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Dear Abby: I’m a 36-year-old woman who is in a loveless marriage. We do not spend time together, nor do we have sex. For the past four years I have had an on-again, off-again affair with a guy from my church. He’s 10 years younger and everything I have ever wanted.

My No. 1 problem is that I know adultery is wrong and goes against everything I have ever believed in. I always tell myself that this is the last time, but when he wants to meet again I don’t have the strength to say no. (We have everything going for us in the physical department, but I know we’d never have a lasting relationship.)

I’m not writing to ask if what I’m doing is wrong, because I know it is. I’m writing because I need your help/advice on how to say no when you are in love with the person, but don’t want them to know!

My lover lost his virginity to me, and I’m having trouble understanding why he still wants to be with me after all of this time.

Is it because I’m just easy and he knows he can have sex with no commitment, or does he actually care about me but knows he can’t have me all to himself?

I am ashamed of my behavior and looking for a way to …

Just Say No

Dear Just Say No: You may be attracted to your lover because you are essentially alone in your marriage. There is a solution for your problems, but it won’t be pleasant. Tell your husband what has been going on and why, and end the marriage, which appears to have been over for a long time.

Once the smoke clears, ask your lover the questions about his intentions that you mentioned to me, and then decide whether to continue seeing him. He may be in love with you, but if he is, the question of whether you love him or whether he’s just a convenience remains. Of this I am certain: You are not his sex slave — and when you think you have a better option, you WILL find the way to “just say no.”

Dear Abby: My husband had an affair and a child with a married woman before we were together. They agreed to let her husband raise the boy as if he were his biological son.

I didn’t agree with it. We have a daughter together who is two years younger than the boy. They will be going to the same middle school next year. Our daughter is very sociable and likes meeting new people.

I’m afraid that they will meet and be attracted to each other, not knowing they have the same father.

Do I say something now, or wait and hope my worst fear does not become reality?

Keeping A Big Secret

Dear Keeping: Say something now. While there is no guarantee they will be attracted to each other, they should be told they have a half-sibling.

Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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