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Did I marry the wrong guy?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  November 19, 2010 09:00 AM

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Tickets are now on sale for the Dec. 10 Love Letters/Movies event. Please join film critic Wesley Morris and me for the screening. We'll be posting our favorite films next week. You'll vote on them, and we'll screen the winner at the Somerville Theatre that night.

And have a good weekend. After this letter.


Q: A couple years ago, I met the most amazing man. He was fun, funny, smart, handsome, and a great listener (I love to talk), and we just seemed to connect. The only problem was that I hadn't met him sooner. I was already living with my boyfriend of almost two years. Since the other man and I were both students, we had a similar schedule, worked together, studied together, and on our days off, we hung out. I knew this was wrong, but I did it anyway.

I thought of leaving my live-in boyfriend, but this decision was complicated first by the fact that I had no where else to live, and second, by the fact that we had always gotten along great. A couple months went by, and my live in boyfriend proposed to me. I was anything but excited, but I said yes anyway.

I spent the following two years of the engagement trying to find a way out. I feared that I would regret leaving him and so I struggled with the decision. I tried going to counseling, but I was never able to make the decision to leave and found my time running out. I was sure I'd leave him when I found the "right time." As my (already postponed) wedding approached, I wondered if I was making a huge mistake. I still saw the other man frequently (and should mention that my fiance discovered this and forgave me).

I've been married for two months now, and although the other man and I live in the same town, we don't speak or see each other. So many things remind me of him, and I think about him from the moment I wake up until I fall asleep. To say that I miss him immensely is a huge understatement.

I do enjoy the time that I spend with my husband but we don't connect on the same level as I did with the other man, and I've always known this. I want to move on and build a good life with the man I chose, but my heart aches every second of every day for this other man who became my best friend.

Did I marry the wrong man? Will I ever be able to forget the love I left behind? How long will it take before it doesn't hurt so much?

– Unsure in Melrose

A: Ugh, UIM, I never thought I'd say this to a letter writer, but yeah, I think you married the wrong man. Not because I think you should have married the other guy, but because you shouldn't be married to anyone right now.

I'm not sure what led to the disappearance of the other/better guy -- whether you cut him off or he gave up on his own -- but to me, he's irrelevant. I believe that even if he hadn't been around, you wouldn't have been psyched about marrying your husband. You never wanted to take that step. You just didn't know how to leave.

My advice is to (gulp) come clean -- to yourself and your husband. Be honest. Tell him that you went along with things for years, and that while you "enjoy" your time with him, you're not 100 percent in. That's the truth, right?

You've made a mess, but you know that. The time has come to clean it up. I can't promise that the other guy will want to be with you if you become single, but I don't believe in making do with what you have because you're too passive to do anything else.

Be brave. Be honest. Sooner than later.

Readers? Is she not telling us enough good stuff about her husband? Does she have to end her marriage? Is the other guy the right guy? Is it possible that she thought she was doing the right thing by maintaining a relationship with the man who had already committed to her? Can this be fixed without divorce? Discuss.

– Meredith

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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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