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General Dating Questions/How to say goodbye after affair?


Hey.I don't know if you can help me.but this is something i'm really struggling with.and it sounds really bad, i know, so please try not to judge too much.Its a long story,but i'll try to shorten it a little.Basically my ex boyfriend and I started dating when we were 15 years old, and we were high school sweet hearts. I ended up marrying some one else right after high school. a guy i chose over him, because i thought he was the safer choice and would treat me better.any way. I got married, and me and my ex, high school sweet heart continued to see eachother through out my marriage, having an affair. we have never been able to stay away from each other. we have some weird type of connection. we have said a hundred times that it was the last time, and we really meant to say goodbye. but it never happened. Now my husband and I are getting divorced, and it officially has been about 10 years now since me and my high school sweet heart have been involved.been going on so long. He actually got married half a year ago or so. the other night we were together, He told me he loved me, and missed me. and that he still had a lot of feelings left for me. but he felt so guilty, and he felt like he had to try to make his marriage work. He told me tho, that he wished he was married to me. so he basically told me he couldn't see me or talk to me at all any more, so he could try to forget about me, after 10 years together, and that's it. I feel depressed and sad. i love him, but i know he's right. I feel bad, and i don't want to break up any ones marriage. but i can't help but feel sad,and feel like i'm the one he really should be with. feels like we are the ones meant to be together. i'm not sure how to handle this situation? i'm assuming my only choice is to just back off, and let him be.? and i will. I just don't know why this has to be so hard. why have we continued to do this for so many years. There obviously must be some feelings involved right? otherwise there is no way it would have lasted this long. why won't he actually just be with me then, if he does truly love me deep down? or is he just being honorable because he's married now, even tho i'm getting divorced.

Hi Sara,
Thanks for taking the time to write. I'm very sorry to hear that you're going through a divorce - I know that can't be easy, and it must be even more difficult to have the person you're in love with recommitted to his marriage.

The first love that you have is often one of the most passionate experiences, and it sounds like you and your high school sweetheart have had a difficult time moving past that. Think back to the reason that you initially broke up, the reason that you chose to marry someone else other than him. The grass is always greener on the other side, but if the two of you were together, it would likely not be as perfect of a relationship as perhaps the two of you are imagining it would be. Every relationship has its pluses and minuses, and its ups and downs. You mention that you married someone who you thought would treat you better - so it seems like the relationship with your high school sweetheart may not have been as perfect as you have perhaps revised it to be in your memory. It sounds like for the past several years that the two of you have been using your relationship as an escape from other areas of your life that may not have been as exciting or as happy. It's natural to revert to a comfort zone. It's also natural to have incredibly strong feelings for the person who was your first love, your first date, etc.

Just because the two of you may not be together doesn't mean that you'll stop loving one another. There is room in your heart to always love and care about someone, but to be fully in love with and committed to another person. Unfortunately, I do think it's best if you let things go for now and try to move on. Open yourself to meeting other people and finding another relationship. Because the two of you haven't been able to let go, it's difficult for either of you to move on. Sometimes communications need to be treated like a light switch, rather than a dimmer. You need to just switch if off and focus on moving forward - when you treat it as a dimmer, it's far to easy to be sucked back into the fold. The best way to move on - as hard as it may be - is to just cease contact altogether. Delete his phone number, don't make it easy for yourself to get in touch with him when you're lonely. And don't respond to his messages. I know it's easier said than done, but it's the only way to really give yourself a chance to move on.

I'm not saying that the two of you won't ever end up together. Only time will be able to tell that. If your feelings for one another are truly this strong, they will stand the test of time. Give him an opportunity to make his marriage work and give yourself an opportunity to find someone who brings you happiness. I can't imagine that the affair and sneaking around have made either one of you feel very good about yourselves - try to remember that you deserve someone who you love completely - and that can love you back in the public, without any guilt or shame. Don't sell yourself short. And don't revert to the past. Live for today and try to live with the mentality that each new day brings the opportunity of being the best day in your life. Don't wait for your high school sweetheart - move on with your life and know that if the two of you are meant to be together, it will happen one day when you're both available. But also ask yourself if you would ever trust him should the two of you end up together...or would you both suspect the other was seeing someone else, given your history?

I hope I answered your question, Sara, but please don't hesitate to contact me with additional questions or for clarification. I really do wish you the best.


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I can answer questions related to "the chase"--whether to be patient or more assertive. I can answer questions regarding break-ups and moving on. I can answer questions related to flirting and meeting new people as well as how to inspire them to call you.


I have much personal experience as well as often play the role of matchmaker and advice-giver with many of my friends. I took several classes related to gender relations in college, giving me a solid perspective on communication between couples and what it means.

My writing has appeared on a website and various anthologies.

Graduated with a BA from Villanova University.

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