Having an affair with a married woman is ruining my life – but I can’t walk away. Am I destined for a life of misery?

Hi Evie. I’ve been having an affair with a colleague for the last 2 years and I recently gave her an ultimatum; leave her husband or leave me. She said she couldn’t leave her husband until her kids were older and out of the house (which won’t be for another couple of years). I should have stuck to my request and walked away but I can’t. I love her and we have such an amazing connection, I really feel like she’s the one despite the circumstances. On top of all that, I confided in my sister and she told our parents (who are pretty upset about the whole thing). I can’t tell my friends about it or introduce her to them as I don’t want them to judge me. I don’t want anyone at work to find out. So we usually have to meet in secret. I feel like I’m living a double life and it’s making me miserable. – Danny, US

Dear Danny, 

Ah, the age-old dilemma – should I wait or should I go? You’re in a mess like many before you (and many after you). But you’re not trapped. It feels like you are because you’re knee-deep in emotions and complications, but there’s a way out.

First off, love isn’t supposed to make your life harder. If it’s true love, it doesn’t thrive on sneaking around or making someone choose between you and their kids. That’s a movie plot, not real life. Real life and real love are about building something positive, not tearing down what someone else has, even if it’s not perfect.

You gave her an ultimatum, which tells me part of you knows this isn’t right. But then, you didn’t stick to it. Why? Because you’re scared of losing her. But think about it—what are you holding onto? A relationship that can only exist in the shadows? That’s not a foundation for anything lasting.

And not to mention this secrecy—it’s eating you up. You can’t talk to your friends, your family is upset, and you’re worried about work finding out. This isn’t just about your relationship; it’s about you living a life that’s not true to who you are. No wonder you feel miserable. 

I know it can’t be easy to fall in love with someone who’s already married. I also know that our desires and feelings can often cloud our sense of judgment, especially in these situations. 

But here’s the thing:

Holding onto this hope that things will change when her kids are older is like waiting for a train that’s never going to come. It’s time to face the tough decision to step away. Not because she’s not choosing you, but because you need to choose yourself first.

You deserve to be in a relationship that’s out in the open, where you don’t have to hide.

I know right now it feels like you’ll never love again. But give yourself time. Work on putting yourself first, and the right lady will come along. Someone who you can proudly introduce to your family and friends, and who you can declare your love for without secrets or guilt. A person you can actually build a life with, not someone who, let’s face it, is keeping all her options open. 

Sending strength and courage, 


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Ask Evie

Evie is on a mission to revolutionize relationships and help you sort through your emotional woes. Her popular column helps readers break free from societal restraints and create empowering relationships - both with their inner selves and with those around them. With a wealth of experience in relationship counseling, backed by several professional certifications, she’s open-minded, big-hearted, and extremely compassionate… But she’ll also be completely honest in telling you the (sometimes) brutal truth, so you can get straight to the heart of the matter. Maybe you’re trying to save a marriage that currently feels like a sinking ship? Or worrying that your new friend isn’t quite as nice as they seem? Perhaps you’ve accidentally killed your partner’s goldfish and are weighing up the pros and cons of going to the pet store and finding a doppelganger, or fessing up? Whatever the dilemma, Evie’s at the ready to help sort through the emotional turmoil and guide you towards the next best step. To get in touch with Evie, click here.

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