Pinings — Advice by Sherry Hughes

Mutual Intrigue...

Dear Pinings,

I am a guy in my 30s. I am married (two years) and I have a child from a previous relationship. About four years ago, my now wife, who is eight years my junior, invited a co-worker to spend the night at our shared apartment. I had seen her co-worker a couple of times at company functions and visits to their workplace. At the time her co-worker was about 19 and I was 29. 

Through things my then-girlfriend told me and what seemed to be subtle hints, I think her friend really liked me. We seemed to have a lot in common, interest-wise and in our personalities. I was so taken that I almost made a pass at her while my girlfriend was in the shower but my conscience got the better of me. My now wife discovered this mutual ó weíll call it intrigue ó with each of us and has since that time severed contact with this now ex-co-worker.

I really ďfeltĒ this unsubstantiated connection that I havenít been able to forget; dare I call it a soul connection? I havenít seen her since that fateful morning after but have thought about her many times since then. Iíve always wanted to see her again to find out if it was really mutual (my wife may have just been trying boost my ego). I even return frequently to a restaurant we both professed to serve our favorite food hoping to catch her there. Am I crazy for this? Should I forget about trying to see her again? My wife and I have had many problems with our relationship, trust issues, differences, etc., on both sides. We have separated once and still have the same problems. I see us not being able to stay together.

Now more than ever I have been thinking about ďthe co-worker.Ē So much time has passed. I wonder if I should just give it up already.

- David

Dear David,

I think, first of all, that you should take your fantasy about this woman and follow it through to its conclusion. What might possibly happen? What do you hope will happen? What will that mean to your current relationship, troubled though it is, and your wife?

I believe in fate, and sometimes I believe in soul mates (other times, I just think we can love many people in a lifetime). I also believe that when a relationship is rocky, itís easy to fantasize about other possibilities.

You need to try and remember that reality and fantasy are often two very different things. And as much as you are in a difficult relationship, you probably donít want to intentionally hurt your wife. Iíd suggest that you clean things up at home, whether that means separation, working on your relationship, divorce, whatever, and then make a decision about the coworker ó or dating anyone else for that matter.

Itís significant that your wife cut all ties to this woman. She clearly didnít trust her ó or she didnít trust you.

If a marriage is going to end, a new relationship should happen after, not during. Getting involved in a new situation just breeds ill will, distrust and chaos. Itís not fair to anyone.

Sherry Hughes welcomes letters from readers. Contact her via e-mail at

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