Toronto Star

You stopped the affair, but didn’t fix the marriage

- Ellie

Q: I’m 45, married for 15 years with two kids, and began an affair two years ago with one of my former co-workers. She’s married and lives in the same town.

Our affair at the time was serious enough that we spoke about leaving our spouses.

Nothing came of it and we remained intimate friends until my wife found out about us (she knows the other woman) and threatened to throw me out of the house.

Then COVID-19 hit and, by our eventually going to therapy together, my wife did forgive me.

The whole time since I was caught, I did not feel any emotions about my actions hurting my wife. My thoughts were always towards the other woman. I’m still in contact with her. She says that she still thinks of me daily and wants to be with me.

Is it meant to be with the other woman? Or am I stuck with my wife even though I don’t feel anything for her?

Can’t Forget Her

A: Meant to be? On the one hand, it makes for a good excuse — “not my fault, it was destined.”

Yet, you have free will. You chose the affair and would like to do so again.

It was COVID-19 that hauled you back home, and the inconvenie­nce of your wife’s threat to throw you out.

Meanwhile, despite therapy, you have no feelings for her.

It seems you’re not leaving, however, unless it’s with the “other” woman.

I won’t predict the outcome. The woman you desire still isn’t rushing to your side. Your wife rose above your infidelity to give you another chance.

Do her a favour in return. Go to therapy on your own and examine your life with the guidance of a profession­al counsellor.

If you remain disinteres­ted and detached from your wife, you’re only marking time till someone else comes along.

This is not lived manhood, it’s negligent self-absorption.

Deal with the financial obligation­s of a legal separation and your parental responsibi­lities.

Respect your wife’s long-ignored needs. Give her the chance at an honest, trusting and happier union than life with you feeling “stuck” and never thinking about her.

Dear Readers: Yes, some topics people write me about are considered TMI.

But in an age where people on social media openly discuss every personal topic imaginable, my decision to answer (Nov. 12) a man about his being turned off by a woman’s vaginal odour when having sex was not revolution­ary.

Nor was it meant to titillate. Rather it was to inform, which many readers appreciate­d:

Reader No. 1: “After reading Turned Off’s letter, I sat in shock and awe at how he’s missed the boat for years!

“I feel sad for the women who didn’t know why he stopped seeing them — for a natural occurrence that all women experience.

“I appreciate your excellent spot-on response with very good advice.

“Two more suggestion­s for him: 1) Why not ask the women to bathe? Or both bathe/shower before sex? Although this does remove some of the spontaneit­y, it also REMOVES ODOURS! (Ellie — from either or both people!)

“2) If spontaneit­y in his ‘encounters’ (his word) is really important, then he may have to compromise and keep his nose away from her vagina.”

Reader No. 2: “The offending ‘scent of a woman’ this man dislikes is often the residue from male sperm that hasn’t been completely washed away on the woman and creates a fishy smell.

“Sometimes it takes a few baths to completely get rid of this odour. So, it’s actually the male’s dead sperm that smells, not the woman’s vagina.”

Ellie’s tip of the day

Feeling “stuck” in your marriage while loving another, hurts everyone involved. Ellie Tesher is an advice columnist for the Star and based in Toronto. Send your relationsh­ip questions via email:

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