Dear Breakup Girl,
This is a weird one because it is not a traditional relationship, it is an affair. I am married and seeing someone who works for my husband. When we first talked about having an affair we both agreed that this was just a sexual, brief affair. I don’t want to break up because the sex is great (and he is gorgeous and fun). However, I know that if I don’t break up, he will be the one to tell me (very politely, civilized, etc., because I am his boss’ wife) that he doesn’t want to see me anymore and then I will feel like your Papua New Guinea widowers hut is not near enough. What to do? Should I have great sex with him one last time and end up on a high note, or try to keep buying time in a relationship that is going nowhere? We can’t afford to end up bitterly because he is my husband’s right hand man and we have to see each other socially all the time.
I don’t really see the difference between the two “approaches” you suggest, at least in terms of trying to stay civil. In a sense, Higgins has more to lose than you — I’m pretty sure that no matter what happens, he’ll keep it real, at least in public. That’s the least of your worries. I’m more worried about the fact that you have to see your husband socially all the time. I mean, most of the “I’m cheating!” letters I get have to do with what the affair means for the marriage. You’re wondering what the affair means for the affair. And for your feelings. Weird. Maybe you two have some sort of arrangement; otherwise, your husband definitely knows about this, or he is living in some hut in Papua New Denial. Or maybe you are. Whatever happens with the affair, handle whatever you need to handle in the traditional relationship too, please. Okay?
This advice was originally published November 16, 1998.