I am cheating on my husband because he bores me
Dear Spice (or Leather and Lace/Alison and Tony): I have been married for 15 years and have two kids. My husband is a nice guy, but he is really boring. All he wants to do is watch TV and walk the dog. I was so bored that last year I joined a choral group (without my husband), and I met “Tom.” He is 12 years younger than I am and he is single. At first we just went for coffee. Then it was drinks. Eventually I found myself really attracted to him, and him to me. I knew I shouldn’t get involved any further, but we become lovers and that’s been the situation for about six months. Things are pretty good between us, and I’m happier than I have been in a long time. But now I’m worried that Tom will eventually want more than I can offer unless I eventually leave my husband. Tom hasn’t said anything about a future there being a future for us and it is probably way too early for that conversation anyway, but I am not sure what I want even if and when he does bring it up. I am feeling like I’m doing an infidelity dance and I’m feeling kind of blue about it. I’m wondering whether I should end this. Should I?
Tony’s Take: Yes, you are doing the infidelity dance and singing the blues, but life is too fleeting not to make every possible moment if not joyous, at least happy. If Tom makes you happy, that is the important thing.
The key to the type of relationship that you are in, since he will not ever replace your husband because of your children, is to make sure that the affair continues to be one of mutual happiness and support as opposed to an escape from your current reality with your husband. If you look on Tom as an escape, or he starts looking at you as your savior, bad emotional times will result. For as long as you are friends and lovers, and can care about each other’s happiness (even if that happiness eventually does not include you), then the affair is one of mutual celebration.
Yes, Tom is about to enter the age in his life when he will start making hard decisions about who he wants to spend the rest of his life with. In a way, it is unfortunate that you met Tom so early. because by doing so you set the parameters of the relationship at a less mature level than it would be if you had met him later. If you are honest with yourself, a relationship with Tom as your husband leaves you with three children, not two. Or, it leaves him feeling constantly pressured, since he must provide for not only you, but your children.
As long as you can be adults, be happy with the relationship as it is (that is, one of mutual support and pleasure, and without jealousy), and if you are willing to give him up when he ready to go, there is no reason not to continue the relationship now. If you can’t do this, then it is necessary for you to break it off sooner as opposed to later , because the emotional drama of an immature lover intruding on your current life will probably be more than your marriage can survive. You may lose both your marriage and your lover.
Alison’s Take: I don’t disagree with many of Tony’s points, especially those where he suggests that there is a mis-match between you and Tom concerning where you each are in your stage or life, and how that impacts your decisions now and in the future. Tom is young and free of responsibilities. But you have two children and a husband who, by your own admission is a nice guy. His only fault (according to you) is that he is boring, because he watches television and likes to walk the dog. That really isn’t so terrible.
Couples who have been together a long time can often take each other for granted, and if they lack imagination and motivation, can let their romantic interaction dwindle down to literally nothing. Then all you are is “roomamates.” It appears that this might be the situation you currently face with your husband. Read: I’m Bored: All My Live-In Boyfriend Wants to Do is Stay Home and Watch TV!
I note that you took the initiative to get out of the house and find a hobby you enjoy,that is, singing in a choral group. And in doing so, you found a like-minded man to spend time with. There’s nothing wrong with this, but you took it a step further and got intimately involved. Once you did that, you changed the status of your relationship with Tom from just friends, to lovers. By doing so, you have entered the realm of the “unfaithful wife.” Again, I’m not judging your decision. However, if your husband had joined the choral group with you, the chances are excellent that your affair with Tom would never have happened. A shared hobby would have gotten your bored husband out of the house and you would have developed something new in common to enjoy as a couple. It is still a worthwhile idea to try and find a new hobby or interest that you with which you could interest your husband. That might get him away from the TV and the dog, and help you re-connect with each other.
But back to your issues with Tom — it goes without saying that before you escalate your affair any further, it is worthwhile trying to re-energize your relationship with your husband. If however Tom fulfills you and you’re in that deeply, but singing the infidelity blues, you have some difficult choices to make/
It seems that Tom makes a great friend and lover, but a less great choice for a future husband. If you divorced your husband and married Tom (assuming that is something he decides he wants and you agree), As Tony has already said, your children would have a step-dad who is also a “child” (and therefore it is unlikely that they will look up to him as a father figure), and you would have a young husband with whose issues you would have to deal.
You and Tom have not been together long enough to really discuss a long term future, but since he is young, “fun and games” may be all he has on his mind. He probably doesn’t look much further out in his love life than next week It is unlikely that he sees himself at this stage of his life, saddled with an instant family of semi-adult children to handle, as well as a wife. With that in mind, as Tony has suggested, you are better off keeping Tom at arms’ length. It is up to you whether or not you want to continue being lovers, but if you do, you must consider him to be a temporary relationship. You must promise yourself that you will accept any woman that Tom finally selects as a girlfriend or wife, and encourage him to be with her (at that point relinquishing your intimate connection with him) so that he can move forward and be happy in his life as you have been together. If you truly care for him, you must be ready and willing to eventually let him go. If you can’t accept this, perhaps it would be best for you to work out your issues of boredom with someone else who is at least, more mature.