on her hands.

None of this will end up to your advantage.. and for her, I'd say this is basically some 'thrill' due to not getting what she wants in her marriage. And she's a cheater. ( are you at all impressed?) .. And, as for you, this is all just the 'honeymoon phase'- full of excitement.. until..

One of  you will start pulling away, due to confusion, or you just won't feel it anymore. As she admitted, she's had a few.  What makes you think she won't soon dump you as well?

Someone like her, in this situation really has nothing to give you.  She's still caught up in her marriage - so is still with another man!

I strongly suggest you totally remove yourself from all of this and just be done. Stop interacting with her, stop being her emotional pillow & bed buddy.

Save yourself here.  Move on and find a woman who's truthful and for real ( not tied up & cheating).

 

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Mentally healthy people end one relationship before beginning a new one.

Keeping up appearances? Give me a break. Neighbors and her family see her dressed to the nines, leaving the house, four nights a week without her husband. A real mother of the year, leaving someone else to help the kids with homework, help them with their baths, reading a bedtime story the majority of the week. Yes, she's doing them a real favor by leading a double life. 

Do you have a conscience and good ethics? If not, perhaps decide it's time to improve in those areas so that you will have a higher success in the romance department.

It'd be wise in these cases to think of the worst case scenario, to inspire yourself to take a different path. When I was visiting New York several years ago, I saw detectives in an alley with a body covered by whatever they use to hide a dead body from public view. I later heard on the news the man was a part of a love triangle. The recent male ex tracked his former lady down with her new love while they shopped. The ex showed his gun and the man ran out of the store and down an alley, where he was shot and killed.

This stuff does happen.

So you're 24 and have never been in a long relationship? So what? You've had dating experiences where you learned what you liked and what you didn't like, I'm assuming. It's called life experience. If you find that you're not mentally healthy enough to be in a healthy dating experience, perhaps therapy could help you achieve that. 

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On 5/13/2022 at 1:12 AM, FartGarfunkel said:

In short when I'm not worried about this I'm happy to keep seeing her as long as I don't hurt myself, her, or anyone else by doing so. I also worry a little about the future as I would ultimately want to disclose this to a partner at some point that felt appropriate and it'd be kind of heavy, though I feel I'm basically already in pretty deep. This situation is pretty specific and I myself would end a marriage if I found myself in this situation rather than take the same course of action (perhaps easy to say at 24 having never been married). 

Since you're deciding to continue seeing her, remain detached and continue dating other women.

The issue is that she did complain about previous partners being emotionally unavailable. In other words, they also kept her at arm's length for their own reasons or really were not able to be fully emotionally intimate.

We don't know what their situations were or what her past dating experiences were like since she's started seeing others while married. This is bound to fail and eventually end because you intend to move on and find someone else.

She needs someone emotionally because she doesn't get that from her marriage. You don't know why. All you know is that she's seeking emotional connection from you and that will end as soon as you find someone else. 

You're right not to put your life on hold or dedicate all of your time and affection to her. 

Can you clarify what you're disclosing to a partner? That you were seeing a married woman at one point? I don't think that's necessary unless it affects your health or the health of future partners. Be careful of STDs if you're sexually active and if she's seeing other partners, her husband is seeing others and you don't know if they still have sex (her and her spouse) or whether she's telling the truth. 

Itsallgrand had a good point about whether this is part of your grieving process. I'm sorry about the loss of your friend. 

 

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