My Married Lover Left His Wife, Lives With Me But Remains Attached

Zodiac necklace

Dear Elsa,

I have a problem. I got involved with a man who left his wife for me back in February last year. He now lives with me, but doesn’t disclose any information about his finances. He says he loves me, but he is not legally separated from his wife. His kids refuse to see me. He calls them like 10-15 times a day, but never in front of me. If his wife calls on his mobile while he is with me, he doesn’t answer the phone.

He works long hours during the week, and on the weekend he plays soccer and spends time with his children. I feel so miserable, I work and go home and do nothing else. But I can’t seem to let him go, as I love him so much.

People have told me they have seen them together on numerous occasions but when I confront him, he says that they are lying. I told him last week that if he wants to be with his wife and kids, I beg him to just leave and never come back. He says that he’s not sure what he wants. Please advise me as I have very few friends here and no family at all apart from my two children from my first marriage.

I wish you a good day and I look forward to your reply.


Dear Miserable,

I actually feel sorry for you, in spite of the fact I loathe what you are doing and what you have done. Because you really do sound completely confused and incapable of comprehending your situation so I’ll start by explaining it to you.

You actually didn’t take this man from his wife and children. You did not “win”. He is still very much with them, although it seems you get to do his laundry now.

And a lot of people probably figure this chaos you’re in is exactly what you deserve. Do you realize that? You don’t seem to. You don’t seem to comprehend that you have erred in any way. If you did, you would readily understand why his kids don’t want anything to do with you. Why would they want to meet and greet the woman who devastated their family?

Further, their father doesn’t seem to want all that much to do with you either, have you noticed? I think you should. I think you should notice that you are his last priority.

So it’s no wonder you feel horrible. What in the world do you have to feel good about? Your exemplary behavior? The way people feel they can trust you? How close you are to your partner? I’m sorry. I really don’t mean to lay into you. It’s just that your only hope is to clean the slate and start over. Seriously.

And love? What’s to love about this guy? He doesn’t love you, that’s for sure. Read your post up there. Does it sound like that guy loves that woman? He likes a mess, that’s for sure. But does he love you? Hell no. If he loved you, he’d be supporting you. If he loved you, he wouldn’t be lying through his teeth.

Look. You have an enormously challenging chart and you don’t need this man. What you need is a decent girlfriend and you’re not going to get one of those until and unless you stop screwing other women’s men. So how about it?

I say kick this guy (with his nebulous finances) out of your house – and then reach out to other women, the way you did when you wrote me. Try to make friends online first, if this is more comfortable for you. Find a message board and post to it. Tell people you are lonely and I bet you will find you have lots of company.

Next thing you know, you’ll be building a friendship. And this will heal you. But your man? I’m sorry, but he’s not your man, is he?

Good luck.


19 thoughts on “My Married Lover Left His Wife, Lives With Me But Remains Attached”

  1. Hi Elsa,

    Thank you for being honest to this person. I loved your advice!
    Miserable, I wish you well as you begin your journey on opening up to the world in a way that hurts neither others nor yourself.

    Many people have erred in the way that you have, learned from their mistakes, and moved on to a different, higher place. Never forget that you are able to do the same!

    On another note, Elsa, you never mentioned any astrological info of this person’s chart. Is there any you’d like to share with my curious little brain?

  2. christine, I don’t keep the data associated with the blogs and I write them about 10 days ahead, so details are sketchy. But I do recall she has a major grand cross (as if there is such a thing as a minor grand cross)… the chart is extremely challenging. And when I see someone with a life this hard I am not inclined to judge them too harshly. Some people really have a tough go of it and this gal is one of those. I hope she gets some friends. I think this would help her immensely.

  3. Hi, I agree with the advice, only Im not sure about Miserable hurting other people – I mean HIS family (wife and kids). It is his wife, his kids and that man is responsible for his actions and decisions in the first place (together with his wife) and noone knows what the actual situation in that family is. Miserable is hurting only herself, because her partner is not with her and she probably needs more than the man can offer her now.

