Your Call: When Should He Leave His Wife for Me?

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We feel just awful that we can’t answer every single advice question we get, but we figure that any answer is better than no answer at all. Which is why, once a week, we’ll let you guys decide how to advise a reader. Make your call by filling out the poll after the jump:

Dear Em & Lo,

I am currently seeing someone from my high school years of more than 25 years ago. He is currently married, I am divorced, and I happened to call him about a problem with my mom’s car. We live in different states so when he heard my voice on the phone, he immediately said how much he loved me in high school but never told me so. After we resolved the car issue for my mom, he asked if he could call me sometime.  Well, we have not stopped talking.  Since I started talking to him 5 months ago, he has sent for me to meet him in Mississippi 2 times and we are now both in love. He said he and his wife have been having problems for more that 20 years but have not resolved the marriage and neither wants to save the marriage because they do not have what it takes to stay together.  He says he never wants to let me go. How should I go about the time frame to give him to make the move to file for a divorce?

— The Other Woman

Can’t see the poll? Click here to take it.


  1. Im also in love with a married man that lives in another state. He wanted me to go move to his home town and then we could get our relationship going. I said yes, but I decided I wont, I will be going up North but will be moving to GA close to my son and I will be 3 hrs away from him, he says he is leaving her, she cheated on him and he says he does not love her anymore. He says he loves me and wants to be with me. Ok so now I told him that when he leaves her and starts the divorce process we can start our real relationship. I do love him with all my heart and it’s so hard..so very hard.

  2. I met a man on a dating site and was totally unaware that he was married. After a few months of non stop talking and dating.. I fell in love with him.. deeply… He was my soul mate. The man I had searched for my whole life… INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH i WAS NOT PHYSICALLY ATTRACTED TO MUCH.. iT WAS WHO HE WAS… Then he finally broke the news to me that he was married.. I was devestated and broke off with him. He pursued me again and told me he was seperating from His wife… which he did . I gave him a dead line to file for divorce… which he claimed he did… I found out that he lied to me months later and did not file so I broke off with him again.. mind you, this was after relocating and promises to marry…again I realized I could not trust him. I did not sleep with him for 2 or 3 months after first dating him . I wrote his wife a letter and told her everything and apologized to her… However, This man broke off with me and then came running back claiming he loved me. I told him if that be true.. file for divorce immediately…. He came a week later with his papers in his hand… claiming he found the love of his life in me and he could not bare to live without me. He let go of his 400,000 house . There are NO CHILDREN… His parents are angry with him and me… and his poor wife is hurt, but he does not desire to be with her…
    I feel terrible about all of this but He made his choice and I love him deeply… I do feel that trust may be an issue .. but this man has never cheated before or during his 10 yr marriage….He is now residing with me and plans to marry me after his divorce is final…. MEN do leave their wives for other woman.. I dont condone it and personally I think it is breaking vows.. but when you fall for someone and its mutual and you cant escape the love… then I guess sometimes life just happens….

  3. My husband and I have been together for 20 yrs. Married 5 yrs. He began talking with his high school friend in 09. He says he lost his virginity with her. On face book they began a relationship again. She lives in NE we live in CA. He has been having an affair with her since. My husband is a sales rep. and travels for his work. She sent me his itineraries to prove he had been seeing her when he would travel once a month. She sent proof of the 1st time she slept with my husband and where. She sent me messages between her and him and sent me pics. to prove they were sexually involved. I refuse to leave my husband. She refuses to leave him and he refuses to leave me or her.
    If our marriage was so bad like she said he told her why has he not left our home? If he can’t stand me and I am such a bitch, why does he make love to me when he leaves on his trip and when he returns. Why does he do everything for me and my kids? She lives alone with her kids. She has her own place. She is skinny with fake breast. Why does he not leave my home for her??????? Why? Because he is never leaving the 20 yrs. of memories we have made together. I gave him 3 perfect sons. I have stood by my man through the worst a man can do to a woman. SHE IS THE OTHER WOMAN AND WILL ALWAYS BE THE OTHER WOMAN AND I AM NOT GOING ANYWHERE. SO EVERYTIME HE IS WITH HER SHE CAN BE SURE ALL HE HAS ON HIS MIND IS ME. He has obviously not left me for her. I am not going anywhere. His stupid ass pays my bills. Provides very well for my kids and I basically can do what i want because he trust me. Why would he leave all this? The only thing they need to worry about is when “I say its over”. He will have nothing left and he will be so sad he lost me and the kids that he will not be able to make her happy. Not to mention the fact I will be sure to stay with him as long as I have to so that I can get child support/alimony or what ever I deserve. My friend “OTHER WOMAN” yes give your cheating lover a time frame of 1 week 1 month or 10 yrs. do what ever it takes to make him leave his wife. Wait for him night after night, year after year with that burn in your heart, the anxiety of him not being there with you everyday. Continue to sneak to see him, suffer not knowing when and if you will here from him in the day.
    Suffer for your man girlfriend and the whole time you are fighting for him in your heart you will suffer the worst part of it all which is the fact “HE IS NOT GOING LEAVING HER FOR YOU” he would have done it with out a time frame if he “LOVED YOU”

