I am intimately involved with another woman whom I adore and love very much, even though I've been married 12 years. My husband and I do not have children together, but I have grown children and grandchildren. I am 48 years old.";"

Susan has become my best friend. We are great together, and we love each other deeply. She left her husband to be with me thinking I was going to leave my husband, too. But I can't leave my husband for several reasons: I love him, he is my financial security, and it would destroy him.

In the beginning I felt great guilt, accompanied with crying and emotional outbursts, about being with Susan. But we've been involved four years now, and the guilt has subsided. My husband knows and likes Susan but has no idea what is going on between us. My daughter suspects, but I reassured her nothing is going on. (Susan looks and acts rather mannish at times.)

Is my relationship with Susan doomed? How can I be honest with her when I can't be honest with myself? Susan made me promise someday we'll be together, but I can't see that. Not that I don't want to be with her, but I'm afraid of losing the love of my children and grandchildren if they knew the nature of our relationship.

I don't work. My husband works a great deal and is gone a lot. He loves me and trusts me completely, though I am cheating on him.


Joyce, a cynic is a person who believes life is driven solely by self-interest. As Oscar Wilde wrote, a cynic "knows the price of everything and the value of nothing."

Everything has a price, and the price of being with Susan is telling lies to your husband, lies to your daughter, and lies to Susan. If you genuinely loved your husband, you wouldn't treat him this way. Can we all agree on that? You wouldn't be sneaking around if you weren't certain you are hurting him.

You are also hurting Susan by not telling her your true intentions. In you, the only love we see is self-love. You're looking out for the best deal for yourself. But in doing that you ensure you'll never have love, because you're not living up to your end of the bargain with anyone.

You wrote to unburden yourself, but we're not offering to lift the burden from you. You have to do what is right. Even if the other shoe never drops, there will be a price to pay. In the quiet moments at the end of your life, when you cast your eye upon yourself, you will see the treachery you wouldn't want others to have done to you.


Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at
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