Dear Miss Emily:

My wife and I married 3 years ago.  I do think I love my wife but there has never been that spark that I've had in previous relationships. We have some very nice mutual qualities in that we both have similar moral compasses and we are both musicians which is the common interest in why we got together in the first place (plus a very drunken night after she chased me for 6 months). We are both extremely different in that she's quite a 'glass half empty' person, and I am a 'glass half full' person. Our humors are completely different. She does not find very much funny at all, and this bugs me. I have tried to discuss this with her but whilst I personally feel I'm committed to working on myself and improving, I don't feel she is the same. Her attitude is very much 'this is me and I can't change.'  -  Here's the problem.... I have recently met someone that has really blown me away.  Before you judge me, nothing has happened although we have both recognized that there is a connection which has scared us both so we decided to break contact.  I know this is the right thing to do but it's really hurting me. All I think about is this girl, which causes me sincere guilt towards my wife who, despite the negative points I mentioned above, has a kind gentle soul and loves me dearly. This has always been more than I loved her. I've   read on many Internet forums the normal  quotes: It's only because this other girl is someone new; you are just enjoying  the attention -- but I know it's not that.  I have numerous female friends (some very good looking ones) and in the 6 years I've been with my wife, there's never been an inclination to be unfaithful. It's not my style, and I feel really comfortable with myself.  However, this other girl and I have a connection that is scarily uncanny and, although nothing had happened, there is a connection and spark that makes me think to myself, why should I punish myself for the sake of my wife's happiness?  But then I know how selfish it would be to hurt my wife.  Like I say, I'm not intending on doing anything with this girl, because I know it's immoral.  I just don't know what to do. Can you help?

--------------------------Miss Emily's advice-------------------

Differences in a marriage can be good, as long as those differences are respected and it is not in complete opposition to the way one conducts his or her daily life. And it's completely wrongheaded to think someone will change after the marriage, especially when that person thought they were accepted for who they are before the marriage! I think you should ask yourself if these differences were legitimate sources of conflict to you prior to meeting this new woman or, after meeting her, you are adjusting your thinking to fit this new development. The differences may be glaring to you now, but there is the aspect of "destiny" to this potential relationship and it may be distorting the reality that, once you got to know this person in earnest, if may not be the "fated" circumstance you believe it to be. After much soul searching, the truth of this should sift out and you can, ultimately, make the right decision. Whatever decision you make, you should feel relieved, no matter the road ahead. Of course, it's going to be painful to your wife if you leave her, but not as painful as living with a man who does not love her in the way she should be loved. You didn't mention children, and that's a good thing.  Be a stand-up guy, and face the music (no pun intended) in your marriage.  If it was a mistake from the get-go, admit it, and end it, or at least ask for a separation to ease into what may be inevitable.