How do I manage my wife and my new true love at the same time?


Dear DR,

Thank you so much for coming back to us with another question. I’m very glad that we were able to finally make you feel understood and you are of course most welcome. I’ll try to address your current predicament as best I can.

First of all, congratulations on falling in love for the first time in your life! Let’s see if we can do something about the guilt you are experiencing.

Is your wife aware of your other relationship? If you’ve discussed this as a couple beforehand and you are in an open or “polyamorous” relationship with her now, and the guilt you are experiencing is simply a result of society’s opinion of such a lifestyle, try not to let that bother you. The only people that matter in this are you and your two partners, it’s not for anyone else to judge nor is it any of their business. These types of relationships can be hard on all parties involved but there are plenty of groups and support available online to help those who wish to practice polyamory.

Now, if you’re involved with this other gentleman without your wife’s knowledge, I’m afraid there’s no advice or consolation I can offer you which will alleviate your guilt. I do understand how this may have been the only way you felt you could enter into this new relationship. You of course have the right to pursue your own happiness. I can suggest the following options to bring this into the open so you can enjoy your new found happiness without the guilt it currently brings with it.

If you still love your wife and wish to remain in a relationship with her, and your new partner is alright with this, an open relationship with your wife might be just the ticket. After all, you mentioned that you are only now realizing what it truly means to be in love. Would it not be fair then for your wife to be free to meet someone else who feels this strongly about her? I of course do not know your wife and only you would have an idea if this is something she might be open to and if it’s worth suggesting.

On the other hand, you may want to consider the possibility that a lot of what you are feeling with this new partner has to do with the excitement of a new relationship with a person from an entirely different gender than you are used to. You might want to take some more time to make sure these feelings don’t drop off before committing to any big changes in your life. If you and your new partner really love each other, and want to start out on firm ground, you may want to consider putting the sexual aspect of this relationship on hold until you have everything all figured out with your wife.

If you arrive at the conclusion that you’re not really sexually attracted to your wife, or women in general, and you’re just interested in remaining with her because of your history together, well, I think you know what you’ll have to do, even if things don’t work out with the man you are currently involved with.

I understand this is a very difficult situation for you, but this is not that uncommon and you are not alone. My response may not be adequate in offering you the support that you need. You may want to have a lengthy discussion with a therapist to figure out how you are going to proceed.

Again, I don’t know your wife. Depending on her nature and temperament, it may even be a good idea for you to have her come in on a session to break this news to her. Your counselor can help you decide if this is the best approach, if you decide to see one that is.

The only other thing I’d like to add is, if you’re not already doing so, it’s probably a good idea to always use protection with your new partner, so as to not put your wife at risk of contracting an STD. Of course, If you do end up having an open relationship with your wife, then it would be best for all parties involved to always use protection.

I realize this is a very difficult situation. Just try to keep in mind that you are not the first person to be involved in such a situation and that you and your wife will both be better off eventually, because of this change, whatever this change ends up being.

Good luck! If you have any further questions or anything you’d like to add, please do not hesitate to write us back.

Sincerely,

Philip for AlterHéros


About Philip Borden

Philip holds a baccalaureate in philosophy.

I enjoyed being involved with "Tell the experts" because I was looking for a way to help queer youth and I really enjoyed answering most of the questions so far. I feel I’m good at it and it feels good to help with people’s problems.