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I am married, with a few young kids. Oldest is almost a teenager. Up until recently, I never cheated on my wife. I travel a lot for work, and was on an assignment in one place for almost 2 years. During that time, I had lunch 2 or 3 times per week in the same restaurant. As you do in that situation, I got to know the staff there fairly well, one waitress in particular. She is a couple years older than me, but divorced nearly 10 years, and her kids are older, youngest is nearly 20.
We chatted a little for a few minutes every time I was there, and got to know each other quite well over many months. She is an amazing and beautiful person. She has gone through serious hardship in her life, but is a survivor. I developed feelings for her quite soon, and eventually plucked up the courage to ask her out. She refused, point blank. There was no way she was getting involved with a married man. We remained friends, and continued our brief chats, but over the course of another 6 or 9 months, asked her to meet me for a coffee maybe 20 times, but she would not meet me. Not getting involved with a married man, it will end in tears she said.
I stopped going there for a while, but one day I went back again because the feelings were still there. I was in love with this woman. Apparently it was quite obvious, because some of her colleagues had said to her that I was clearly in love with her. I wrote my number on a piece of paper and gave it to her, and asked her to text me. She did, but still would not agree to meet me even for a coffee. Then one day, months later again, something happened, and she urgently needed help with something, and I stepped in. During the course of events, there was one of those awkward moments, and I kissed her. She was nervous, but later admitted by text message that she had also developed feelings for me, and was happy I had kissed her, but that she didn’t want to end up getting hurt, or causing stress for me.
Long story short, we started having a relationship together, and have both developed very deep feelings for each other. However, about 6 weeks after we started having a relationship my circumstances changed, and I had to move on to another assignment, a long way away. We have met up a couple of times since then.
It has become increasingly more difficult for us to find time together. I was struggling with that, and she could see it, and she has suggested we don’t message or call each other for an undefined period of time, and that we give each other some space. Deep down, I know she has done that for my sake more than hers.
I want to be clear that I take full, and sole, responsibility for this situation. She warned me so many times that it wasn’t a good idea, and that it would end in tears and that I have to do what is best for my children. But it happened. She has always been considerate towards me, and my family. She suggested ending it several times, for those reasons. I am deeply in love with her, and I know she is deeply in love with me. This will sound strange, but we both feel that this is the first time in our lives that someone has loved “me”. It would take me a week to explain that, but neither of us ever felt really loved by someone else before, even when we were children.
I am not a bad person. I love my kids so much. I don’t want them to grow up thinking I don’t love them, because I do. But I really love this woman too. I don’t want to hurt anyone intentionally, my wife, my kids, or this woman. I know she feels as deeply and intensely about us as I do, but she is stronger than me, probably because of everything she had to go through in life. I feel responsible now for how bad she is feeling. I know she truly loves me, and I really want to be with her, but I know my kids will suffer if I do. If I stay with my wife and kids, am I being fair to them? I have not been myself over this for a long long time. I am really hurting inside, and I can see it is affecting my family. I know the woman I love is also hurting so much. I know I have responsibilities, but I cannot change how I feel....