People write in to ASK MIDLIFE BACHELOR with questions.  An index of all Q&As is located on the ASK MIDLIFE BACHELOR INDEX page. Email your question in complete confidence to [email protected].

DEAR MIDLIFE BACHELOR: About 2 years ago my husband met a woman at work.  They first became friends, then he started having an emotional affair with her which turned into a physical affair. 

He has told both of us that she reminds him of me, and has a lot of my mannerisms.  She is older than me, and has never been married and does not have kids.  He sees her as free.  We are in a cycle where he states he wants a divorce but will not follow through with it.  He had marriage dissolution papers drawn up but has not actually filed for divorce.  He has tried coming and going between both of us while lying to me that it’s over.

He has manipulated both of us.  He has tried suicide ploys to keep me in our relationship. have tried to get him to settle things, and get his stuff but he will not.  He only wants our son when it’s convenient


for him.  How is the best way to end this cycle?  I have set boundaries for him to meet, and told him he can’t come home until he meets them.  He is at times nice and then nasty when I try to take the control back for my life.  He won’t discuss the divorce or bring it up, and he isn’t pushing for it.  If he won’t come home then why won’t he let me go?  I am 36, and he is 40.  Angela

MLB RESPONSE: Angela – thanks for writing in.  I am sorry you are going through this.  It sounds like you love your husband, and although you think you want to let him go – you cannot seem to.  I say this because for anyone, people only use the power over you that you grant them.  In other words, you are allowing this situation to continue … you are letting him have his cake, and eat it, too.  You basically have two choices – you can either continue to live the way things are right now and try to find your own peace with it OR you can fully end the relationship with him (except, of course, for sharing custody of your son) and move on.  I can’t say which of those two choices is better for you – but I can say that if it was me, I would leave him in my rearview mirror and not look back.

Have you thought about why you cannot let him go?  Are you afraid of change?  Are you afraid of dating again?  I can tell you from first-hand experience that there are a lot of great people out there to date – and that you might eventually discover that your current relationship is really bad in comparison.  Another way to look at it is – many relationships are finite … they have a beginning, a middle, and an end.  The end of a relationship is not really a bad thing – it just is what it is.  By moving on, you will enable yourself to find a better happiness that is out there waiting for you right now.  Only you can make this happen.  Or you can choose to continue to endure through the daily pain your husband causes you.   Good luck – you will make the decision that is best for you.

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About the Author

Midlife Bachelor chronicles lifestyle, dating, and relationship experiences and advice to avoid a midlife crisis. Readers like you are often beyond young adulthood in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s that want to understand how dating, sex, relationships, and love fit in with our lifestyles.