    There are lots of broken marriages and men/women who left their partners for various reasons, with different results. Miserables is not the happiest story.

  4. Oh, baloney. People may give you permission to hurt them but it’s still your call whether or not you take the high road or not.

  5. I agree wit marly dont fool yourself into thinkinh his family isnt suffering because id bet my bottom dollar they are.Dont you think the kids are wondering where dad is why he isnt at dinner at nite and tuck them in.Sure it hurts and its wrong.I do feel a little sorry but what is the old saying about making your bed???



    There’s a lyric I love about that, actually. It’s by Orbit, in a song called “Medicine:”

    “I’ve made
    my bed
    I’m gonna sleep in it
    But I’m gonna get myself some great new sheets.”

  7. Friends tend to help, I find. They have saved me on more occasions than I can count.

    And as far as the responsibility – well it took two of them to move in together, so … yes, Miserable had a part in it, and yet she wasn’t alone.

    Miserable – you can only take responsibility for you, your own choices. *nods* Good luck, and I hope you manage to pull things out to a better conclusion for yourself. Clean slates are nice. 🙂

  8. miserable-you’re living with a guy who is having an affair with his wife (and family). and i suspect he knows what he wants well enough, because it seems pretty obvious he’s already getting it. hell, it’s been going on two years now…long enough for you to have a pretty good idea of what this relationship is going to bring you, dontcha think? if you don’t think you’re up to just kicking him to the curb uncerimoniously, consider going into some therapy to figure out why you’re in this kind of situation and, more importantly, how you can get out.

    peace out.

  9. It never fails to amaze me how often women are to blame…for everything. What about this married man? HE took the vows, HE promised to forsake all others for his wife, HE promised to stay with his wife in sickness and in health, HE violated the institution of marriage. I think that the biblical science of Eve has distorted reality. Most married men run after other women, not the other way around. In addition, married men seem to have a radar for vunerable women. Wives wait on their philandering husbands AND forgive them for their cheating ways and blame the other woman for leading his astray. What about the needy wife who tolerates the philander and, in this case, may even continue to bed him? Let’s put the blame where it belongs. This married man is exploiting women! He exploits the neediness of the other woman and his wife. Throughout this society, women are reminded through media and sites like this, that it is always their fault if the husband leaves them or if the husband leaves for them. Most of the women in this post can’t think pass what society has socialized them to think. SHE has not done anything to HIS wife and family. HE did. SHE should have been advised to seek counseling to identify why she tolerates emotional abuse instead of condemned for her vunerability. I suspect that some of the women who post on this site have experienced their significant others infidelity and blames the other woman while working to win back a man who really doesn’t deserve either woman! Please progress to more feminist thinking and leave your self-righteous biblical thinking out of it. Get a clue, men will always smell like roses because this society (men and women) continues to value a male over a female. Even male ministers in churches are excused for affairs with women in their congregation, a congregation that continues to listen to his self-righteous dialogues, while the so-called woman of sin is banned from the church. Women are vunerable, nurturing, caring individuals and many men take advantage of this. I pity a wife who takes her husband back after an affair…he’ll do it again, and again but the wife and society’s brainwashed women will blame the other woman. Sad, sad, sad.

  10. “Roz Says:
    The 31st of October, 2006 at 8:23 am

    It never fails to amaze me how often women are to blame…for everything.”

    Me too!

    I’ve seen some male-bashing rants before but that takes the cake. I’m sorry he hurt you, whatever his name is. I’ve been hurt too and thought I had a couple of, uh, minor trust issues with women but DANG.

    All this brainwashing and societal conspiracy you speak of is, really, just the human animal being what we are. The roles of men and women have been set in stone since, like, the dawn of freakin’ time — and since the Enlightenment, pretty much, everything’s gone downhill for couples. That was when things started to change….

    Which brings us to now, with the hopelessly distored – and somewhat reversed – roles of men and women. Remember, it was only 1920 that women got the right to vote. The changes that followed about how men and women were supposed to behave around each other sent shockwaves that reverberate to this day.

