My Net Lover Reversed the Tables

Visitor's Question from a 51-60 year old Female
I am a married 58 year old woman still living with my husband in an arrangement that suits both of us. We have a large home and he lives mostly on the lower level and has for years. He has cheated on me more times than I can keep track of, has spent time in Jail for a tax felony and for kiting checks and used to be a very heavy drinker. He has had two heart bypasses and has other serious health problems so his drinking has dramatically lessened. I have stayed with him because of our daughter who is now in college and also because he is a good provider.

Anyhow my problem is not with him but with someone else.

I have been writing, IMing and talking on the phone with someone for three years. This man is a professor and also a stock investor who is also married. His wife is also a professor but outside of the fact that they share this commonality, they are like brother and sister. From the start I made it very clear that I was not interested in leaving my husband and he said the same about his marital state. I live about 900 miles from this man but he is originally from the same area in which I live and his children, all grown, still live here so he has many opportunities to visit.

Let me make it very clear that he has chased me the whole time that we have been corresponding and it has only been in the last year that I have returned his feelings. When he was here last summer I made it clear that I did not think we should meet. When he visited here last winter I had a medical emergency re: my husband and my sister and could not meet him even though I had told him that I would try to meet him for coffee if at all possible. He gave me his cell number and we left it at that.

When he returned home after his visit, he was quite angry at me for not calling him and making plans to meet. He told me that he couldn't believe how hurt he was over me not taking the time to see him and continued making digs at me for a month or better over this. I promised him that no matter what, I would see him the next time he came in town.

A couple of months ago I planned to visit another state to see family and when I told him about this, he suggested that perhaps I could make the time to see him and he would meet me there. I explained that I was staying with close family who I had not seen in over two years, I would not have a car to drive, and it would be very difficult to make excuses to be away for any length of time. He was a bit irritated but said he understood the circumstances.

At the beginning of June he started talking about coming to my city to visit, talked to me several times a day about it and other things and by all evidence was very excited about seeing me at last. He was to arrive here on a Friday ... during the week previous we made many plans...he sent me a train schedule so that I could choose the best time to pick him up, told me to pick a restaurant etc., even asked me what type of clothing to bring with and what I would be wearing.

During the three years previous to this he made it clear that he was his own man and valued his personal freedom above all else. He said that he was free to come and go as he pleased and when he came to this area he was coming to see me and would schedule visits with his children accordingly. He has chided me in the past for my close relationship with my children and how we seem to know all about one another and how he would never, ever, get into his kids lives in that fashion.

OK, after having my car detailed, getting a manicure, buying new clothing, getting a pedicure, and having my hair done ... the day before his trip arrives. I was out during the day and when I came home on Thursday evening, there were several frantic messages from him saying that he was trying to reach me via email (he never tried to call me). The main gist of this was that he was up all night after suffering a severe guilt episode upon lying to two of his three children (they are all well into their 30's) about what he would be doing on Saturday while in my city and he asked me to not hate him but he just couldn't face his kids and his friends back here if he had to perpetuate a series of lies.

Now you have to understand that this man had an affair for several years which ended five years ago ... so what did he think he was doing then except living a lie? When I got upset, he said that he is amazed because he thought of all people that I would understand. He did call me upon arriving at his hotel and I called him the next day. I told him that I really needed to see him even for an hour or so just to get closure on this and to make it real. Right now it seems like a nightmare.

Right in the beginning and even after that I asked him several times if he was sure that he was OK with this or would he suffer guilt in any fashion and he said without hesitation... I am fine with this. In talking to him last Saturday he actually sounded as if he thought we would continue our online affair as if nothing had happened. I told him that I could see no point in that.

I am hurt and the revenge factor immediately came to mind ... not revenge on my part but the thought that maybe this man methodically planned his revenge for the past 7 months after I didn't meet him last November even though my husband was in the hospital. I am stunned... I am hurt ... and I am confused.

Please don't lecture me on marital infidelity, this is the first time I have ever done anything like this...or I should say, thought of doing anything. What do you think is with this guy? By the way I did a thorough check on him and found him to be truthful in all of his statements about where he lives, works, children and their names etc. Advice
I wouldn't lecture you on the infidelity part, it sounds like you and your husband have an arrangement for the marriage that suits you, and some people just choose to live like that. Although I really, really have to say that to spend your life with someone you don't care for because of money reasons and kid reasons is a bad, bad idea. There are millions of completely happy, in love couples who aren't rich. And when they consider trading money for love, they choose the love. Love is a powerful emotion and makes life worth living. Money pales in comparison. I would really, strongly encourage you to talk with a therapist about this, and decide if you really want to waste the rest of your life in a relationship that isn't love - just because it's "comfortable".

As far as your daughter goes, you're setting a role model for her that being married is about suffering with someone. She is getting some very bizarre ideas about how men and women relate to each other. It would really be much better for her to see you with someone you *love and adore*, and to have that as part of her life foundation.

So that's my lecture :) But as to this other guy. The best relationships are based on best friendships. And it seems this guy was very much in it for himself and for control over you. A great friend would have *completely* understood about the medical emergency, and been worried for you. He would have been completely understanding that your time with your family was precious to you. Instead, this guy was about "ME! ME! ME!" and was actually hostile to you for holding on to things that were important to you.

I can believe he had a panic attack - after all, the risk is that HE would be looked down on by his kids. He didn't care at all when it was YOU that was taking the risks, being dragged out of your world by his demands. But now that it is HIM that is risking his family standing and such, he's running for cover.

On line flirtations are always great fun and part of the allure is that you really don't have to worry about the consequences. You just have fun. But I would chalk this one up to a learning experience and cut him loose. His self-serving attitude is just going to make things worse someday.

And really and truly - I know many women in your exact situation that finally cut loose from their husband, and went on to find *truly wonderful* guys. And whether they ended up in an apartment by the river, a home in the city or yet another big house, they were MUCH, much happier in their new lives. You only have one life. Don't waste it on a loveless situation.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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