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TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3785
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Professional Coach
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I'm a British man, and during the summer I met a beautiful

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I’m a British man, and during the summer I met a beautiful woman at a house party in Sweden. She is married with three children aged 7 and 8. When I said I was recently divorced, she suddenly said she hadn't had sex in 6 years. I hugged and consoled her and saw her to bed and kissed her but didn't sleep with her. Next morning she said I should have stayed the night with her. Ever since, we have been in constant touch by social media, and we have met up at secret locations. We spent a weekend in an apartment in Denmark. She told her husband she needed time alone and he didn’t care where she was. He looked after the kids while she and I enjoyed the best sex of our lives. I later stayed in an apartment in her home town for a week, and we met in secret every day. I am applying for jobs in Sweden and am contemplating early severance from my full time teaching job, and moving to Sweden to be near her.
Early on she asked me where I thought this relationship was heading, and I came across quite heavy saying if we are meant to be together, then no obstacles can stop us. She made no comment on this but it hasn't put her off, so I think she does want a long term relationship.
She phones me every day asking for advice on how to end her marriage, and about how to control her unruly children. We also talk about sex a lot. However she is still not 100% sure if she will ever leave her husband. She insists on our relationship being totally secret in case her husband finds out. She has residual feelings for her husband, who seems to be a good family man, but he is asexual and emotionally unengaged. He makes nasty and derogatory remarks to his wife, her girlfriends, and her family. The children suffer because of the tension between them. He may be on the autistic spectrum. They are socially isolated because of his behaviour.
I have helped her address her dilemmas. We developed childcare strategies which have reduced the incidence of bad behaviour by her kids. I work on her resume as she is applying for new jobs to become financially independent from her husband. I went house hunting with her in Sweden and she and her husband have agreed to separate after they sell their family home next spring. She says she feels better than ever and wants me to be in Sweden and tutor her kids and be her secret lover.
But still she won't give me a commitment to a long term relationship if I move to Sweden. I worry that she just wants me for sex. She told me she felt guilty for using me. Meanwhile my life here is on hold. I have lost interest in my job, my extended family. I have held back from dating other women.
I am 3 years short of retirement and have been offered generous early severance from my current job. I have three adult children and own my own house so I could sell and move to Sweden in the next few months.
Should l give up my life here and move to Sweden? Should l insist on a firmer commitment from her before I take this irreversible step?
Thanks for giving me a lot of the background and for being so open with your feelings and desires. I think that things sound wonderful but also very complicated. There is a lot at risk for both of you and I do not see how, at this point, talk of longer term commitments can happen. Right now it is a whirlwind of chemistry and connection and you being all the things that are lacking for her. I would be concerned for you to drop everything in your life to make a very significant move, in every aspect, and then things fall apart. But, I don't think that insisting on a firmer commitment would ease things. I think she needs to come to terms with her marriage, make the choice, if she desires, to leave the marriage and then she can be free to pursue, with gusto, a relationship with you. I hear how you care for her and desire more...and there may be more, but I think slowing it down a bit and letting things happen naturally is the way to go here.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for taking the trouble to give me such sound advice. Due to the secrecy, I have no-one I can confide in because K is a friend of friends of mine in both Sweden and the UK. The only person I can confide in about my relationship is K herself, so your outside perspective is extremely valuable. I used to be anxious that she would forget me, but we are now close enough that we can stay apart for a while as she goes through the divorce process without me. She will contact me for advice at each stage, as I have gone through my own divorce. When she is finally free, and if she invites me, I can go over to live openly with her for a trial period.
It is my pleasure and thank you for the positive rating. I know it must feel excruciating for you to wait and wonder but really there is no other choice, because if the process is rushed then she could bolt and stay in a "comfortable" existence. So be supportive and also care for yourself at the same time and if things continue to go with the connection that exists, then all will be well.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Wow! that is superb advice! I never thought of that! If I push her too much she could indeed stay in her comfort zone- that's what I did for 5 years that harmed myself and children. Also thank you for advice to care for myself. I need to treat myself better.
