I am 48 years old. Happily married, with a five year old child. I love my wife and do not want to hurt her in any way. But, I’ve reached the point in my life where I’m expected to be mature, responsible, sober, etc., etc.There is a younger girl (23) who likes me as much as I like her. Not sexually, but deeply. I’d like to help her out of some financial trouble, ‘cuddle’ with her occasionally, and be the ‘me’ I want to be. Is this dangerous or harmful? This is not for sex, but for a deep friendship.
O.K. 48 year old man that’s expected to be mature, responsible, sober, etc. And, your marriage is in big danger, and you will soon see why.There is nothing dangerous about having a friend, but you are yearning for more than a friendship with this girl. First off, you have rescue fantasies (you want to help her out of financial trouble). Secondly, you have physical attraction (you want to cuddle her) and, finally, you dream of being the ‘me’ you want to be. Let’s break down each of these points.First of all, the financial rescuing. The urge to rescue another woman, is on the conscious level a very outstanding thing to do for another person. However, on a deeper, often unconscious level, I think that the urge to rescue her is fueled by a need to fill a void in you. What void? When a man rescues a woman, his ego feels buoyed up. He feels strong, important, powerful, needed and wanted. So, my first question is, is something not working in your marriage? Is your wife not making you feel important or sufficiently valued? If the answer is yes, then you need to address this issue with your wife, and not go out and fill the void in yourself and in the marriage by giving to another woman who will boost your ego. That would be like band-aid therapy for you, you might feel better, but you wouldn’t be solving the real issue. Make no mistake, I’m not saying that you can’t give to this girl. But, if you choose to do so, it has to be for the right reasons (to do something for someone in need), and it needs to be d one with your wife’s knowledge and consent, not as a way of escaping problems at home.Regarding the second point. The cuddling. You and I know that cuddling will lead to other forms of contact, and, so, what you are really saying is that you want to sleep with this woman. I don’t need to say more on this point. You are cruising for an affair, it sounds like to me, and this leads me to the third point.You say you can be the ‘me’ you want to be with this girl. What is going wrong in this marriage so that you don’t feel you can be yourself? You make it sound like because you are married and with child that you can’t own your ‘kid’ side any longer. You must live in the role of grown-up, which feels more like a straitjacket. And, I don’t know who is imposing this rigidity on you? You, your wife?I think you need to find out where you got the idea that grown-ups can’t access their kid sides. You need to talk with your wife about this and find ways to play more together. You need to talk about the feeling that you can’t be ‘me’ with her, find out where the message is coming from (inside you or from her) and resolve it. And, if you are lacking in recognition from your wife, you need to tell her what you need more of. Bottom line, you need to fix what’s wrong in the marriage and what’s lacking within yourself. This extracurricular affair won’t solve your issues at all.All the best.