Dear  Miss Emily:

Hello, I really need some objective advice on what is happening in my life right now.  I am in love with two people.  One man (I’ll call him high school guy), I have known since I was 10.  We dated from the time I was 15, until he went to college 3 years later.  We dated off and on in college and assumed we’d do our growing up thing and, then, end up together.  We wanted to avoid making the mistake of getting married too young and then grow apart once we found out who we were going to become.  Well,  I got pregnant my senior year of college with a guy who I didn’t know very well.  It was a mistake, but I have never regretted having my fabulous daughter.  I do, however, regret marrying the guy.  After 5 years, it ended in divorce. It was amiable, and my well adjusted daughter sees her dad once a weekend.  I did have a relationship with “high school guy” during the marriage.  It started out as moral support and friendship, but progressed. I wouldn’t leave at the time he wanted me to, because I needed to wait for the best time for my daughter and finish graduate school. But when I did divorce “high school guy” was in a serious relationship himself.  I met the other man I love 4 months after my divorce.  He was my ex-husbands polar-opposite.  He is a really sweet guy who loves me and my daughter. We dated for a year and, then, got engaged.  It was a struggle financially, being single, even though I have a great job that lets me be on my daughter’s schedule.  We didn’t live together because we didn’t want to confuse my daughter.  One of the main reasons for getting married was that we both wanted to have more children.  We started trying right away but didn’t get pregnant.  Long story short, I found out that my husband cannot have kids and has known this all of his life.  I felt lied to and betrayed. This is not his only lie, although most of the others are benign; like telling me he went to a college he did not attend, however, he did graduate from a respectable one. We did try the artificial insemination, 7 times, for a cost of 16K, but it didn’t work.  He was pressuring me to do in-vitro fertilization, and I knew everything was okay with me, but I didn’t want to proceed.  He was also telling me to go out and get pregnant and just tell him it was his.  Eventually, I did.  I had been on friendship terms with “high school guy” all along, but nothing inappropriate happened until he said he would help me get pregnant. We had slept together before, so it wasn’t awkward and it worked in one time.  I had no idea that seeing his eyes, every day, and watching this baby grow up would make me fall so much more in love with him – and he with me.  My husband chooses to believe the baby is his by some miracle.  I love my husband, but I am deeply in love with my high school guy, and have been for almost 20 years. He really wants me to leave my husband and to raise our baby together.  I want this too, but I don’t want to hurt my husband, either.  My “high school guy” will not fight me for custody and will not be difficult if I do not leave, but I know I love him and always have loved him.  It feels so real and right, and I feel like my baby has the right to know her father.  No, I didn’t think this through when it was all happening, and infertility is an emotional roller coaster, and we’d been in it for a year and a half.  What should I do?
Leading Double Life

---------------------------Miss Emily’s advice-----------------------

Dear Leading:

Your letter is a view into the world of intelligent people who, like everyone else, can make lousy, major life-altering decisions. Too often, we are led by our heart and fail to see the future that clearly presents itself – a gift, often ignored.  There has been a lot of deception in your life – your husband’s lies and denial – your child with “high school guy.”  I don’t know what the laws are in your state, but your present husband may have legal rights with the child you have by this man.  But it’s time to face the music, and put all the cards on the table. Your husband will be hurt if you stay or go, but nothing will be worse than playing this absurd game of indecisiveness and constant examination – everyone suffers.  Have a meeting, hash out a plan with your husband and “high school guy” and set a course for the future that you can adhere to and not waiver every time the wind blows. Your children deserve not only an educated mother, but one who can teach by example.  Honesty is your best friend now.  I would suggest that it might be time to get your own place (making it easier to find clarity), but that is only if you have the courage to stand on your own before choosing door number 1 or 2.  However, do not stay with your husband, a man you say you love, if you do not respect him.  He might think you are worth it, but neither of you will be satisfied as time stumbles on.  “High school guy” seems the obvious choice to me.  Why?  Because you made your case for it in your letter.  I’m just giving you my blessing.