Dear Patricia Marie,

I have been having an affair with my best friend's husband since January and want to end it because I feel guilty, but I have fallen in love with him and can't give him up easily. He says he is just waiting for the right time to tell his wife about us then he will leave her.

He insists he wants to spend the rest of his life with me. I have been on my own for over a year now and the three of us often go out and I have to pretend nothing is going on. I don't know if I should just carry on with the affair until my lover is ready to tell his wife, or do I tell her everything and risk losing our friendship?

Patricia Marie says...

Women tend to believe they are in love when they have an affair. Men can be more opportunistic, but women need to feel more emotionally engaged - and that can be fatal. You say this man is your soul mate, but the reality is what sort of man has an affair with his wife's best friend? If he means what he says about wanting to spend the rest of his life with you, why have you not already ran off into the sunset together? Many mistresses wait forever for their lovers to leave their wives, and when forever never comes, they are left heartbroken.

How do you know you are not just a bit of escapism for him - just a bit of fun. It may not be the first time he's had an affair and promised his mistress the world.

If your friend did find out about the affair, there's every chance your lover would go running back to his wife, and you'd be left with nothing. I urge you to find the strength to end this relationship before this situation becomes destructive. Consider shifting your energy into finding your very own man, rather than waste your time on somebody else's. We can't help who we fall in love with, but everyone is worth more than being someone's mistress.

However, if the two of you are genuinely in love, then he should do the decent thing and tell his wife, who deserves to know her husband has cheated on her and her best friend has betrayed her.

And you need to be sure he's worth it because you are set to lose your best friend forever.