I feel so desperate, depressed and lost. For a few years I have been in a relationship with a married man, who was initially my advisor at the university.

I don’t excuse myself and I know most people would judge me very harshly, and I do too. The guilt that I feel has brought me to dark places I never imagined existed in me. I know the way things happened is wrong, no matter how much love there is. I felt powerless, drowning into something much bigger than me, that was already destroying my self worth.

Being in this situation has crushed my self-esteem and sense of worth. I’m drowning, this is all I can think of during the day and is affecting my whole life.

For a part of the year he doesn’t live with his wife and we video chat for hours and I travel to see him whenever I can and we live like we were married. I’m extremely attached and in love with him and I drop anything to just talk to him. I know we have an incredible bond and that he loves me, but he has been unable to separate. He’s afraid of hurting his wife even more, there’s the effect this might have on his kids and the financial burden of a divorce. I try to be understanding but living in this situation has been heart breaking for me too.

I love him deeply but I am also worried about how our future would be. There are moments when he gets emotionally abusive and angry and that devastates me, he crushes me. He’s very possessive and I feel like I have to be careful with everything that I talk to him about. He’s more much older than I am and I worry he’ll get even more possessive as time passes. The fact that we still have work projects together makes everything so much more complicated. Our relationship already had a big impact on my professional life, which is just starting, and I’m worried how things will affect it even more. I can’t focus on anything, let alone work and he is uncomfortable with me working with other people. I feel like I depend on him so much and that he could destroy my life if he wanted.

Most people would say I’m a pretty, intelligent young woman, and there are plenty of guys who want to date me, but I can’t bring myself to end things with him (at least until he sorts out what he wants to do). I think I’m worried he’d be so afraid of such a big change in his life at his age that he’d stay married, no matter how terrible his marriage is. I’ve been thinking of replying to a letter his wife sent me and actually trying to talk and face the situation, but I fear his anger. I’m really lost, I’m in desperate need of some advice. — In Love with a Married Man.

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