Should I Divorce My Wife for My High School Sweetheart?


Dear Dr. Buckingham,

I was with my high school sweetheart for about 5 years off and on, but we were young and always broke up over childish things, but we always got back together. As a young man, I never looked at being in a relationship like average youngsters. I was really thinking about marriage and who I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

Well she was who I saw myself spending the rest of my life with because I was in love with her and felt like I knew her almost like I knew myself and vice versa. But in college we separated over something I can’t even remember why and eventually I ended up getting married.

I wasn’t ready to get married, to be honest, and felt a little pressured. Nevertheless, I love my wife because she is a GREAT woman. The problem I have is this…I feel connected to my high school sweetheart and I ignored the fact that I wasn’t over her nor ready to get married.

That feeling and thought came back almost a year ago and I can’t shake it. It’s messing up my marriage because my heart is telling me I should be with my HS sweetheart. I know that this is wrong logically because I’m already married and my wife and I have a child together.

My wife and I have discussed this over and over and basically it’s up to me to make the decision. I just don’t want to make the wrong decision because I’ve never been through this before. I’m 22 and just want to be happy and want everyone else to be happy as well.

Should I Divorce My Wife for My High School Sweet Heart?

Confused in Love


Dear Confused in Love,

Thank you for contacting me. You provided great detail about the nature of your confusion, but not enough for me to provide a thorough response. I would like to know why you feel so connected to your high school sweetheart and what was the connection based on? I often remind individuals that there is difference between lust and love. I am not sure of what your infatuation with your high school sweetheart was built on. Knowing this can help because, developmentally speaking, one would question whether or not you all were mature enough to have a sustainable relationship.

It sounds like you are a little impulsive, indecisive and somewhat emotionally immature. I make this comment not as a judgment, but because you stated that you broke up with your high school sweetheart several times and felt a little pressured to marry your wife, although you were not ready. Also, I made the aforementioned comment because I wanted to shed light on some things that I believe you need to work on before making any decisions. Lastly, I advise you to never make major life decisions while in emotional distress.

Some people say that the heart does not lie. They also say, “If you feel it is most be right”. I highly recommend that you think heavily about this because we can mentally convince ourselves to justify our emotions even if they are unhealthy. I often tell people that they should not do what their mind cannot handle. What we feel and what we think does not always align, but a confused mindset will always contribute and/or cause confused emotions. You have to get your mind right before you can get your life or relationship right.

I commend you for wanting to make everyone happy, but unfortunately it appears that several individuals will be impacted by your decision to stay or leave. The battle between your heart (high school sweetheart) and your mind (great wife) should be fought in therapy. You need someone to help you process.

I highly recommend that you seek professional counseling. Because you want to do the right thing by all that are involved.

Best regards,

Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to askdrbuckingham@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.

About the author

Dwayne Buckingham wrote 169 articles on this blog.

Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham, author of Qualified, yet Single: Why Good Men Remain Single and Unconditional Love: What Every Woman and Man Desires in a Relationship, is a highly acclaimed international clinical psychotherapist, life coach, relationship and resiliency expert, motivational speaker and corporate consultant. He is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of R.E.A.L. Horizons Consulting Service, located in Silver Spring, Maryland. To learn more about Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham visit his website at www.DrBuckingham.com.

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