I am so glad you have the insight that you do and the ability to hear it all. Sometimes comfort becomes easy and if she truly wants to leave then she will. So, let it take its course and YES you must care for yourself and remain connected to all the things you used to feel connected to.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Jen, I tried to follow your advice but.. I told K we should cool it until she and her husband sell their house and she gets a house for her and the kids. It could take 3 years, but she is not interested. She wants me now. I have been offered a job teaching in her children's school starting 4 January. She is excited at the prospect of me moving to Sweden. She wants me to stay in her house with her husband and children as a private tutor for her kids in the evening, and help her with her job. She wants to have sex with me. Naturally I am seduced by this prospect, despite the obvious dangers of discovery in flagrante delicto by her husband or children. I asked her if she would divorce her husband and she said she could not promise, and she said she didn't want to marry me if she ever did divorce, but she pleaded with me to move to Sweden anyway to see how we get on together. I feel like a fool. I know what I should do, but she is so persuasive. I am like a lamb being led for slaughter but I cannot resist.
Thanks for giving me the current news. Read your words back that you wrote and then let me know what your feelings are. Only you can make the decision for the next step and as long as your eyes are wide open, then nobody can let you know the "right" thing to do. My thoughts are that this could be disastrous, but I also have a sense here of you, her and the situation that this will come to be. If you have been offered this job then things are in progress, but to live in the house? This sounds dangerous and unfair. Think about each step and even if she is persuasive you must follow your gut.
There are young children involved and a husband and this is a recipe of hurt for a lot of people and thinking only of the two of you and your desires can do a lot of damage to those around you.
I know my response is not what you want to hear, but I will always be up front with my thoughts and this one gives concern.
Let me know your thoughts. I didn't hear back and wanted to check back in.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sunday I get offered the job in Sweden (a 6 month contract), and emailed K. She was delighted. I asked her not for a promise but just to say yes to being open to being together forever with me. I wrote that I only became her lover because she told me her marriage was dead. I would not continue if I knew she was intending to stay married. She replied saying she loved me but could not promise to divorce. I spent Monday in tears over this and on Tuesday I emailed saying I could not go through with the Job offer. She was in tears over the phone and said she could accommodate me and was very loving on the phone, and I was convinced that she really was determined to be with me but just couldn't say it outright. On that basis I accepted the job offer. Last night she spoke to her husband asking if a new teacher from Ireland could stay in their house for 6 months, and help tutor the children in the evenings. He said yes but was curious how she knew me, and she said I was a friend of their friends J and B, and that she had met me at that party in August that he didn't go to. He then mellowed towards his wife and the two of them talked lovingly for the first time in ages.They didn't make love but they became close.
This morning K woke me with an early phone call all bright and cheery saying how much she was looking forward to me coming over. She mentioned her rapprochement with her husband and said she was definitely not going to divorce her husband, just to put me in the picture, (as if it was a minor thing) but she really wants me as her lover. She laughed saying 'I know I am selfish, but I want it all, the husband and the lover'. She said how much she wants me to make love to her and I laughed along with her before going to work. She is in high spirits thinking I have acquiesced to being her permanent lover.As soon as I got to work I declined the job offer in Sweden and emailed my line manager withdrawing my resignation which she gladly did. So that's it. I won't be going over to Sweden in January. It also means never seeing her again.How do I tell K what I have done? She is going to be absolutely devastated. I worry about her mental health. She was in tears on Tuesday when I threatened not to come to Sweden. She has just texted me on a high about me coming over.I absolutely dread having to phone her. She made me promise to phone her in my break at 2.30 this afternoon (in half an hour from now). She is going to be sooo heartbroken. I realize she is like a child in a sweet shop, wanting the impossible.
You based your decision on what she told you and I think you are following the right steps to take care of you. You don't desire just to be her love, but to be more and she can't promise that and that doesn't work for her. Be open and loving with her and let her know that you want different things and until such time those needs meet, this is how it has to be.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your reply. I used it to phone K at 2.30, and fortunately she was not as devastated as I predicted she would be. She agreed with me that it would be bad for her children. She said I got mixed up about last night. In fact her husband became friendly to her for the first time in years and she then felt able to open up and ask him if I could come as an au pair to help them with their children. I think she was less devastated than I expected because she now has a possibility of her marriage to improve and I urged her to work to improve her marriage.I was bitterly disappointed at losing her, and I cried on the phone, but I am glad that she did not. I now want to take some time out of the dating scene to reassess myself and contemplate the next move.
