He Ended Our Affair Just As He Was Becoming Single

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I had an affair with a man for more than five years. We had ups and downs. I got divorced at the beginning of when we met. For now he is separated, but about to start the divorce process. His wife moved out six month ago. He has two kids – early college age.

This man now just wants to be friends.

I am heartbroken and having a very hard time wrapping my head around why he’s doing this now. He says he needs (and wants) to put his life back together, deal with his kids, and focus on how his divorce is going to play out. Am I wrong to be this upset? Or do I give him the space he needs and let him figure out his life? Thanks, from one confused girl!

– Confused


You have to give him space because there’s no other option. He doesn’t want to be in this romantic relationship right now. Disappointing for you, but you’ll have to live with his decision.

What you don’t have to deal with is an unhealthy friendship. You didn’t sign up to be a confidant with no romantic connection. He can go work on his life, and you set your own boundaries. Maybe it’s best if you avoid each other for a bit. That will be difficult, but you do not want to be demoted after five years of building what you thought was something more.

You ask why he’s doing this now. Maybe it’s because he never got the chance to be single after his marriage ended. It’s possible he wants the freedom to do whatever he wants without having to put a romantic partner first – or even second or third. His wife just moved out, right? Perhaps he wants to figure out how he’ll spend time with children who used to visit him in the same home as their mother.

Whatever the reason, he’s telling you he’s on his own path with this; you’re not partners in the adjustment. Confusing after all this time, but that’s your reality.

My advice: tell him to go away instead of pretending you’re in this for friendship. Put yourself first. See what life is like without him.

– Meredith

Readers? How can the LW process this information? Time to move on?

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