Desperate for Advice Please

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    Hi. I am hoping to get the advice and help I need to help me with a situation I have gotten myself in and am struggling with immensely.
    I am female. I am married. I had an affair, a short one. Basically because my sex life is non-existent. I have no desire to leave my marriage. We are good friends and do most things together. Besides i am too insecure to be on my own at this point. Even if I ended it, the other guy is not ready for any sort of commitment anyway. The affair has ended and we are friends. That is all he wants. I have completely fallen for him and have become an emotional basket case, almost pushing him away. He is straight forward and honest with me but I am having a hard time accepting this whole thing. Every time I talk to him or see him I start to cry and he is getting really upset with me that I risk even our friendship which I do not want to lose. Please help me focus straight. I need to put things in perspective and stop making things worse for me, for my husband and for my “friend”. I have also started drinking way too much to drown all this and I need to stop that too. Thank you.


    Hi Mauve,

    I’m sorry to hear you’re going through such a turbulent time. The first thing that jumped out me is that you feel insecure and might be looking for sex and alcohol to mask any pain that you’re feeling. You cling to your former lover, you cling to the bottle.

    If you have completely fallen for your former lover, then I doubt a friendship with him will help you reconcile your relationship with your husband.

    But more importantly, I don’t think a relationship with him will help you reconcile your relationship with yourself.

    I think some time alone to do some deep soul searching would be best – why do you feel insecure? was the sexless marriage the only thing that drove you to have an affair? what needs are not being met for you right now?

    Rather than looking for sex and alcohol as band-aid solutions, what’s really missing for you deep down inside?

    Joanna Warwick

    Dear Mauve,
    I am sorry that you are struggling and it all seems a bit confusing…
    What I notice is that there seems to be a disconnect with your desire and passion which is where our strength, self respect and creativity comes from…
    I hear that it is associated with being sordid/bad or escapism( the affair) instead of something you are allowed to just be as a woman.
    You seem to want to keep everything safe( no sexual or passionate) – friends only with your husband and your former lover…
    I would suggest instead of using alcohol to mask your feelings of desire which you clearly feel bad about – sit, spend time with you and start being loving to yourself – stop avoiding the one relationship that matter above all…and let go of the guilt of being powerful, sexual and passionate!
    Remember this was what nature intended and you are incredible and its your gift to the world to shine brightly!
    It is OK to out grow people, relationships etc and I would you know what you have out grown in your life and your scared of being bigger…
    Much love
    Jox ( ps: I am a therapist)


    Please get into therapy. And I don’t mean that as a bad thing (I’ve been in therapy numerous times). Your self-worth is so low right now, which is why you are so co-dependent and making poor decisions.

    I know you love the guy, but I really can’t imagine any way of staying friends with him. I don’t see how you can remain “friends” with your lover when you want to remain in your marriage and the affair is clearly NOT over since you love him. If your husband doesn’t know about all this yet, it is only a matter of time. Your only hope of saving your marriage is to cut off all contact with the guy. Also, get into couples therapy (but I think individual therapy for YOU is the most important thing right now).

    I’m sorry the guy doesn’t love you. I know that hurts. We all experience unrequited love and it sucks. But you need to look out for YOU right now. Continuing to spend time with him is just self-torture. Delete his phone numbers, his email addresses, defriend him on facebook, etc.


    Hi everyone who has responded. I really am grateful.
    I am in therapy but not have told her about this latest thing I have done. I am too afraid. I guess I should. My self-worth has always been low. I blame my mother for all the horrible things she said to me which gave me no self value or confidence. I always judge myself on what I should have said, or did I say it right etc. I beat myself up all the time. I am self sabotaging. I love my husband. At the same time I am not happy, but I really have never been. I don’t know how to love myself. So I go out and do stupid things like have an affair to make me feel worse. Then I cover that up by going to a bar and drinking all night to make me feel even worse. On and on the cycle goes. SIGH!
    I am at work now, nice that my office is on a private loft so I can write this and cry quietly at the same time. I should ditch the ex lover because that is more self sabotage but it seems so hard because I have my “I want to be with soandso days”. Of course he doesn’t want a relationship anyway so why do I bother? I don’t know how to just let go. Oh, I am so sick of myself. I just want to start over…fresh and be happy. Maybe I don’t deserve it and that’s why I do all this.



    I’m so sorry for the suffering you’re going through, with many layers of self infliction and criticism, its no wonder that you feel shitty all the time. Don’t despair, dear sister, there is always a path to joy. A few things came to heart as I read your words.

