Still Wanting What I Know I Can’t Really Have

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Reader’s Question

I don’t know what I should do. I’m in love with a married man. He has kids from both in and outside of his marriage. My mom can’t accept even the thought of him being with me. I do realize the problems and do my best to control myself. He does also, and both of us know that we don’t really have a future together because he’ll never get a divorce, and my parents won’t ever accept him as my life partner. Still, we really love each other.

Please, I really need some advice!

Psychologist’s Reply

It seems that you already have abundant insight. You clearly state:

  • The man is married
  • He will never divorce
  • He has fathered children within and outside of his marriage
  • Your parents couldn’t possibly accept him
  • You know the relationship is one full of risk

So, it’s not really clear what your question is. The fact that you have feelings for this man is certainly not the issue. You can’t help your feelings. But whether you allow your feelings to completely overrun your better judgment is quite another matter. Mature, adult life is all about being guided in your actions by values and sound judgment as opposed to letting your urges and impulses run the show. No one can do your growing up for you, and there’s danger in relying on someone else’s “advice” to guide your every step.

My view: acknowledge your feelings and desires, but don’t let them drive your decisions in life.

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