Q&A Is Compatibility More Important Than Love for a Successful Marriage?

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Question: 

My husband is currently in a 3-year affair with another woman that he met 6 months before he left me after 20 years of marriage. He’s been gone over 2-1/2 years now. He recently told me he left because he had to, not because he wanted to. He said he didn’t leave because he didn’t love me, but rather because we were not compatible and he wanted to spend the final 20 years of life happy. He also told me he doesn’t love the other woman, but they are compatible and he likes being with her. He does say that she loves him and expects to marry him. He’s told her he can’t discuss love, or divorcing me, or their future right now. (He and I are still married since he hasn’t filed and I won’t file, but we hardly see each other any more now that the kids are in college.) He recently admitted to me that he will probably marry her someday but he’s holding her at bay as long as he can because right now he’s “just trying to survive” life. It’s incredulous to me that he would be with someone for 3 years and consider marrying them without the bonds of love. If he hasn’t fallen in love after 3 years I can’t imagine it getting better in the love arena in three more years. So then, is compatibility more important than love for a successful marriage?

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