‘I feel things with this woman that I have never felt with my wife’

Episode 2 of the Love Letters podcast is up today. It's about a breakfast sandwich.

Also, I think there are about 20 tickets left to our book event with Sacha next week. Please join for launch fun.

Dear Meredith,

I'm a 40-year-old married woman with a young child. For what it's worth, I am in a same-sex marriage. My partner and I met each other about 10 years ago. We were both in the same place in our lives at the same time, wanting the same things. We had a rocky and awkward first six months, and things just didn't seem to come naturally for us. However, my wife is a caring, fun, wonderful person, and I did not want to let go of that at the time. Looking back, we never really had that honeymoon period of being crazy in love.

Fast forward to now, and I feel that I have everything I want; house, job security, and family. But I am feeling unfulfilled in this marriage. About six months before I got married, I re-connected with a friend. We had this instant connection that I have never felt with anyone else. We became close friends, and then more than just close friends, and have since been intimate. She has moved on and is in a relationship now. However, this is certainly a contributing factor to my unhappiness in my marriage.

I feel things with this woman that I have never felt with my wife. I am at a crossroads at this point. I have felt unhappy and unfulfilled in a marriage for years now. My wife has suggested seeking couples counseling, but I'm not sure this can change my romantic feelings for her, or lack thereof. I feel like we are friends who co-parent. I love her as a person, but my love for her is just not there romantically. I feel as though my wife and I are just very different people, and now I am realizing how different. I'm not sure what to do. Our family life, social life, and financial situation is good, and I would hate to give all that up by getting a divorce. However, if I do move on, I have a chance of possibly being with this other person in the future (you never know), or finding love with someone else. I know I have been selfish in this whole situation, and my wife deserves better. A divorce will turn our world upside down, but I also want to feel fulfilled in a relationship and be in love again. Am I just delaying the inevitable divorce? Or should I try to focus on all the good things in my life, and accept the fact that I will never be with this other person or be in love again?

– unfulfilled

"My wife has suggested seeking couples counseling, but I'm not sure this can change my romantic feelings for her ..."

Couples counseling isn't always about finding a magic way to fall in love again. Really, it's a place where you can discuss all of the massive questions you asked in your letter. It's where you can be honest and thoughtful in front of a third party who's ready (and trained) to help.

Counseling is the right next step here. It sounds like you and your wife need to talk about what you want from your marriage, and whether it's possible to maintain any kind of happiness. Assuming you do decide to move on (because it does sound like you're leaning in that direction), counseling will help you plan the rest of your shared life, as co-parents, together. You've already made so many decisions about your marriage alone, in your head, without discussing it. It would be helpful for your wife to be part of these conversations. After hearing how you feel in front of a counselor, she might rethink what she wants for herself.

I'd write you a big paragraph about how there are no guarantees you'll ever be with this other woman, but you seem to understand she's not an option right now. Still, that's something you might want to talk about in therapy on your own.

– Meredith

Readers? Counseling for all?