Question: Yangki, I have been married for 9 years and have two wonderful children. Four months ago I ran into my high school sweetheart and my first love and now my life has been turned upside down. My feelings for her have not changed at all. Don’t get me wrong, I love my wife very much. She’s a good partner and has been by my side through some really difficult times and I consider her my soulmate. We have marital problems like most couples, but nothing that would lead to a divorce. But this other woman is also my soul mate, in a different kind of way. She brings out something in me, and I like who I am when I am with her. Can a man love be in love with two women at the same time? Please respond. I have no one to talk to who will understand what I’m going through.
Yangki’s Answer: Yes, it is possible to truly love and care about one person and be happy in and with the relationship, but have love or have strong feelings of love for someone else.
That said, there is being “in love” or “feeling in love” and there is being “in a relationship”. These are two very different things. Just as you can be in a relationship and not be in love, you can also be in love but not necessarily be in a relationship with that person. And because love happens at a sub-conscious level, we do not have control over who we love or feel love for. We however, have control over who we choose to have a relationship with.
You did not ask me what to do with those strong feelings of love. I am assuming you already know, but for the sake of someone else in the same situation reading this and wondering “what do I do with these feelings for this other person?“, I’ll add this.
A strong and healthy relationship is founded on trust, honesty, attention and lots of sacrifices including putting aside our “individual good” for a “greater good” (beyond self). These relationship foundations are important not because it’s impossible to love two people at the same time, but because of the limitation of human nature — which has a limited time, energy and resources.
This means that even though we can love more than one person at the same time, it is impossible to have a happy and fulfilling relationship with both people because of our limited time, energy and resources. It also means, you will have to choose one person to be in a relationship with .
1. Think of what is most important
What is most important should include respecting your partner enough to protect her dignity and shield her from emotional pain and hurt. The “respect” you have for your wife/girlfriend/partner and the courage and maturity to look beyond your individual desires, needs and wants is the measure of the strength of your character and person.
2. Be emotionally intelligent/mature about it
You do not always have to act on all the feelings and emotions you experience. Feelings and emotions are our access to our inner world and guide our thinking and actions. Emotionally intelligent and mature people have the ability to determine which information (from our emotions and feelings) to act on, and which not to.
In other words, it’s not “wrong” to have those emotions and feelings and you’re not a “bad” person” for having them, it’s what you do with those feelings and emotions (if they hurt/damage another person) that makes them “wrong” or “bad”.
3. Keep a distance between you and the other woman
You cannot have daily intimate contact with someone you have feelings for without experiencing a growing sexual attraction and desire/need to have sex with her. Even if you manage to suppress your desires, the suppressed sexual attraction will create feelings of deep sadness (or depression), and this will create sexual intimacy problems in your relationship/marriage.
So think very carefully about what you are doing — or are about to do.
What an awesome article, everything was so true, well written and very deep, true brilliance. I learnt alot from this article. Thanks alot.
I have been married for 30 years and raised four good kids. I love my wife but she always complains about most things. I fell for another woman and we had a relationship I wish did not happen. I stopped seeing her but can’t get her out of my mind. Everyime my wife complains I wish I had not left her. It’s been a year now and I miss this other woman ten times a day at least.
Help me learn to forget her.
I should also mention I married at 19 and was a father shortly after. I only loved my wife and this affair partner. God help me ease this emotional pain.
The more you “try to forget’ about something the harder it is to actually “forget” about it. I don’t even think that you can really “forget” about this other woman. She was part of your life’s journey, that’s permanent in memory.
It might help ease the pain if you try to focus on trying to work on your marriage because that seems to be the reason the grass appears greener on the other side.
I don’t know you or your wife, and I certainly don’t think she’s “blameless” (it takes two to make a relationship work), but your own words (“Everyime my wife complains I wish I had not left her”, “Help me learn to forget her”, “God help me ease this emotional pain”) tell me that you feel more like a victim of your circumstances than a creator of your reality.
Until you own up to being the creator of your own reality, you’ll always feel powerless and helpless.
You married young, there are MANY things you both could learn — together — that can spice up your marriage and make it feel fresh again. But if neither of you is willing to give your marriage an honest try, then get a divorce.
I don’t think I would like some of the people who are writing about loving two women but that is just what I am doing. I live alone but spend a lot of time with each of them. They are very different . One is sensual, sexy and energetic, the other intellectual and very much on my wavelength and we share lots of interests.. I love being with both of them and when I am I feel this is what I want until I am with the other. Both feel I am holding back which I am. I don’t want to hurt either but I know that is what will happen. I keep putting off the decision and the painful action that would then follow. I should know how to deal with this..I am in my 50s. I don’t like myself for what I am doing
My wife moved away but kept in touch. She didn’t want to seperate just insisted that she needed some time apart. After a year apart I found someone we are great friends and I wanted to have a more intimate relationship with her so I informed my wife that we needed to seperate. Appearantly this forced her to overcome whatever issues she had with our marriage she contacted me and we have resolved our problems. I still have very strong feelings for my friend. Can I save my marriage and still be friends with the other woman?
Friendship with the other woman while you are trying to work on your marriage might not be a good idea for the simple reason that your loyalties, energies and emotions are split between the two. That is a lot of stress for anyone since you can’t focus on either relationship. You may even end up with neither.
Part of being “an adult” is that you have to accept that sometimes you can’t have everything you want. You have to make tough choices.