    1. Why do you put up with his cheating, 20 yrs im sure he has been doing it your wholee marriage disrespectful.

  4. I fell for that line and when I realized he was just stringing me along I felt like a whore. He said he wanted to tell his wife but I think he was using me. I told him why tell his wife, it would only hurt her. It ended up making us feel like low life skum. I live with it everytime I hear about the other woman. I feel like a horrible person that I fell for his lies and would do that to another humanbeing. Honestly I don’t know how these cheaters can live with themselves.

  5. As a married man for the past two years and with the same woman the past 8. I am disgusted by this homewrecker. He is married, there are millions of single men out there and you choose to go after one that is married? Do you even understand what monogomy is? His vows? ANYTHING? What you think if he’s willing to cheat on his wife with you, that you’ve found a keeper? Yeah you’ll be in his wife’s shoes one day. People like you make me sick. No honor, no loyalty. Do the world a favor and kill yourself homewreck, unbelieveable no respect I tell you.

  6. Married men suck. They lie and cheat and tell you they are in love with you when they are not. All you are is just a passing fancy, they cannot prove to you that they love you, because to do that – they would have to leave their safe, secure little nest. AND THEY WONT.

  7. My lover and I were very fair with each-other and both married. For years I had saved to leave my unhappy life and finally made enough to do so. More than enough!  However, I never told him this because within the first year of our relationship coming into the open, he told his wife he had only been with me for 2 months when it actually spanned 3 years in the end.  He told me his wife was depressed, fat and that they had no sex despite the fact that she once gave sexual favours for money and never held down a decent job or owned a property. He seemed to genuinely love me and I was certainly head over heels in love with him. The drama was heady, the lies were infinite… Why would I tell him I had the money to give him a wonderful life if he could not leave the woman he seemed so attached to? Sure, money is one less worry but I wanted his love, his commitment, trust and honour even if an affair is anything but that. so I lied about what I had or didn’t have. I proved my point and he would not leave his wife because, he said, he could not afford to!! Ha ha…. After 3 years of the most intoxicating love I have ever felt I stepped into my new world and he has no place in it. Sad? I am like a woman with an arm missing but I am now on guard and will find an equal in status, intelligence, love and trust only this time my shield is faith and belief… The one thing he certainly had none of no matter how much I told him I would be his heart and soul. Believe in yourself ladies… These men are only after two things…. You and money! A better life they cannot be arsed to make. Protect yourselves and walk away strong.

  8. I have been reconsidering a married x. After reading all this, I say have divorce papers and be single and then give me a call. I also don’t see if he cheated on his wife, why wont he cheat on me. What has changed? Why would he suddenly be monogamous? Starlight, thank you for sharing that letter. It was amazing, and I think you for one, do not have low self esteem. Not sure for myself, but I love what you wrote and I agree whole heartedly. What the hell are we all thinking! You will meet someone wonderful because you are not going to settle for less. God Bless You sister!

