Relationship Advice

Her Legacy

woman with a look of determination

I am a happily married woman with school-aged children. I am also in love with "Steven," a man I knew back in college. Though there was undeniable magnetism between us when we met, I was already dating the man I later married. Steven and I had only a couple of nights of dynamic passion.

After graduation, we had no contact until the internet came along. For four years we've emailed and talked as lovers. We exchanged sexual fantasies about each other and even a few explicit photos. We live less than two hours apart and have seen each other twice since college, both times in professional settings. He is something of a public figure.

My husband knows Steven and I email and speak on the phone. Steven's wife is totally unaware. I love my husband. He treats me like a queen, and my marriage is the envy of all my friends. Steven and I don't want to rip everyone's life apart, but it is difficult to have so little contact with someone you love so deeply.

Recently I explained to Steven how much it bothers me that he is living a lie. Our dilemma is if he tells his wife he also loves me, she will surely leave him and take the children. If he fudges and says we are friends, she will insist we stop talking.

Now Steven has decided to limit our email to one letter a month. This is part of what he wrote: "Please don't call. It's too hard to talk about this. In total honesty, hearing your voice is a problem. I'm asking you this as a friend: don't call.

"I lay in bed staring at the ceiling all night. I'm comparing my wife to you and getting angry she is not you. I recognize you and I are soul mates.

"Fourteen years ago we might have pulled it off, not now. Children change everything. I love you. And I love my wife. But I love my children more (and I know you understand this). Over the weekend I envisioned what I would have to say to my kids if this ever came out.

"The phone rang twice since I started typing. I assume it's you. I'm sorry not to answer, but I have to insist we stop talking. I love you. It's amazing to me you would doubt that. My feelings, both noble and carnal, aren't going to change, but I can't let them ruin our lives."

I'm afraid Steven's wife will find out about us. I wish he could at least tell her we are friends, even if he leaves out that we love each other. It's such a mess. We're constantly longing for each other, and one email a month doesn't satisfy our desires. Any advice?

Winnie


Winnie, nitroglycerin is a highly explosive liquid. It is so unstable the slightest jolt can cause it to spontaneously detonate. That is what Steven thinks you are. Nitroglycerin.

His stomach does flips each time the phone rings. He has night sweats and makes bargains with God. He is begging you not to ruin him.

You're not afraid his wife will find out about you. You are hopeful. And you have all those letters and pictures. We doubt anything we say will change what you are about to do, but we are curious about what happens. Let us know how many city blocks are leveled, how many lives are destroyed, when you go off.

Alfred Nobel made a fortune turning nitroglycerin into dynamite, a useful form of the explosive. When a newspaper mistakenly ran his obituary before he died, Nobel realized he would be remembered for creating a weapon of destruction. So he created the Nobel Prizes, forever linking his name with peaceful achievements in areas like science and medicine. What do you want your name to be linked with?

Wayne & Tamara