Agony Aunt

Patricia Marie, MBACP qualified counsellor is a member of The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, practising in Harley Street, Essex and Scotland. She has many years experience of dealing with domestic violence, relationship problems, bereavement, depression, addictions, post traumatic stress and many other emotional issues. If you have a dilemma, please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk

I've fallen in love with a man I met on the internet

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 07 July 2017
Dear Patricia Marie,

Three months ago I met a man on the internet, and we speak at least once a day. It sounds quite ridiculous for me to say this, but we have fallen in love, even though we are both married to other people. He has two young children and I have three. Luckily he lives a great distance away, otherwise I would be tempted to meet up and embark on an affair.

My husband and I just don't communicate anymore, and every time I speak with this other extremely attentive man, who makes me feel wanted and desirable, it reinforces how bad my marriage has become.

I know what I'm doing is wrong, and I do still have some feelings for my husband, but I am struggling to give up the excitement of the other man.

Can you see a way forward for me?

Patricia Marie says...

The online environment is the perfect breeding ground for fantasies because it allows us to ascribe all the wonderful qualities we want in a partner to someone we've never met. It may seem harsh to digest, but falling in love on the web is more desperation than reality.

You have stepped into a dangerous make-believe world and, if allowed to continue, you could become depressed, and resent your husband for what you cannot have, which could turn into a very difficult situation. Your relationship with this man is not real. It is simply a form of escapism from what has become a dull marriage.

What is real is what you have, which you should be working on keeping, not putting your energy into something that could become your downfall. Maybe your husband would start to communicate better if you focused more on your family life, and stopped betraying him for fantasy passion. You need to realise that at times every marriage has problems, and working together to solve and get through such difficulties is what bonds and enhances the relationship.

You say you still have feelings for your husband, so build on those feelings. Get away with your husband for a short break, or even an overnight stay. Spending quality time talking and relaxing together will hopefully enable you to start enjoying each other's company again. Nevertheless, to reconnect with your husband, you must let go of your fantasy and fully disconnect yourself from this other man. Go and pull the plug on that computer, and get back in the real world.

For further help and support, I feel you and your husband could benefit from attending Relate for some counselling sessions. (relate.org.uk) 0300 100 1234
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