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by Abigail Van Buren

Old Flame Returns as Spark Fades in Woman's Marriage

DEAR ABBY: I have been married to a wonderful man for six years, and we've been together for 10. We bought a house a few years ago, and since then our sex life has significantly decreased. I know the stress of being homeowners hasn't helped our situation, and over the last year I have felt like I'm falling out of love.

A few weeks ago, I ran into a man I dated before my husband, and there was a spark between us that neither of us can deny. He broke my heart years ago, but I can't shake this feeling of wanting -- needing -- to be with him. I can't get him off my mind.

I hate the idea of breaking my husband's heart, but I also don't want to lose the chance to see what could be with my old flame. How can I come out of this on top? I'm terrified that I may have signed on to spend my life with someone who isn't my soul mate. -- AT A CROSSROADS IN N.C.

DEAR CROSSROADS: May I introduce a dose of sobriety? The man who broke your heart years ago is capable of doing it again.

After 10 years have passed, the chances are he, too, is married. If you pursue this, there will be collateral damage. No one, including you, will come out "on top" because someone always pays the price. You and your husband need to figure out why things changed after you bought that house and deal with it. If you do, it may improve your marriage.

Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Sex & Gender