I am a 52-year-old male. At 28 I was forced into a marriage arranged by my mother. My wife and I now have three daughters, ages 22, 21 and 10.
We hardly make love. In between my second and third daughters who are 11 years apart, we must have slept only about five times. My feelings for my wife never grew since we married. They say you learn to love, but I never did. I care for her but that’s just about it. I concentrated on my work to keep me busy.
About two and a half years ago I met this 38-year-old single mother with a 16-year-old daughter. I have become very close and intimate with her… We take weekend trips when there are holidays. When I’m with her, I am so relaxed and at ease and know I’ve found my soul mate. I am simply in love with her.
My wife has an inkling about what’s happening, but I keep on denying it. We sleep in separate rooms now. My wife has told my daughters about her gut feeling and they see that we argue a lot.
I am lost. I don’t know what to do. I cry when I go to bed. Sometimes I tell the Lord that it’s time to take me as I cannot confess to my wife and don’t want to hurt my kids. I thank the Lord for having shown me love at this age.
Life, as it is, is already difficult. If passionate love affairs can go awry once the couple get married, it’s not farfetched how an arranged marriage will go terribly wrong as well. Consider meeting a stranger for the first time, and immediately find yourself being shackled to that person in marriage—for life? It’s like playing a game of Russian roulette.
The great American writer Neil Simon said: “When it is wrong, nothing helps. When it is right, nothing is needed.”
You’ve endured your marriage for 24 years. It failed. No love sprung or germinated despite the joy of being given the three children you are so fond of. The trouble with love is it cannot be taught and it cannot be forced upon anyone. It’s like a river. It has to flow on its own. You can dam it, you can divert it, but you can never make it stop. It just goes its way, ad infinitum. Or till it dries up.
Such is what happened to you. You probably never knew what falling in love was—never even felt its awesomeness—until you met this woman. You may love her all you want, and she you—but never shall you have the peace that goes with such loving. You are still married! And until such time that it is dissolved legally, your happiness will never be complete. Not when you’re making a village unhappy—that is you, your wife, your kids.
Your girlfriend and her kid are included here because however much you profess to love her, she will just be your mistress, without any claim on you.
You want to make an omelet? Go to the kitchen and break an egg. Crying yourself to sleep won’t make your problem go away. You have to do something.