More Live Chat questions on Cheating, from Nov. 3:
Reader - "I'm devastated to learn my wife's been cheating for years. She's had a long-standing affair with an old boyfriend she didn't want to marry, but had a passion for, I'm now told. She wants to stay together. Is there any way this kind of arrangement works, once it's out in the open?"
No. You'll get sick of being the "steady good guy" without the passion. You deserve those highs of emotion as much as she does. You may accept this for convenience, and to avoid a financial split, but only for a while.
Reader - "My father's having an affair. He left his email open and I saw steamy messages and plans to get together. I'm 26, and appalled this is happening after a 30-year marriage. Do I tell my mother first, or confront my father for her?"
This is your parents' business. Your mother may know about this, or prefer not to know, but she won't want to hear it from you.
Tell your father he left his email open, and you believe it indicated a tsunami waiting to happen. Then see if he explains. If not, suggest he make sure he avoids destroying everything he's built.
Hearing that from you is enough to get him thinking about the consequences of his affair. If he continues, the truth will become clear without your interference, because he's already getting sloppy.
Reader - "My wife cheated on me twice, but both times said she wants to work on our marriage and stay together. She works full-time in an intense field, both affairs were with colleagues with whom she traveled. I want her to change jobs to avoid situations like this but she refuses."
Hmm, she wants it both ways - marriage and the sexy job. But repeat affairs show she doesn't isolate her roles. Insist on some change, e.g. she takes a desk-based position in the same field, and goes to marital counselling with you.
Reader - "My friend keeps telling me about her affairs. She drives me to work, and I feel trapped into listening.
"She chases men even if they're married like herself. She sleeps with people she met just a few hours earlier. Her husband thinks she's working late because she's a senior manager. I don't know what to do."
Find another way to get to work. Anyone so reckless with her marriage that she's boasting of her exploits, can easily get you involved ... e.g. using you as her excuse for why she's sometimes late.
Reader - "I joined the gym with my girlfriend, we both needed to lose weight. She stopped going, I go four times a week. She's put on much more weight; I've slimmed down.
"I find I'm more attracted to someone fit and some gym-goers have indicated they're interested. I love my girlfriend, but the physical attraction has lessened.
"I've started to think about "testing the waters." I guess I know it's wrong. She's extremely sensitive about her weight so I feel I can't even talk to her about it."
When both partners try to lose weight, it's not uncommon for women to get discouraged because men generally drop pounds faster.
Talk to her about your concern for her fitness and well-being, not about her weight. Encourage long walks together, and healthy eating. Ignore the female gym-dogs who sniff around others' men.... some go there precisely because they know to prowl where men are preening.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman whose past affair re-ignited, with both partners in their 70s, and still both married (Oct. 27):
Reader - "If he's still with his wife who has health issues, he'll stay with her until the end. And the woman's visiting her husband daily in a long-term care facility. They both have their unfortunate burdens to bear and appear to be showing much care, concern, and respect for their spouses.
"Life is difficult and we all have our crosses to bear, but if being together, although in a "clandestine" way, gives them joy, and allows them to carry on, then they'd be denying themselves the happiness we all seek in our lives.
"As long as they are discreet and don't hurt their families, they should cling to each other, and enjoy the blessing bestowed upon them, because life is too short to deny their love at this point."
Tip of the day:
Avoid getting entangled in others' cheating. It can reflect badly on you.