Relationship Advice #32: What to do when you are both married… to different people

What do you do if you are married and he is married, but not to each other… and you have fallen in love with each other? Do you stay with your spouse for your children’s sake? Do you free yourself of a marriage that no longer fulfills your needs (physical AND emotional)? This is probably the toughest situation in which to ever find yourself.

Just s few nights ago, Gigi spoke with a friend of hers, and she suggested she post this question on her blog and on face book because she finds herself in this position and doesn’t know what she should do. She met someone and fell in love, and she asked her husband for a divorce. He doesn’t want one, and he had an emotional break down, so now Gigi’s friend is conflicted.

Here is what our readers thought:

From Gigi: Now this one, I DO have personal experience in… I was married to a good man… but one who did not make me happy. He did not fulfill my emotional needs or my physical ones. I met someone and fell in love with him. I would have left my spouse for him, but he was not willing to do the same for me. I ended up divorced, but happy and free to pursue my happiness. My sons did NOT suffer, and they are emotionally stable and happy themselves.

From Pamela: If you fall in love with someone else, it means that your marriage is not working and needs sorting out before you cheat. Staying only for the childrens’ sake is not an excuse and never works out in the long run.

From Shari: When you get married you are agreeing to be with that person forever. For better or worse.

From Rose: Did you fall in love or in lust? It’s completely normal to have infatuations, but to act on them is a no-no – especially if you’ve made a promise to another. A marriage is a commitment, and it has its rough patches. If it’s a BAD (abusive, etc) marriage, that’s one thing. But to leave because you feel it “no longer fulfills your needs” seems a bit selfish. These things can be worked out and overcome! “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” ~Mignon McLaughlin

From Joanna: It means you better spend some time with your spouse because you are not spending enough time focusing on them. If your marriage is fixible (lets be honest who loves their spouse everyday for the whole 50 years?) then get to work

From Boris: So the real question is, if you boil it down, do you love your lover more than you love your kids? I had an affair… I fell in love… I lost my kids… now I’m single and footloose and fancy-free again, just like when I was younger… pity poor me… Sorry, can’t do it.

From Joanna: Really Butch you do not mind missing out on having your kids around? And being around for
them?

From Rose: Yeah, I’m hoping he’s being facetious…

From Boris: Sorry. That was me being facetious, Joanna, ridiculing the underlying, subtle aspect of the question. I never had kids. Me? Happily married, just the once, coming up on 29 years… Point is, I don’t buy the “no longer fulfills your needs” line. If someone selfishly loves their lover more than they love providing a traditional, stable (hopefully) family life for their children, I don’t want to hear about their physical and emotional needs. What about their kid’s emotional needs? Having an affair is dumb. Falling in love is dumb squared. Getting a divorce to be with the lover and abandon the kids is dumb cubed. Divorce in the case of no kids, or abuse, is one thing. “I’m just not that into you anymore, or not feeling it any longer, so I’m going to go out and fall in love and run away with someone else” is a whole different story.

From Pamela: But is there really a point of staying married (forget about lovers as that is a no no) only for the childrens’ sake? I know some similar cases and in the end the kids are worse off. I think it is better having a clean cut and ensure you provide for the children adequately though seperately. Marriages cannot hang on only because of the children.

From Winnie: Stay for the sake of your kids and blame them later? because you will. No way Jose. Not fair.

From Jackson: If you’ve really fallen in love with someone else and it’s not some stray sex thing, you need to move your cheating sorry ass the hell out of the house and stop torturing your family. You blew it in a major way, so go crawl in a hole. If you’re pulling a Tiger Woods then just contact your lawyer and get it over! Never stay in a marriage because of the kids unless your an old school Mormon or a maroon. Yes that’s right I said a Maroon!