    In the 70’s and 80’s, it got really freaky. Men became ‘sensitive’, and women became career-oriented. The notion of the Super Mom was born. Men took a back seat because, as women so vocally pointed out, men really been assholes for the last 5,000 years and it was about time we went easier on women.

    Suddenly EVERYthing shifted. The divorce rate skyrocketed, women realized that Super Mom was a pipe dream – no human being can pull of those kind of hours – and y’all got mad about it. The home dynamic changed such that women no longer cooked and cleaned and made sure the place was nice and quiet when dad got home from work; now he’s assaulted by complaints, bills, kids, etc. and accused of not being a good husband because he doesn’t immediately shift into Mr. Mom mode so you can go do Pilates. And that’s if you’re a stay-at-home mom. There’s a whole different nightmare scenario for both genders when they both work.

    THAT’s what’s wrong with modern relationships. Before you go laying it ALL on men, realize, that with all things men and women.. it takes two to tango. We did this to each other.

    Solution? Live for yourself. Have lots of interests and contribute to your community.

    I have a funny feeling Elsa won’t approve my comments.. 😀

  11. yep, lets stop blaming the ‘other woman’ (who I might add is single and free to start with). Everyone has some moral high ground to look down from, until it happens to them, or someone close to them, (but of course that is always different).
    With the rate of divorce and separation in our society, it doesn’t look at all hopeful for the ‘institution of marriage’. So lets all get over ourselves. He is the conniving creep who has lied to both her and his wife right from the bloody start. Leave Elsa be, and let her get advice from an experienced counseller. Someone who isn’t going to make her feel worse, like you just did.

  12. This is an old blog brought to my attention by a new comment. I popped over here to re-read and see that most the comments are negative towards my advice. However, I stand by my advice.

    This gal could really use a girlfriend and this guy is not hers… he spends almost no time with her – he does not include her in his life.

    As to my judgment I also stand by that. When your life is this completely jacked, I figure you better start from scratch and the only way you are going to do that is if you see that not one thing you are doing is serving you. I thought this letter way a cry for help and I would not change a word of what I said.

    I will say these questions are edited after I write my response and it is likely that HQ modified some of this so this could also be part of the problem. You are probably not reading what I did.

    In whatever case I do appreciate the other people’s perspectives and understand them and I surely don’t bat 1000, it’s just not possible.

    My thrust when I wrote this was to encourage the woman to ditch the man and just take a better path so she could be happy.

  13. Got to say, I do agree with Roz’s comment here– 🙂

    And agree with Elsa, that she should ditch the guy and find some friends….

    All easier said than done.

    Regarding the situation at hand: It takes two (or three?) and they all lose so it seems. But it’s not about morality, it’s about balance…

    I wonder what happened to the letter writer?

    I have known quite a few women who always “wind up” in these triangles…

  14. Well Ms Miserable I sympathise with you as I am in a similar situation myself. I’m 34, never married, no kids and was looking for a man to settle down with….

    I was in the Dr’s several months ago and bumped into a childhood sweetheart after not seeing each other for 20 years. He was someone me and my female friends from primary school often wondered about. He was still gorgeous and enquired as too whether I was married. He then went on to say he was married with 2 girls aged 4 and 2. I just thought shame he’s not available and that was it. I mentioned about us getting together for a catch up with some mutual school friends sometime and gave him my number and hand on heart I had no intention of anything more than that.

    We met up with friends for drinks and after a couple of meetings he said he was unhappily married and his wife had asked him to leave twice. He had left on both occasions and then soon after she’d asked him back. He said they’d been together since they were 18 and although he still loved her as a person and as mother of his children he was unhappy and they’d been in separate rooms almost since the 2 yr old was born. He was no longer in love with his wife and was leaving. He proceeded to tell me since childhood he’d often thought of me and thought that since meeting back up with me he thought that I was the most amazing person he’d ever met etc etc …you can imagine the rest of the script.

