Dear Mary: I love the man I'm having an affair with but I'm desperate to finish it
I am a 26-year-old single mother of one, who has spent more years than I care to mention in love with a married man with four kids. This man was my boss in a company where I worked for five years and which I left almost 18 months ago.
Nothing happened between us when I worked with him but we got on like a house on fire.
We worked very closely and very well together, really enjoyed each other's company and had the ability to talk about absolutely anything.
After I left we seemed to get even closer although my attraction to him was a huge contributing factor as to why I left - I wanted to get away from him because I was afraid of how I felt.
We started an affair almost 12 months ago and I just can't seem to be able to stay away from him. It's like I'm addicted to him. He's always on my mind, I'm always dying to see and talk to him and he feels the same.
I do love him but I don't want him to leave his wife. I don't want to cause any more risks or lies or potential heartbreak. I just want the strength to stay away from him.
I know what we are doing is terribly wrong and I am sure when karma comes knocking on my door it won't be pretty.
Last week we saw each other every day. We know each other's families and have lots of friends in common from when we worked together, and I'm getting scared at how routine all our lying and deception has become.
The situation is nearly making me depressed. I know I'm not happy and I only have myself to blame 100pc, but I just need someone (I have lots of great friends but obviously they don't know the truth) to help me out of this mess before there's any more heartache.
Mary replies: I disagree with you that you are totally to blame for all this. This man is obviously older than you and the one who is married with a family so he is every bit as much to blame as you are.
You are really very young to be going through all this heartache. I'm sure it is all very exciting at one level and you seem to truly love him but ultimately it is not making you happy.
Apart from this man's family there is somebody else who is not benefiting from your affair and that is your own child.
As long as you continue seeing him then you are ensuring that your son or daughter is not having a significant male presence in their life, apart from your own family.
Also you are depriving yourself of a healthy loving relationship where you can take pleasure in introducing a male friend to your family and friends, go out and about together and do all the things that a loving couple can do without any need for secrecy and deceit.
You did the absolute right thing by changing your job but then fell at the next fence and started the affair.
I realise it is difficult to stop but unless he leaves his wife and children for you, which you don't want, then this is on a road to nowhere.
The longer it keeps going the more difficult it will be for you to stop it and you will have to be the one to orchestrate the ending because he won't.
He has it all in a way - his home life, his wife and children and then there is you as the icing on the cake.
Tell him it is over and then try to get away for even a few days to begin the break. In this time there should be no contact whatsoever with him.
Then take it one day at a time, telling yourself that you are not going to call or text him for that day. Keep a journal to record your thoughts - you will be amazed by what you write when you look back on it in a few years.
I'm not saying it will be easy for you but every week it will get a little bit easier until eventually the heartache will subside.
At the same time you will have to find something else to replace the excitement that the affair generates in you, so this would be the time to take up a new hobby or sport - something you've always wanted to do but haven't had the time or have been too afraid to do.
This should serve to at least provide some diversion for you in the coming months.
I'm sorry there is no quick and easy solution but you are right to seek change right now.
You will ultimately be glad that you did.
You can contact Mary O’Conor anonymously by visiting www.dearmary.ie or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or write c/o 27-32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1. All correspondence will be treated in confidence. Mary O’Conor regrets that she is unable to answer any questions privately.
Sunday Indo Living