From Joanna: Okay Boris you and I are on the same page, or at least the same book I am pretty hard nosed when it comes to kids. Too many people think of them as play things or accessories to an outfit. Sorry guys. I think if you have kids you put them first. They did not ask for you .. you asked for them. That means, sorry for the cliche, for better or for worse you are in it together with your spouse so if you are selfish and cant pulll it together and find a way to make it work for your kids then you need to rethink your position and be the grown up. Too harsh? Been there… done that.. not going to be selfish, my kids come first

From Boris: ‎@Pamela, can’t forget about the lover thing, it was right in the blog question. That makes it pure selfishness, and rewards laziness toward marriage and relationships, and overall lack of responsibility to children and the institution of family. If the person let one relationship fail, they’ll probably fail at the next one too, grass is always greener, etc. @Joanna yep. I see both sides, and it just comes down to selfish or selfless, and which is better for EVERYONE, not just the wife. If the marriage is truly so bad that the kids would be better off without the family together, then she might be able to bail without looking like a selfish loser, but it’s borderline. She should take some of that energy she’s burning riding a lover, and put it into her marriage. There are a lot of reasons for a marriage to go south, but it’s always the responsibility of both to restore it to what it was. That’s what their vows were all about…

From Joanna: Well Jackson that explains my position because I have not been marooned nor am I a moron. **wink** But neither do I concider myself a Mormon. Yes I attend the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints however Mormon is a derogatory term used by the mobs in the 1830s and 40s. Concidering the abuse those early pioneers took I try to use the term LDS (short for Latter-Day Saint) out of respect for them.

From Winnie: The real question is: have you really fallen in love? Or simply find being seen by different eyes exiting and fulfilling? Having someone take notice of you when you are used to being in a steady relationship day in day out can trigger off the juices. Suddenly you are special, but are you in love? Think carefully. Your kids future is at stake.

From Joanna: Too many people view marriage as disposible. “I will marry this person until something else better comes along or until I get bored.” That is not marriage. They need to make up appropriate vows for that and not bring kids into it. No kids? who cares.. get a divorce.

From Winnie: ‎:) @ Joanna

From Jackson: Marriage is only as precious as both of you make it. It can only be un-cheated on once. Truely loving another when you only had only your spouse before is not right in my book. You may still love them regardless what and want to keep it together thats okay but for me, I say too late, no way, game over. If they strayed once they’ll do it again (if they get a chance). If you want to have many lovers then fine, just don’t bother getting hitched.
@Joanna :The reference was to Mormon fundamentalism beliefs to plural marriage that is still alive today. Was NOT meant to be derogatory toward any LDS followers so I am sorry if I sounded that way.

From Joanna: No no Jackson 🙂 I did not take it that way. Chaulk it up to cold meds I just prefer not to use the term “Mormon” myself so some people get confused when I call myself LDS. Many confuse it with LSD actually.
Personally I do not get polygomy. Women are territorial by nature. I can see a lot of fights in any polygomist family where a woman has any oppurtunity to speak for herself. I can see why it was necessary for the early members. With all of the men being killed by mobs and women not being allowed to own property without a husband. The laws of the time sort of got them coming and going. They had to survive somehow… there i go off topic again. 🙂 I think a lot of men or serial monogomists but when they get tired of taking care of themselves or truly value the family ties then they end that endevor and get comfortable. Once again it goes back to selfishness. Once someone (man or woman) decides they are able to put someone elses needs above their own then marriage works. It is when we think of ourselves first that affairs and straying happens.

From Matt: Way too complex for a facebook answer!

From Camille: You try to work out the marriage, if for not other reason to get to a place where you can have closure, and get along enough to parent your kids. After that, if it’s emotionally and physically dead, yes, you walk away. “Staying together for the sake of the kids” is unrealistic–they can feel/sense tension, even when they are little. Plus what are you saying to your kids by staying in a dead relationship? You do whatever you can to make a healthy decision for everyone involved.

Another great blog question, and I hope that it will help Gigi’s friend come to a conclusion on her own situation that she finds herself in. THIS is just one of the reasons for this blog… to help people out there…

3 Comments on Relationship Advice #32: What to do when you are both married… to different people

  1. DK

    I need help. I have fallen in love with someone else while in the process of getting a divorce. Both of us are getting divorces. But we want to stay worthy of a Temple marriage. We need to talk and communicate with each other daily. Is this so wrong?

    • Gigi Flores

      Gigi might not be an expert, nor a psychiatrist or therapist. But if you are already in the process of getting a divorce and you have developed feelings for someone, i do not see what is wrong with this. Explore your feelings, and don’t turn your back on them…

  2. Prop 8

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