I think you have moved through this space very well. There will be pain and mourning...let yourself feel it all and in time it will begin to lessen. I like your plan to take some time now to focus on you! I am here if you need me.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It's not over. After I turned down the job for 4 January, K phoned again saying she will sell their house quickly in the Spring and I could stay with her openly maybe by the summer. Mean time she is desperate to see me and there is a week in February when her husband is away on business .she wants me over to meet her children. I will stay in a hotel and visit the house in the evening and spend time helping the children with their English homework. When the kids are at school K and I can hang out together. When K and the kids move into a new house, I can stay working in UK but fly over every weekend and stay 14 weeks a year on my teacher holidays until I retire in 2 1/2 years.
I have tried to scare K off by declaring my love, desire to marry her, and saying that she cannot have me unless she separates from her husband. This hasn't put her off, and she says we definitely have a future together and her children will love me.
She went to south Africa with husband and kids a week ago for a month's holiday. It was booked last summer by K as an attempt to save her marriage. Later she tried to get out of it but it was paid for. They lived in South Africa for 7 years and have lots of friends there. She was dreading going but I told her to relax and avoid conflict with her husband. I've had just one email from her since. She misses me tremendously but is very busy staying with friends using their computer so can't send me long emails. Very lonely for me .
Of course she is lonely for you, but that doesn't change a thing. She has no plans to make major changes, only for you to believe things will change and her words string you along. Your choice for yourself to stay in her game.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Jen,
Thank you for listening to me.
K is in South Africa with her husband and children, meeting up with old friends. Since she landed there she has only sent me a few very short messages. One said she was missing me tremendously. Another said she needed to work things out. She said she told me to wait until we meet in London in secret in January. Meanwhile on her public Facebook page (I'm not her 'friend') she has put up gorgeous photos of her family holiday. The captions are very effusive and include loving comments about her husband. She has phoned a few times but not for long, only one conversation was long enough for her to tell me she was going to stay with her husband for '5 more years' until children are 16. I sent her an email describing my acute pain at this, and my puzzlement as to why she still wanted to keep her relationship with me going. She said even though she wants to stay married, she can accommodate me. I asked her how exactly she plans to accommodate me, but she sidestepped the question. Then on 27 December I sent her the email below."Dear K, The Purest expression of my love is to end our relationship
Firstly I have to email you as it’s the only way to get in contact with you in South Africa. I would rather talk with you on the phone, but you cannot seem to get any privacy for a decent long phone call. Waiting until you are back in Sweden on 8 January is too far away. So that is why it’s an email. Sorry
I love you very much. More than anyone in my life. Because my love is so strong I only want the best for you. You told me your top priority is your children. You are the best mother in Sweden. You only want the best for your children. They need the best start in life. And if you decide that you have to stay with your husband to do that, then I respect your decision.
For that reason I should not do anything further that might destabilise your marriage.
I hope I have been some help to you in the past 4 months, talking to you about your life, and helping you to overcome some of your challenges. We have also shared the most beautiful moments any two people have ever had. So beautiful it is painful to think about now.
But if you’re going to try to revive your marriage, you need to be 100% emotionally and physically present for your husband from now on. You cannot afford to be emotionally involved with me.
Although it is extremely painful for me, I know what is the right thing to do. I must cease all contact with you from now on.
I’m very sorry it has to be an email. Much better to talk on the phone, but you cannot get privacy to phone me.
3 hours after I sent it I got a reply "Hi there, I have tried calling you. Look at my call log. 2 missed calls on Viber 20:10 my time" I said "Call me now" but she hasn't contacted me since.I did write another letter full of vitriol and bile, getting my anger out on screen, but I have not sent it.So, I hope I have got out of her game. I feel a sense of relief.
I think she loves to pull you in the minute you step away from her. Her self involvement is destructive. I know you love her and feel awful pain, but the best thing you can do for yourself is to leave this relationship and begin to heal. Continuing to go back each time she "calls" is harmful toward your emotional life. I feel for what you are going through, but also see it clearly, that it is time to leave this once and for all.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.
Keep the faith in yourself and what you know to be the most beneficial for you.