    I explained that I don’t date married men and wasn’t interested in someone with baggage as I want to meet someone who I will be a priority with and in a relationship where I would not constantly be on the back burner. I also said that I did not want any part in the break up of a marriage especially where kids were involved. I suggested on numerous occasions taking his wife on holiday, away for the weekend, out for a meal or simply telling her how miserable he is and trying to get things back on track. He just said it was far too late for any of that and that his marriage was totally & utterly dead and the only reason why he was still there for the kids.

    Eventually he convinced me against my protests that he was the one for me and that we could have a decent future together and I accepted that I would be taking on his two girls (part time at least anyway) and some financial responsibility and sharing my house etc. He insisted that he was already leaving before he met me and it had absolutely nothing to do with me, he was just hanging in there till after Christmas. I stupidly fell for it all hook, line and sinker and we commenced a wonderful relationship that to be fair was not based predominantly around sex as affairs usually are. I couldn’t get my head around that at first with the difficult situation so it was just one based on affection, stimulating conversation and enjoying each other company in the beginning.

    He left his wife 3rd Jan and has been at his parents ever since as his work is slack in winter so he couldn’t afford to rent a place and I don’t want him to move in with me until everything is settled as it would just be disrespectful to all involved. I offered to pay for a flat but he said he couldn’t accept that so he’s at Mum & dad’s and they refuse to give him a key so he has to be home when they go to bed at 10.30pm at the age of 34!!! I suspect it’s because they want to ensure he can’t date anyone else. If that isn’t hard enough for me to cope with at my age, from day one of him leaving (nearly 7 wks ago) he has gone round to his wife’s house every single day after work to see the children until the kids are in bed 7.30 – 8.30 and even has his dinner there quite regularly. When he isn’t working he is there from 10am. I then get to see him for a couple hours until 10.30 and he spends all day Sat & Sunday with his wife and the children. Whilst I appreciate he misses his children, it appears too me that the only change he has made is that he sleeps at his parents. I don’t really get any quality time with his which makes me miserable. I have always put his wife and kids feelings in front of my own and insisted he answer the phone when she calls etc. But it appears now that I don;’t really get anything in return. The pair of them seem to be trying to keep a pretence up for the kids sake which inevitably isn’t doing anyone, including the kids any favours. None of his family know about me on my insistence as even though I accept now that I shouldn’t have become involved until he really was a free man and that it was a stupid thing to do. I’d hate everyone to think that it was me who set out to destroy his marriage and if we were going to build a life together I wanted to ensure he wasn’t seen in a bad light by the children and that I wasn’t branded the other woman who the ex and the kids hated.

    I’ve tried to get through to him that he has left his wife, not his children, that nobody died life just changed and he needs to embrace that, accept it and change with it or it will destroy everything around him including us. Anyway because he is so obviously unable to let go and accept that he has left his wife and can have a life with me and see his kids I felt I had no choice but to end it yesterday. He is going round there constantly because instead of sitting down with his wife and: defining boundaries, agreeing access to the children, getting the kids in a routine and use to the fact that daddy isn’t there everyday. they just seem to want to pretend everything in the garden is rosy. Neither of them seem to be able to face up to what is going on and I was stuck in the middle and it was making me totally miserable and ill. I didn’t sleep for mths, wasn’t eating, drinking too much, smoking too much and just an emotional wreck. So I just said, I love you but I can’t deal with this anymore. I’m sick of not being considered and getting nowhere. I got his things together and left them in my hallway this morning for him to collect whilst I’m at work, which he has done. He rang me and says he’s devastated at losing me and wants to continue our relationship but can’t face not being with his kids. He states that whilst his wife is allowing him to be involved as much as he is then he is going to carry on doing just that until it changes. Which in reality it will, unless of course they both remain single for the rest of their lives or get back together it inevitably will change.

