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Alicia_MSW, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 794
Experience:  Specializing in relationship/family counseling
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I am in a relationship with two ex-wife of 24 years,

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I am in a relationship with two ex-wife of 24 years, and a lady who I have known over a year.. both are 51, I am 52...I love the one I have known for a year but feel guilt and loyalty to my ex-wife..really don't know what to do...which is the best path forward?
Hi, I'm Alicia. Thanks for asking your question - I'm happy to help you today.

Unfortunately, there's no easy answer to this question. It's not unusual to love more than one person, but it's very difficult, if not impossible, to maintain a relationship if both women want you to be committed only to them. If the only thing that is keeping you tied to your ex-wife is guilt and loyalty, then it might be worth moving on to the relationship with the women you love - because you aren't doing your ex-wife any favors by staying with her out of a sense of responsibility. Even though it might hurt her (and you) right now if you decide to end things, it's best for you both in the end if you are honest with her and yourself -- because you both deserve to be happy with someone who will love you and share your life. And it sounds like this other woman is potentially someone who can do that for you. But you have to give it some deep thought and consideration and listen to your heart and your gut when deciding how to move forward - just be careful and sensitive if you choose to end the romantic involvement with your ex-wife. You can still be friends and have a relationship with her, but just on a different level. I hope that helps, and I wish you luck. Please let me know if you need additional assistance.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Not sure if this is your area of expertise, but there is also a religious and spiritual aspect to this situation, as my ex-wife and I are practicing Christians, and I have religious issues with divorce and remarriage. Just a secondary concern which is often magnified in religious homes...lady of other part of situation is also a spiritual, committed Christian as well, which just complicates my feelings all the way around...Thanks for your help...

Hello again,
I can understand the sensitive nature of the topic, taking into account your religious beliefs and practices. But please correct me if I am wrong - I am assuming that you and your ex-wife are divorced for some time now? And the other women is not currently involved in a relationship? It would be one thing if this situation were going on while you were still married, of course. I do understand the spiritual conflict you might be feeling about the situation, but the only way to resolve it and to alleviate the feelings of guilt that you seem to be experiencing is to take action in one direction or the other. Staying in this limbo period isn't healthy for any of you - but you also don't need to take immediate action. It's smart to think about the repercussions of the whole situation and the effect it will have on everyone, but in the end, you still need to do what is going to be best for you (and your ex-wife) in the long run. If it helps, you might also want to discuss it (if you feel it would be appropriate to do so) in a bit more depth with a pastoral counselor or a clergyperson you trust.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hello again...


There is some information I need to share with you to give you a cleare picture of the situation I am in.


I spoke with a religious counselor and she urged me strongly to break it off with this woman (Dianne). She has an uneven past, questionable choices in men, some failed relationships, and seems reluctant to answer or be an open book regarding her life. Gaps in her life story, a sudden divorce from her husband of 8 years about 5 years ago, and beginning a sexual relationship (long distance,XXXXX with a man she barely knew very quickly after her separation. Sounds like it but it wasn't an affair. She said it was because her husband denied her sex for most of their marriage and didn't find her desirable and was addicted to porn.

There have been rumors about some interracial relationships she has had at work with a co-worker and a foreign contractor, who was of the Islam faith, which makes me very uncomfortable. Not to sound prejeduiced, but I come from a place and upbringing where certain things were frowned upon...please forgive my candidness but it's part of the story.


She also tends to keep in contact with men she has had prior relationships, but only seems to be friends. She acts as if she truly loves me, is courteous, attentive, loving beyond belief, and seems like a genuinely nice person who has just had bad luck with men.


But something keeps nagging me that something is in her past that I can't get by, makes me feel as if a piano is going to drop on my head. My religious counselor referred to her as a "black widow" and a "Jezebel"...I wouldn't go so far, but she was adamant that I was headed off a cliff, spiritually and financially in the future if I married her. She recently broke it off with me due to my reluctance to commit, but still sends feelers out through text messages occaisonally. I get the feeling she may simply be playing me, and is seeing other guys on the side and only comes back to me if one of those doesn't pan out.

I am still torn and confused...I can pay additional fees if needed for an answer from you....Thanks.

Hello again,

Sorry for the delay.
To be honest with you, there's nothing in your most recent message that indicates, to me, that you truly, deep down, feel that pursuing a more serious relationship with this woman would be a good idea. It seems that your gut instinct is trying to steer you in a certain direction, and it makes sense to me, due to all of the factors you've pointed out in your message. I don't think this is something to ignore, especially the sense that, as you described it, a piano might fall on your head. There's a reason that you're feeling this way, and I don't think it's something you're making up in your head or feeling for no real reason. It's something to listen to. I do tend to agree with what the religious counselor suggested, in terms of considering breaking it off, because even though she might be giving you certain indications that she truly loves you, etc, etc, it could be part of how the story usually plays out, if you understand what I mean. I'm not saying she is a bad person or that she doesn't have the best of intentions at heart, but you know what they say about good intentions...If you do decide to continue the relationship, I would advise proceeding with extreme caution and taking things very slow. But it sounds like, if she broke it off with you because she feels you didn't want to commit, then you're both not seeing things on the same level right now anyway. And perhaps that is for the best.

I can see that there's some part of you that truly cares about her, and there's nothing necessarily wrong about having a friendship with her, but she doesn't sound like the "right" person for you. I can't make that judgment for you, of course, but my own gut instinct is giving me a similar feeling to the one you're experiencing now.

I wish you luck. I hope this helps to point you in the right direction, or at least confirm what you're feeling deep down. Please let me know if you have any further questions.
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