    Buddha taught that we are born fundamentally ignorant about how to interact with the world in a way that produces inner peace and balance. We rely on our teachers and parents to teach us almost everything, and sadly many times we are not given good instruction. It would be nice to single out your mom as the source, but she only has the lessons she learned from her parents and teachers, just like you. This is why accepting our ignorance is so liberating… we throw our hands in the air and admit we don’t know what the heck we’re doing, and we begin to untangle what to do next. This is one of the blessings that being angry with oneself can become… recognition of our failings and motivation for change.

    That being said, I see something very different in you than you see in you. You see an adultress and drunkard. I see a confused sister. You see your affair and drinking as self sabatoge, further proof that you don’t deserve love. I see a woman looking for joy, and simply doing so unskillfully. For instance, a starving person might eat rotten fruit because their hunger is so intense, and even though the whole time they taste the ugly bitterness of the fruit, they still eat it. Their body becomes very demanding.

    This is all that’s happened, my dear sister, and its ok. You’re ok, very lovable, and deserving of peace. The trick here is only to move you away from rotten fruit, such as adultery and intoxication, toward healthy fruit, such as self nurturance and forgiveness. Then the world, and our reflection within it, becomes much more beautiful, simple, peaceful. Sure, we’ve made mistakes, all of us have, and even so the path of joy unfolds before us.

    To walk this path, our path, your path, the first thing we have to learn is to be patient. Learning to love oneself is much like playing an instrument. It takes time and practice, but the song that arises is worth every invested second. Your mom seems to have taught you that we play a guitar by stomping on it viciously, and what a heavy load that must be for her! Said differently, perhaps you’ve been taught that our mistakes make us less deserving of love, and instead deserving of criticism. That just simply isn’t so. How silly would we be for telling a child they were stupid and unlovable because they forgot to say the letter “L” when reciting the alphabet? How silly would it be for us to call ourselves unlovable for seeking peace in a bottle? So we are patient and gentle as we learn to love. It takes time and effort to grow, and the fiery anger of our self criticism burns the tender shoots of wisdom and love, so we let the anger go.

    Next, its important to become self nurturing. Many of us don’t even know what that means. We learn to be gentle and tender with our mind and body, to embrace ourselves as we would a child. We can take a bath with candles, go on a walk in nature, listen to some gentle music, dive into a relaxing hobby, or whatever else we find that is comforting, soothing, releiving. My favorite is metta meditation, as it very quickly and potently refuels our inner warmth. Metta is a friendly warmth that arises in our body for ourselves and others. Consider searching YouTube for “Sharon guided metta meditation” if you are interested. I highly recommend it. For instance, metta is the harmony which I attempt to let guide the tone of my writing, move my ideas as I breathe out love to my family. It can take a little time to arise, but if you did even 30 minutes of metta practice for a week, the relief will almost certainly be tangible. However, any self nurturing activities can bring about that kind of nourishment, so if something calls to you, feel free to give it a whirl. We’re all different. This will grow your self love over time… just “finding” self love isn’t usually how it grows, much like love at first sight is not usually really love.

    Finally, it can help to have an open communication with the voice of criticism in your brain. “Mauve, you are such a worthless person” might pop in suddenly. That’s normal, and is left over baggage. “Thank you voice of criticism, but the way you lash at me isn’t helpful, would you help me find a path of balance?” It may seem silly, but give it a whirl, you may be surprised at how quickly the mind learns to become the ally of the body, instead of its warden.

    Namaste, sister, I hope you find love and light. You’re closer to joy than you think… Many suffer for eons before they meet a crisis of self. Once the light is flowing through you again, everything becomes a whole lot simpler.

    With warmth,


    Hi Matt
    Your words are the kindest I have ever heard in my life. So gentle and positive. I am going to take your advice for the Metta Mediation on YouTube tonight when I get home from work. Then a bath with candles! I used to enjoy that and it seems I forgot all about it. For me this will be a great start.
    Thank you.


    Dear Mauve,

    not usually one for taking part in forums, your story resonated with me.

    i recently had a watershed moment in my own relationship and perhaps if i share my own story with you you may have the courage to tackle your own. i have been married for 6 years but had been with my husband for 8 years prior to that. I met him when i was 18 and i suppose we grew up together. HB is the polar opposite of me; spiritual, sensitive, creative, artistic..i am earthy, realistic and a bit sarcastic- i think we attracted each other as we provided some balance to each other.