  9. i just sent this letter to my ex-fiance who is married 4 months to someone else and his wife is pregnant with their baby. He says I was always his one and only and he loves me more than her and we are soul mates and fated to be together blah blah blah. He is having a full blown emotional affair with me complete with phone sex and plenty of emotional intimacy. I actually love him and still have feelings for him and do wish I could be with him. BUT, my heart is breaking everyday because I want to be with him the right way, not as his mistress. We have not slept together and I will not let him have any actual physical contact with me even though he is desperate for it. I also love him too much to let our relationship become any more dirty and un-wholesome. Today I asked him if she was not pregnant would he leave her for me. His answer was “maybe.” I was crushed so this is what I wrote to him.

    I deserve to have a normal relationship, I deserve to have a man that can be there for me ALL the time. A guy who loves me would not keep me as a second tier secret lover, he would want me to be the center of his world. I don’t want to spend anymore time clinging to a dream of you and lose the opportunity for someone who really loves me to come into my life, sweep my feet off the ground, and give me the normal relationship that I deserve. If I continue a relationship with you, the slimmer my chances are to have a real relationship that fulfills me in every way. I would rather spend this time preparing my heart for someone who I finally can call my own instead of putting my life on hold for a cheating husband. And on the off chance our relationship worked out and we got married… well, if I marry a guy who would cheat on his wife, I am married to a guy who would cheat on his wife.

    If I am really the object of your love you could never, never live any other way than to be with me and me only. And you could never, never knowingly cause me pain. I truly feel good about myself and whole as a person and I believe in my head and heart that any man who truly loves me has to be able to pay the price to be with me. And that price is respect, honor and value above all else. Any man who truly loves me knows deep in his heart that I deserve that and is more than willing to give that to me.

    I always believed you really loved me and we were soul mates destined for each other. But now I ask myself ‘would my soul mate be doing this?’ Of course not. If we were soul mates, your heart couldn’t have made a promise to someone else if I was still in it. And even if you did, when given the chance, you would leave her to be with me so we could start the rest of our lives together. Actions speak louder than words and you married someone else and got her pregnant. If I really always have your heart like you said, and I was your one and only and nobody could ever compare to me, then the girl you married would have been me. But you didn’t. And you’re not going to. And we need to stop whatever it is we are doing. I love you —–

    I am sticking by this and I am changing my phone number. I don’t want to tell his wife. He says she oblivious because she is pregnant and he is the best husband ever. I hope for her sake she can someday see through his lies and unfaithfulness. He is a horrible husband in my opinion and according to him he cheated on her up until their engagement. And of course now that she is carrying his baby he wants to stick it in someone else again.

    I am hoping my love for him will die quickly and I can meet someone wonderful who would never put me in this position. Good luck to everyone who still believes in true love and has a pure heart. I know we will get the love we deserve.

  10. If you not gone give him a time frame he will not leave her…why should he he got both…secure home and exiting love affair…
    I have been seeing a married man for 2 years now…from the beginning It was just fun and sex then we did fall in love, and from that point i was just trying to finishing it with him every 3 – 4 months try to get away…but we couldn’t …eventually I did broke up with him…I thought he will work his marriage out…instead he find another woman for few weeks who asked him to leave his wife…of course he didn’t…6 months after the brake up we got back together…now he telling me about the other woman…totally broke my heart…he would still say to me that he loves me and that he wants to leave her and to be with me….but I was hurting too much, so after few months he finished it with me…I was hurting too much…
    …after he went to see the other woman again…told her about me…totally broke her heart as well…that is a dead end for him as well, did he loved her? Does he love me? Or his wife? Is this love to hurt so many people? This is madness! How did I do this to myself?
    I decided to leave the country and start a new life…I cant see other way to get away from all this its just too painful…and I would just say for other people what they say about woman with self esteem…when you fall in love you just fall in love you don’t think you don’t plane with who you fall in love with ….
    …you don’t want to think it just happened…the thing with the low self esteem happened after you are involved with a married man…because you never know whether he truly loves you…you never know where you are…its just a dream you are in love with a fantasy…and so it is for him…my married man…is now back taking cocaine because he cant cope with how many woman he hurts…he is hurt and everybody around him…is he gone leave his wife?..no…but I am sure some day she will leave him…because I would not want to be her…and I don’t ever want to be the other woman either…and he will not change how can he? This is who he is…and I don’t think that I don’t believe that marriage should last for a life time…maybe for some…why stay and be miserable? For the children? Right…my father was so unhappy in his marriage that he become alcoholic…when I was 18 I left and went so far that I didn’t ever wanted to go back…was it good that he stayed? No…I wish he left and I could have 2 normal parents…so in your situation…give him a time frame and after that you just gone have to leave it for the universe to decide…love isn’t easy…:o) have a nice day…

