By D. Scott
Dear Auntie: Do you think it’s possible to love two people at the same time? But like, in two different ways? I love my husband. I just think of him in a way that I know he will always care for me and have my best interest. I’ve met several people since I’ve been married. None of them have moved me like the guy I’m seeing currently. My husband knows that I’m seeing this man. We have an open marriage. We have been married 26 years.
We have an agreement that if we fell in love with other people, we would let each other know. I would never leave my husband. I’m certain he would never leave me. My new love interest doesn’t want to continue unless I leave my husband. I refuse, but I want to keep my relationship with both. My husband won’t allow him in the house nor will he allow it in his face. What should I do? I love them both.
UNKNOWN from UNKNOWN
Dear Unknown: To answer your question: YES, you can love two people at the same time. There are at least seven different types of love. It sounds like your husband and you have fallen into “philia” love or even a “pragma” love. You’ve been together so long that it’s almost a family love. Not brother and sister — but you’ve conformed to each other over the years. Your common goal is ‘each other until the end.’ The love you have for the new side dude is based on excitement and, likely, lust. It seems you have an “eros” love for the side dude.
Your dilemma is that you want to keep both. It was all fun and games until your husband realized you actually cared for the other man. That’s gotta hurt. Those are dangerous games y’all are playing. You understand that in order to keep your marriage intact, you have to let side dude go. You also understand that you are not willing to risk your stable life with your husband to see if the side dude is worth it.
Men have this dilemma often. Typically, they selfishly cheat, and the women have no idea their man is a trash person. Or it’s one-sided. Although “open” relationships are not for me, I applaud your honesty in your marriage. The way my mental illness is set up, the only thing I can have that is open in a relationship is a souvlaki sandwich.
You have to let the side dude go. If you don’t, he will leave YOU. Then you will become psychotic because your ego won’t allow you to believe he chose himself over you. Believe it. If you love side dude like you say, stop being selfish. Give him back to the streets from which he came. Resume being married. Let this be something you and your husband remember in another 26 years. It was fun. The end. You’re married and functioning like you’re not. Be thankful your husband allows for these nuances. Please also be prepared for his turn at loving someone else — if he hasn’t already. In the end, don’t involve others in your marriage. It will prove to be unhealthy. End it. The fantasy will always be better than the reality.
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