I have been going out with a twenty-four-year-old girl for the last ten months and I am very much in love with her. She fell in love with me as well, and knows that I am married and that I have two children; in fact, she has met them. I don’t want to destroy my twenty-one-year-old marriage and certainly not harm my five-year-old and one-year-old children. How can I solve this problem?

Dear Friend,

We are very glad you consulted us before it is too late! The worst thing that could happen right now is for your girlfriend to get pregnant. At that point you would have an obligation to a new child, and there would be no way to keep from hurting your other children. So if you are having intimate relations with this girl, please stop doing so immediately!

We have a serious question that you need to answer: are you an honorable man? You probably believe that you are, but how you handle this situation from this day forward will determine whether you will be honorable or whether you will choose instead to be a liar and a cheater that your own children won’t be able to trust.

An honorable man keeps his promises and commitments. Twenty-one years ago, when you said, “till death do us part,” you made a promise to your wife that you would be faithful to her for the rest of your lives. When you chose to have children with her, you strengthened that promise and you implicitly made a commitment to those children to not only care for them and protect them, but also to be an honorable man whose example they could follow.

Emotional love is nothing more than a feeling, and the nature of feelings is that they come and go. A man who makes decisions based on his feelings will have a roller-coaster life and will make many poor decisions that will hurt himself and everyone around him. Will you be able to forgive yourself if your selfish feeling of love for this girl causes you to tear apart your children’s secure home and hurts them for many years to come? An honorable man would never do that.

Real love is not a feeling; it is an action. Real love causes a man to labor long hours for his family’s future, even when he doesn’t feel like going to work. Real love causes fathers to spend their money on shoes for their children, when they feel like spending the money on drinking or gambling instead. Real love inspires a husband to care for the needs of his wife before he even thinks about his own needs.

If you really love your girlfriend, you will let her go so that she can find a man who is not committed to someone else. If you love her, you will want her to have her own home and family with a husband who treasures her. Of course it will hurt her for a while, but she will recover. Tell her your decision today, and then never have any contact with her again. Make a clean break so that her healing can begin and you can start being an example for your family to follow.

Be an honorable man!

Linda and Charles