  11. mix: i am sorry to hear about your situation. 2nd, i agree with you on the kids* issue, they should be considered.
    Also i am glad you made the point about divorces being incredibly expensive and time consuming, because sometimes “the other women” forget about this and blame the guy for not leaving his wife, and fussing over it, but actually i think this is one of the main factors to consider before blaming the man for not leaving his wife.
    also the “time-frame” theory sometimes doesn’t work because of this problem.

    one more thing, about people being hurt in this situation, well if the kids are not involved then its one person he will have to hurt, either his wife, or the girlfriend, and if he hurts the one he wants to be with too, then he is hurting himself as well.
    beside what kind of a wife would want to be with a husband who has cheated or is in love with someone else, but is in relationship with her because of “divorce problems”

  12. Does the wife know about you? Are there kids? Regardless of whether or not you both love each other, you need to remember that there are more “members” (tangential or otherwise) in this relationship than you may necessarily think. As the daughter of a man who left my mother after an affair with a woman he “loved” in high school, my response would be to please consider who else you are hurting with this information. While there had been problems in my parents’ relationship for many years, my mother still desperately loved my father and was devastated when he asked for a divorce after meeting with his “lover” for one month. In this one moment, he destroyed my family, and five years later, we are still feeling the effects. My mother has moved on, and now has a loving boyfriend who is ten times the man my father is, but while my mother is fine, my sisters and I often aren’t. Furthermore, my father is alone (the relationship didn’t work) and to put it nicely, someone I can not be proud of. Ultimately, my suggestion is this. You’ve met with him twice? Over 5 months? How on earth do you know he is telling the truth about his home life? Think first if you may actually be destroying a family that maybe could have existed fine without your help. (As a side note, if there are kids and they are old enough to understand, there’s a chance that they’ll never forgive you. I never will forgive my father’s mistress.)
    Also, there is a massive chance that he’ll never divorce her (Divorces are incredibly expensive and time consuming). Do you really want to take that chance when there are thousands of men around? Love is easy to regrow. Restart when you have the chance

  13. confused…i totally feel you, i completely agree with u about men finding the pursuit of happiness. and not because i am also “the other woman” but i look at it all this way, that if that man loved his wife or cared for enough, he would not even cheat on her at first place. so if he is going out there and finding love outside of his marriage, that proves he doesn’t love her, and he doesn’t care for her. so there are chances he is sincere with you, specially if he is having a long term relationship with you, because if he only wanted sex, then the affair would have been over after sex, and that way he wont have to do all the extra things to show that he cares for you; and that matters the most.
    i once saw a poll on this website about what is worse? your partner having sexual relationship with the other woman or him having a emotional relationship with the other woman? and as far as i remember most of the people said emotional cheating was worse. so that means who you are with emotionally, matters the most.
    that’s one reason even i havent given my bf a time frame, because so what if he is married to her, he doesn’y love her, he loves me, we spend more time together then he spends with her, we talk more, he does things that i can truly tell he is doing out of care. and that is all i need. if i am getting my time, care, love, everything that i am looking for or i want, why should i complain about anything, when his wife’s status in his life is only of a “a woman at home” whom he sees only for a few hours… i don’t care much about her then. (not that her existence doesn’t bother me, or i m not hurt by all this)

    to all those wives, who are blaming “the other woman” please, get a life, if you were good enough for him, or if he was really into u, he won’t b going out there, if he was happy with you, he won’t nobody else. and if u think you were loyal to him and he is wrong, then leave him, he clearly doesn’t deserve you.

    to confused: keep the hope alive till you can, just know when its time to move on.

    one more thing, men cheating on their wives, not all of them are necessarily cheaters or players, sometimes it’s just about finding the right person (may be soul mate) after getting married, and it’s fate, so all men who cheat can’t be blamed or not wrong for doing so, they may have reasons.

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