Thread: Conflicted
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Old 12-05-2011, 04:01 PM
hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 438

Originally Posted by secretposter View Post
Please forgive my vagueness, I am not about to go into intimate details on a public forum. Suffice to say that we have been intimate. I did not expect this relationship to develop, it was an out of the blue sort of thing, we met, hit it off, been seeing each other for a while now.
Sorry if it seems like I'm harping on this. I really just want to be helpful, if I can be. One thing you keep saying stands out for me, and raises a question you should probably be asking yourself.

You keep saying this relationship arose unexpectedly: you weren't looking for it; it just sort of happened, on its own, in spite of you.

You may not mean that the way I'm hearing it, but too often I've heard people use that kind of language to try to avoid taking responsibility for the circumstances in which they find themselves.

I've had students try to weasel out of responsibility for obvious acts of wholesale academic dishonesty by crying: "But I didn't mean to do any harm!"

That doesn't wash, whether the cheating is academic or sexual. The harm is done anyway, and if you just kind of drifted into the current circumstance, just sort of let it happen, then you are responsible for letting yourself drift, for just letting things happen.

You are also responsible for what you do next.

As I tried to say before, that you are drawn to this other woman is a psychological fact about you; it's a neurochemical addiction. What you do about that attraction is not a matter of fact, but a matter of choice - and not choosing is also a choice.

(To give this some context, I have for some time been powerfully attracted to a younger woman with whom it would, for professional reasons, be inappropriate for me to have any relationship other than a somewhat formal friendship. That I am madly in love with her is really no one's fault. It just happened. Had I pursued an intimate relationship with her, I would rightly have been held responsible for wrongdoing. By the way, my wife knows about my crush and sympathizes with my frustration over it. That helps immensely.)

So, I'll sound the refrain again. You are where you are. What do you do next?

Oh, and wallowing in guilt, repeating that you've broken the rules (which implies they cannot be repaired or restored?), may be just another way of evading responsibility. "In for a dime, in for a dollar" is not a viable principle in this case.

I guess what most of us who have replied are trying to say, in part, is that there is no way for you to avoid responsibility. You face a difficult choice. There will be damage and pain any way you go, though perhaps less pain and more hope of recovery in one direction than another.

Own up to your situation. Embrace your responsibilities. Find the path that will allow you save as much as possible of your self worth and your relationships with the people who care for you.

Maybe I could be more positive about this: find the path that gives you the best hope of living and loving without deception (including self-deception) and go that way, even if it's the hardest thing you've ever done.
the cake is a lie

Last edited by hyperskeptic; 12-05-2011 at 04:10 PM.
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