Dreaming About an Old Love

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
My first love was when I was 17 years old. I dated this guy for about 6 months, and was very much in love with him. He was my “first”! My parents job got transferred and I had to move a few hours away, and we ended up breaking up.

I then started dating a guy that I ended up marrying. We have now been together for 9 years and married for 4 years, and I really do love him. The problem is, that for the past 5 years, I have been talking to guy number 1 without my husband’s knowledge. I still have friends in the town that he lives in and almost every time I go there to visit, I either call him or see him.

I have never physically cheated on my husband in any way. The most that happens is that I give guy number 1 a hug. However, I am afraid that I am emotionally cheating on my husband. Guy number 1 and I use to email each other all the time. Meanwhile, me and my fiancee at the time, would argue all the time. It seemed almost like I would pick a fight with him. Then we got married. I and guy number 1 continued to email each other and talk quite often.

Then, we quit talking and emailing each other for 6 or 8 months. During that time, my husband and I got along a lot better. We didn’t fight as much. Now that guy number 1 and I are talking again, I am again, confused on what to do and me and my husband have been fighting a lot again.

I love my husband very much and wouldn’t want to hurt him, but I know that I am still in love with guy number 1 as well. Since you only have one life to live, I want to make sure that I am living as happy as possible. I know me and guy number 1 only dated a short while, but we really connected. It is hard to know though, that everything would work out if I did leave my husband and got with guy number 1. I mean, who ever knows if things will work out. I’m just really confused. Please help!

RomanceClass.com Advice
It's fine to care about two guys. It's like having multiple kids and loving each one in a special way. But you can only have one *life partner* and he must always come first. It really does sound like you dream about this other guy when you talk with him, and therefore don't put a full effort into your husband - and it hurts the relationship. Your husband really deserves a wife who is 100% committed to him and who is not picking fights and spending her emotional energy elsewhere.

Part of the reality of life is that there are ALWAYS temptations. It could be your old boyfriend. It could be your new co-worker. It could be the neighbor that moved in next door. If you start thinking "well things MIGHT be better with that other guy!" you will never be happy. Because sure, that ex might seem like a good match. But so are 2000 other guys out there in the world. Are you going to jump ship every time another "good match" comes along to see if things could be better?

You only live once - but that doesn't mean you serially abandon guys in your search for The Perfect Guy. Because there will always be someone more perfect - especially because both you AND your guys are always changing over time. So if you look at it that way, someone who is perfect for you at age 20 might not be perfect at age 30 or 40 or 50. So will you keep divorcing every 5-10 years and moving on to the new perfect guy?

Life is about making a commitment and then making it work. You have chosen a husband. He has chosen you! You two are happy together when you work at it. You are unhappy when you choose to work on other things. So like in any relationship you need to make a *commitment* to work on your marriage. That's how any marriage works. Yes, the ex is nice. And having him as a FRIEND is fine. But you have to stop thinking of him as a safety net or as an easy alternative. And you have to stop hiding him from your husband. A marriage should be about sharing everything, talking about everything, and working on everything as a team. You need to stop living a double life, and if there are issues with your husband, to work on them and address them. You should end up with a happy marriage that you both believe in and enjoy, and a good friend who you see occasionally to share fun with. But one should *clearly* be your life long partner and the other should *clearly* be "just a friend".

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com

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