DEAR ABBY: I'm married; he's married. We're in love and have been for eight years. We've tried breaking it off several times over the years, but a force bigger than both of us keeps bringing us back together.
I never believed in soulmates or true love until we met. Our love is deep and unconditional; our roots are intertwined. It's a shame that it happened late in life, but it happened nonetheless.
Neither of us is leaving our spouses or family. We are both in our 50s and sometimes act like we're in our 20s. It's magical!
Is it wrong? Do we go on until something changes? Do we try for the 100th time to break away? An affair, no matter how you slice it, will never be accepted in the eyes of traditional society, so it will be perceived as unacceptable. What's your opinion? -- BEWITCHED, BOTHERED AND BEWILDERED IN NEW YORK
DEAR BB&B: Yes, it's wrong. Yes, you'll probably "go on" until one or both of you gets caught. And yes, you may try to break away -- but somehow I doubt the effort would be completely sincere.
What keeps the torch burning is the excitement of the "forbidden." Legitimizing the relationship would lower the temperature because few people can sustain that level of intensity without eventually burning out.
Your conclusion, however, is a valid one. There is no such thing as a "harmless" affair. What you are doing IS unacceptable and, sadly, when it is discovered, innocent people will be hurt.