    However, after a recession busting 5 years, a failed business and years of emotional neglect we were barely able to be in the same room as one another. I too sat downstairs drinking copious amounts of wine to drown out my life that i felt i had no control over; a house that we couldn’t sell, debt from the business and a husband whose indifference (and occasional venomous outburst) to me left me drained and feeling completely unlovable. i spent my time halfheartedly trying to make an effort with my HB and secretly planning an escape and considering trying to meet someone else.

    One afternoon after yet another argument over very little; HB asked me if i wanted to separate, i wasn’t brave enough to say an outright yes but i must have still cared very much about him otherwise i wouldn’t have cared about his ability to have such little care about my feelings. this was the man i had shared most of my adult life with!! we sat that night and agreed to try harder but we still had so many barriers between us.

    The next day, i was off work and had some time to myself and started looking through photographs on our PC, what i found shocked me and tore my heart out. There were messages downloaded from his phone to another woman. Some of it sexual (mostly from her) but most of the messages from him were emotional- him seeking emotional reassurance. i confronted him and he admitted he had had an online ‘chat only’ relationship with her 18 months ago. we took some time off work and didnt leave the house for 5 days and for the 1st time in years we were able to be brutally honest with each other.

    the point is this; you say you have no desire to leave your marriage and you had an affair to mostly seek sex. Your HB sounds like your ‘solid’ safe base you have created but perhaps you have lost the ability to move this relationship forward, hence why you seek passion/infatuation/excitement in an affair. If your not communicating with your HB perhaps you are underestimating how much he is sad and desperately in need of emotional & physical love from you? we all need to feel loved and one thing that i learnt from my situation is that if your partner constantly sees you unhappy then he will most likely feel a failure and his low self esteem will also make his ability to tackle the marriage issues non existent. And so the cycle continues.

    im not saying you have to hurt your husband by confessing all… but maybe if you could find the courage to tackle this relationship head on, you will be able to reflect on what your true feelings for this other man really are. I am guessing they will fade pretty quickly.

    At the end of the day.. you deserve a loving relationship, every single one of us does. You also deserve to love yourself and treat yourself with love. By continuing in a relationship that doesn’t provide you with feeling loved is self harm. i hope you find the courage.

    ”as my sufferings mounted i soon realised that there were two ways in which i could respond to my situation–either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course” Martin Luther King Jnr


    Hi Alibeau.
    Thank you and everyone for taking the time to respond. Life really can be trying at times, even though this is really all my own fault. Yes, it takes two to tango, but I could have said no. SIGH. I go to bed at 9:00 pm and wake up at 8:00 am for work exhausted after 11 hours of a completely restless and steepness night, constantly waking up thing about “him”. He said we would never work out anyway because we are too different. He is spiritual and has the attitude of whatever happens, happens. I don’t know, maybe because he’s a guy. I am the crazy, emotional can’t accept that answer. Maybe because I’m the girl. I don’t know, maybe it’s the rejection I can’t take, whereas; if I ended it, it would be a different story. He also doesn’t drink anymore and when I drink the “copious amounts of wine” to drown my feelings he just cannot stand it!!! Period. I was planning on taking “him” out for his birthday next week. Maybe I should just tell him I need to not even see him anymore. But being the whatever happens, happens kind of guy, it probably won’t bother him, so then I will get crazy and emotional again because it will show me he doesn’t really care and I can’t take that. Oh Wow…has this ever fucked me up! I am seeing my psychiatrist next week and am afraid to tell her what I have done…but I guess I should. Maybe she can change my bi-polar medication. Did I mention that? That is part of my up and down all over the map behavior. The other guy does not know that. He just thinks I’m plain crazy. Part of me want to tell him so I have an excuse for my behavior, but that probably won’t change anything. I feel desperate for him to reciprocate his feelings towards me. If he did, it would be so much easier to get over him. I’m chasing something not real, it’s total rejection, the feeling of abandonment, the low self esteem…I cannot handle it. I do not have any skills to stop this self sabotage.
    On the other side, I want to work things out with my husband but it is very hard with the turmoil in my head right now.

    Akash Sharma

    Go find a new boyfriend. You’ll forget about your ex, will do a world of good to your self-confidence, morale, work, professional life, and will help you get over your alcohol habit !


    Hi Mauve,
    The only thing I have to add to everyone’s wise and compassionate advice is to stop your contact with your former lover totally. No texts. No phone. No email. No face-to-face. If you truly made a decision to move forward and focus on your life and your relationship with your husband then it is best to leave this friend behind… at least for a while.

    You are getting companionship and validation from this guy or you were. I see that most of us look outside ourselves for that. It is time to learn to do that with yourself don’t you think?


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