My husband or my first love?

This is an easy way to find tickets for the Love Letters Comedy Weekend/Live Podcast Taping at the Comedy Studio at Bow Market in Somerville on June 8 and 9. Come for date-themed humor, stay for the excellent venue and drinks.

I've been married for six years to a very loving, kind man. He is sweet, handsome, a wonderful father, and a best friend. We dated for two years before we got married. We had a kid right after we were engaged, and after that, everything just moved so fast. We had a child, bought a house, both got new jobs, new friends, and new lifestyles, and it was – and continues to be – overwhelming. The past several years have been difficult.

We hit a plateau and had an unspoken loss of interest in each other, both doing things outside of a committed marriage. Those secrets came out and we attended counseling. Things aren't perfect, but we're trying. During the time we were both apart emotionally and physically, I started seeing my first boyfriend again. We'd meet for coffee, catch up on the last 10 years, and then it turned into an affair. I was admired by someone who I knew at one point loved me and cared about me, and I could tell that I could maintain that, have that in a heartbeat. I've spoken about all this in our therapy sessions, but I lied at one point. I was asked if I had any emotional feelings toward my ex and I said no. The truth is, I've always had these feelings for him, even while dating my husband and during the best years of our marriage. I've always loved my first guy. I broke it off, though, because he seemed so carefree when we were younger, like he wouldn't be in it for the long term, and even at a young age I saw the relationship as pointless.

When we came back together, though, every emotion I had shelved came back up. My ex knows that I love him, but I love my husband too. I've never been in this situation and I don't know how to feel healthy about any choice I make.

– Choices


It sounds like it's time for you to get some therapy on your own. Yes, that's a lot of counseling, but if it's possible, please pursue it. You can talk to your couples counselor about the best way to get more help.

Also know that you can always amend your answers in therapy. You said you didn't have feelings for this ex, but you can correct that in your next session. Couples counseling can involve some big, intimidating questions. Sometimes it takes a while to get to the right response. And really, your husband has to know you have some sort of feeling for your ex. You just have to figure out what it is.

You didn’t tell us whether you're still seeing this ex. I assume you are – or that you're communicating with him in some way. That seems to be the big choice here, at least for right now. Are you willing to sever ties with this person so you can work on the marriage? It's difficult to focus on your primary relationship if your attention is elsewhere.

Also, please know that you're not choosing between your husband and your ex. It's not that simple. If you leave your marriage, there is no guarantee that the old relationship will hold up full-time in the present. There are no sure things here. The question is more about who will get your effort.

– Meredith

Readers? Can you help with this choice?