It’s Complicated Advice Q&A: “Should I Let Him Leave His Wife for Me?”

by Redbook, on Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:39am PST

Five years ago I met a married guy who fell in love with me. I knew he was married, so we didn’t communicate for three years, but when we did, our relationship blossomed. Now he’s trying to talk me into a long-term relationship; he’s ready to leave his wife for that, but I don’t want to be a cause of his family’s breakdown. I’m torn between my heart and my conscience. What should I do? — R.G., 47, Las Vegas

Related: How to Have a Better Relationship

If you truly cannot abide the thought of being the cause of his family’s breakdown, tell him you’d love to hear from him after his divorce is final; then go about your life. Doing this takes guts and grit. You have to deny your unruly heart. And the only thing you get out of the bargain is knowing that you’re a woman of character. In the long run this has many benefits: You can sleep at night, and you don’t have to lie to anybody. In the short run, however, it pretty much sucks.

Related: The Best Mom Moments

There is, however, one other huge benefit of obeying your conscience: You’ll find out whether you’re involved with someone who truly loves you for you, or whether you’ve got a Love Tarzan on your hands. Just like the king of the jungle swings from vine to vine, the Love Tarzan swings from relationship to relationship. It’s not unusual for him to stay in a just-okay marriage if there’s no one on the horizon for him to glom onto.

Related: Easy Ways to Feel Closer to Your Partner

If you need convincing that a long-term relationship is the way to go, do what it takes to be really convinced — watch, wait, and you’ll know what’s right in time.

Karen Karbo is an award-winning writer and author of The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World’s Most Elegant Woman. She’s also a mom, a writing teacher, and a horse owner. Check out more advice from Karen.

Need smart advice?

Maybe your best friend is suddenly acting strangely. Or your parents or in-laws are making you nuts. Or your sister always takes your mom’s side in an argument, instead of yours. Whatever’s bugging or perplexing you — about your friends, brother, sister, parents, in-laws, husband, you name it — REDBOOK’s Karen Karbo has the smart advice you need. Email your questions, rants, and worries to her at and please include your initials, age, city and state. Letters may be edited for clarity and length.

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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.

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