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Parallax - Advice

July 14, 2003

Dial M for Married.

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question!I am forty-five and a married professional. Last fall, I began to have feelings for a colleague with whom I had met monthly for business meetings for almost seven years. However, once we clicked we talked about everything BUT business, and at some point we started to flirt around. In January, his territory changed. Since that time I've had no reason to see him, but I still call him and we talk on the phone, several times a week. I'm always the one to call, but he always calls back—usually right away. He seems to love his wife and I told him I'd stop calling as it doesn't seem right, but he says that would upset him a great deal. He's given me all his home and work numbers, and his personal email address. Although I like talking with him, I know it's wrong to spend so much time on the phone with a married man and I feel guilty. How would I feel if the shoe were on the other foot? My marriage is a mess but it has nothing to do with this. Email to a Friend


Her view:

Dear Desperately Seeking,

Your tale prompts me to ask the question, 'What is wrong with you?' You're both married and headed for an affair, with the potential of two divorces between the pair of you.

You are not in college anymore and your little look-around could prove disastrous. These are serious relationships you are tampering with. Your marriage, by the way, will not improve while you are hitting on other men.

I suggest you focus on your own home before it is too late. You haven't moved completely beyond the pale yet. Perhaps this encounter has served as a well-timed wake-up call. Go to counseling with your husband and sort out your problems.

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His view:

Dear Desperately Seeking,

I have no idea how you would feel if the shoe were on the other foot. I gave up my psychic pretensions long ago.

If your marriage is 'in a mess,' my recommendation is that you focus your attention on your husband—not on someone else's.

Of course, it seems more interesting to flirt with your former business associate, but one suspects you are simply trying to avoid dealing with your real problems.

A little fantasy is always useful and can bring a new perspective to your reality, but there are other sources of distraction available to the average professional woman that do not involve clandestine long-distance phone calls in the middle of the day.

Bottom line: don't be lazy; don't take the easy way out.

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