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assessing level of risk in asymmetric affair

 
 
Reply Fri 13 Dec, 2019 10:04 pm
Hi -

I'm in a relatively new affair with someone roughly 14 years my junior. We had been intimate a few times over the last few years, starting when she was in college, but it only became a consistent affair a few months ago.

The situation is pretty easy to explain.
- We are now both married
- I am in the affair because my wife and I have a major libido mis-match... but other than the sexual dysfunction, my marriage is great. I knew the libido mis-match would be an issue before I got married. But, we are so compatible in all other respects (day to day is frictionless, interests are eerily similar, values are identical, we never fight), that I have no desire to leave my marriage.
- My affair partner is also married (more recently), but for her, the affair is not just physical. She is in love with me. She is intensely physically attracted to me, but also she is attracted to my personality, my intelligence (valedictorian of ivy league college), my success (self-made 8-figure net worth under the age of 40), my adventurousness (I brought her into the mile high club). But the first couple of times we hooked up, she was concerned about the age difference, and viewed me as a "fun grown up to hook up with". She never pushed for an ongoing affair. The first time we slept together, she was 21 and I was 35.
- Over the last year, she got married, yet despite that, she has been the primary pursuer. When I cut off communication a year ago, after she got engaged (and well before we had an ongoing affair), she would sent me emails every month or two saying, literally "I miss you." As soon as I eventually responded to one of her emails, she POUNCED.
- Eventually, I decided to go along with what she wanted, because she is young, sexy, and fun. And she fills an unmet need.
- I have been very open with her that this affair will NOT lead me to abandon my marriage. For me, it's mostly a physical thing. I say 'mostly' instead of 'entirely' because I also like her a lot as a person, and respect her in many ways (her ambition, her kindness, her straightforwardness). But she knows that if not for the libido mis-match with my wife, I would not be having an affair. I am committed to staying married.
- I suspect that the biggest difference between our hookups a few years ago, and our hookups now, is that she has grown up a bit more, and I don't think she views the age difference the same way as she used to. 21 vs 35 is a huge difference in US society. I was too old to be a partner. But 25 vs 38 ... is significant, but no longer "super weird" from a societal perspective. So, I think she views me through a different lens now.

I have told her that I worry about harming her marriage. And I worry how she will take it if I call things off if I fear she grows too attached. She says that if I start to put strain on her marriage, she will call the affair off. But I know she is in love with me; she has gone as far as saying "Age difference or not, I recently realized that you're the type of person I envisioned myself getting married to". The looks she gives me, unintentionally and spontaneously, could make a puppy melt. Uh huh...

Anyway, she says she doesn't regret getting married, that she's in love with her husband (despite getting married young, and having relatively few common interests with her husband, and the fact that he wants more kids than she does + does not like the fact that she is career oriented + isn't as sexually adventurous as she'd like... again I say "uh huh..."). Yet... it's clear to me that her marriage is far from perfect. I'd diagnose it as a situation where "he is smitten with her, and her friends adore him" and thus it just was "easy" for her to go along with marriage. She wouldn't characterize it that way, but it's sure how it seems.

And meanwhile, she's decided that deep down she'd be happier with someone like me. I strongly suspect that if I divorced my wife (which I have NO intention of doing), and told my affair partner that I wanted to be with her instead of with my wife, that my affair partner would do it in a heartbeat.

Anyway, the question really is "how much risk am I creating for MYSELF?" I've been very straightforward with her about my mindset here, and about not wanting to hurt her marriage / not wanting to break her heart. She is emotionally mature, and very pragmatic and logical. She has assured me that she would never do anything to hurt me, or to break my marriage apart. I actually believe her... I think if I called it off, she'd be very sad, possibly heartbroken, but I don't think she'd actually try to ruin my life, as some jealous people would try to do.

But I know that when you've fallen in love with someone, you'll make promises and say things, anything really, just to keep things going. "don't worry, i'm eye wide open about this." "don't worry, if it becomes a problem, i'll call it off."

In a nutshell, it feels like I'm in a position where if I call it off, I'm implicitly saying "I don't trust you to look out for yourself and to make your own adult decisions". And that's not fair of me, because she's a smart woman, and she can make her own decisions. And we're having fun. And there's no clear reason that the affair will have to end anytime in the next few years. We only see each other once every 3 or 4 weeks (I insist on having temporal distance... she'd like to see me more often, but I don't want to jeopardize my marriage any more than I already am). So, the path of least resistance is to just keep doing what we're doing. And deal with the consequences if and when they become more visible.

The other thing to keep in mind is that because my wife's libido has always been low, and probably always will be, there's a decent chance I'll end up in another affair at SOME POINT down the road... IF i call this one off.

The devil you know (who loves you and is intensely attracted to you) vs. the devil you don't.

Thoughts and advice are welcome. So long as it's not judgy and preachy.

I'm trying to meet my needs. When I say that my marriage is great except for the libido mis-match, I genuinely mean it. Sexual compatibility is obviously super important, but the non-sexual stuff is 100 out of 100. Meanwhile, my affair partner is happier with me than without me (for now, anyway), and I'm wary of calling something off on the premise that she can't make decisions on her own.

Do I have a blind spot here? Am I exposing myself to more risk than I think? Should I just keep doing what I'm doing because it's working for now (and ironically, it makes me happier in my marriage, because i'm not as grumpy about the lack of intimacy anymore)

Thanks in advance -

Best regards

VSW
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jespah
 
  2  
Reply Sat 14 Dec, 2019 06:26 am
@grimswitz,
grimswitz wrote:

Hi -
....
In a nutshell, it feels like I'm in a position where if I call it off, I'm implicitly saying "I don't trust you to look out for yourself and to make your own adult decisions". ...

The other thing to keep in mind is that because my wife's libido has always been low, and probably always will be, there's a decent chance I'll end up in another affair at SOME POINT down the road... IF i call this one off.

The devil you know (who loves you and is intensely attracted to you) vs. the devil you don't.
....

I'm trying to meet my needs. ... I'm wary of calling something off on the premise that she can't make decisions on her own.

Do I have a blind spot here? Am I exposing myself to more risk than I think? Should I just keep doing what I'm doing because it's working for now (and ironically, it makes me happier in my marriage, because i'm not as grumpy about the lack of intimacy anymore)

Thanks in advance -

Best regards

VSW
Keep rationalizing this trainwreck, sport.

Your affair partner will get along just fine without you. She did so before you knew each other, and she can do it again.

Unless, of course, you're afraid that she's got blackmail material. Spoiler alert: I bet she does.

I also bet a divorce would be an economic disaster for you. Get ready to fork over about half of any part of your fortune that your wife was a part of creating, whether actively or via support doing everything else so you could be an entrepreneur full-time.

Of course, laws differ depending on where you are (I am not your lawyer, and this site doesn't give out legal advice), but get ready for an expensive exit, even if you go the mediation route.

You say you love your wife. Then prove it and try harder to be compatible with her in the bedroom -- which can include going to a doctor or a therapist. Or speak openly with her about opening up your marriage.

You are deceiving her, and that is not a loving behavior.

Decide what you want to be -- a loving husband who is doing everything in his power to make his marriage work, or a cheat?
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PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Dec, 2019 08:25 am
Its always fun to hear the ramblings of a true narcissist.
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