    I’m devastated at discovering the man I love and believed to be “My Mr Right” who had promised me a loving, happy future is completely spineless and unable to deliver. I am not willing to put up with the crumbs of time that I am being offered nor the weak and cowardly way of him not facing up to and accepting responsibility for his actions. Hard as it may be, I deserve more than what he can give me so I’ve told him I will not see him anymore and I’m determined to get my life back as for months I’ve not slept, not ate lived on an emotional rollercoaster and what for? Nothing!

    My advice to you is what I did yesterday, picture one of your friends in the same situation and write down what advice you would give to them and act upon it! Life is too short to be unhappy and to settle for crumbs and even though I’ll be blubbing for days, I’m a big girl, I will get over it eventually. There is sunshine after every storm and what is for you in life will not pass you by. Maybe my man will sort himself out and realise that he can’t continue to live a lie and accept that his marriage is over and that he can have a successful happy relationship with his kids and me concurrently. Maybe not, maybe he’ll go back to his wife and if he does and that is truly what his heart desires then I hope they work things out because everyone deserves to be happy. Maybe he’ll go back and things will remain the same, unloving, cold and hostile and if they want to waste their lives living like that and inflicting that on the kids then that is their choice.

    Anyway Ms Miserable only you have the power to change your life so don’t put up with stuff if you are unhappy get rid of him!!! And to anyone else thinking of entering into an affair DON’T even if they convince you it’s over, stick to your guns! Tell them to come back and see you when they’re divorced and totally over the break up and in a routine with the kids. that way you can decide if the schedule fits in with what you need from a relationship and you have a choice to go in fully aware or to walk away I really wish I’d have stuck to my guns that way I wouldn’t be in htis mess.

    Good Luck


  15. My husband left my children and me 2.5 years ago for the other woman. He took along with him every dime, liquidated life ins. policies, took all the equity out of our home and other property. He then filed bankruptcy. I was a stay at home mom for 15 years, so he left us penniless. All of you who said that HE took the vows, etc., are absolutely right. HE wronged his family. However, this woman who was, and still is, willing to devastate a family, is morally wrong, no question. If women, (and men) in a society are unwilling to condone immoral behavior on all levels, the world would be a much better place. This woman knew she was with a married man. No matter what the circumstances of our marriage, which she couldn’t possibly know, it was and still is her responsibility, as a woman, and as a member of the moral human race, to say, “I will not be a part of destroying a family”. She certainly has a responsiblity in the ruination of our marriage. Had he no one to turn to, his only choices would have been to make an effort to repair any problems he felt were in our relationship or to leave and work through it alone, so he would be able to see clearly the consequences of his choice. If he wanted to find happiness in a new relationship, he could have waited until he was divorced to do so.

    *Just as an aside, I found later that he had at least one other affair and made attempts on women I knew. Also, the woman he is with, left her children behind in Canada, we’re in USA, to be with him. Her three children are with two different husbands. Her last husband told me that she left him and their 7 year old son, at the time, for another married man. That married man relationship ended, she dated another man, then has been living with my husband, vacationing every month, and spending all of our marital assets.

    Good Luck to you Miserable. I hope you make the right choice. My children don’t want anything to do with my husband’s mistress either. I can’t imagine that they are going to go on living “happily ever after”, when the children aren’t happy when they are with her, and every one in my community knows who this woman is. Respect yourself enough to be an upstanding woman. Don’t be fooled into thinking you have no responsiblity in the break up of this marriage. You will find real love somewhere if you respect yourself. “To thine ownself be true.” William Shakespeare


  16. I was just watching a film called “the woman” with the mistress being Eva Mendez and the wife being cheated on was Meg Ryan (sadly her real life ex husband Dennis Quaid really did cheat on her) and the story was similar to above, where the husband was still attached to the wife/children, and the wife had a lot of good friends who tried to help her get her husband back. Great advice!

  17. Avatar

    The more I read about situations like these, the more I think a woman who’s with a man she loves enough to enjoy but not enough to care what he does has the best possible deal.

  18. Avatar

    I think it has to be very hard for a woman to accept that the man she married, no matter how much he loves her, will always love himself more and her pain is less important than him getting what he wants. It’s easier to demonize the other woman than face the truth.

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