The cheating kind

I've written before, but I didn't hear back from you — probably because my e-mail didn't contain flogging or santorum or whatever. But I won't be IGNORED, Dan.

I'm a 32-year-old female. Second marriage, two kids: one kid with my ex and one with the man I cheated on my ex with (my current husband). My problem: A year ago, I found my "first love" on a social network. I'd been looking for him off and on for more than 16 years. This person was a jerk who left me for one of my friends back in high school. But he was and still is the love of my life. Always has been. Always will be. He is not married, has never been married, and has no children. We began an affair about seven months after finding each other. My marriage, my second marriage, had been rocky before this. My second husband, of three years, stopped having sex with me after I became pregnant, and this continued after our child was born. We tried counseling. It didn't help. In no way am I using this as an excuse. I know what I've done is wrong. But I also have a pretty bad track record and have cheated on every man I've ever been with, except for my first love.

This man, my first love, is the worst person in the world for me. Yet I'm in love with him. I have ALWAYS been in love with him. He wants me to leave my white-collar husband for him, a very blue-collar guy. I live in a nice home in the suburbs; my first love lives in a small apartment in the city. Five months after we began having sex with each other, my current husband found out. Instead of leaving me, he has turned into a different man: extremely loving and attentive. He says this experience has made him realize how much he loves me and that he doesn't want to lose me.

I've never felt for anyone as I do for this man. Every man who has come into my life AFTER him knew about him and knew that if he ever came back for me, I was gone. This includes my current husband. Dan, pull out all the stops on this one, as you famously do, and please tell me what to do.

Serial Cheater In Love

I've read what you've written before, SCIL, but I didn't respond because I didn't have much to say to you and I still don't. I had the same reaction reading your e-mail today that I had reading all the other e-mails you've sent. My reaction is a little selfish, and I'm a little embarrassed to share it with you. But you keep pressing me, SCIL, and so here it is:

THIS BITCH CAN GET LEGALLY MARRIED AND I CAN'T?!?!

Sorry, sorry, sorry. That was cunty of me — nowhere near the level of respectful professionalism that people expect of me — and so now I'm going to have to make amends by scrounging up some of that advice shit you're after. But I'm going to offer you my advice on one condition: You don't write to me ever again.

Okay!

You say you've cheated on every man you've ever been with, with the exception of your "first love," SCIL. You seem to be engaged in a little circular reasoning/magical thinking here — you've concluded that he must be the love of your life because you didn't cheat on him, and you didn't cheat on him because he's the love of your life. No. You didn't cheat on him, SCIL, because you didn't get around to it. You two broke up when you were 15 years old. If you'd been with him a little longer, you would've cheated on him like you've cheated on everybody else.

If you leave your current husband and break up your first child's second home and your second child's first home, it won't be long before you get around to cheating on the love of your life, too. Because you're a cheater, SCIL, a habitual, serial cheater. You're precisely the kind of person who shouldn't make monogamous commitments.

Or get married. Or have children.

That said: If your current husband doesn't mind being cheated on, if he can put up with your affairs and wants to put your children first, then I think you should stay with him for the sake of your kids. They deserve whatever stability and continuity you can provide for them between infidelities. Again, if you leave your current husband for the love of your life, SCIL, it won't be long before you're cheating on your third husband and preparing to uproot your kids a third/second time. I know it, you know it, everyone out there reading this knows it, even your current husband seems to know it.

So just stay put, okay?

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