Dear Readers - Here's Part Two of the leftover questions from my live online chat that aroused intense debate, about how to handle (or not handle) a relationship after one party had an affair (May 11):
When your betrayed partner finds out, he/she will question why you didn't reveal your affair sooner, and of your own volition. It will be another deception for your spouse. Something to consider.
If you want to keep the marriage, and work on it so that you do not go on to other affairs or back to this current lover, then owning up is one way (albeit tough on everyone) to show you're serious about wanting things to change. Remember, if you don't own up and you're discovered, it's even tougher on everyone!
Is it reasonable to provide my wife with a timeline/ultimatum to make her mind up, after I've discovered her recent affair? She wanted to separate but now she's flip-flopping for convenience (the house, the child...).
I don't want her to have the best of both worlds, but if it's worth hanging on to, how do I know? Should I level with her or get a lawyer and say "tough for you." I don't know if I can ever forget the idea of her in another man's bed....
If you focus on that image, the marriage is doomed. BUT, if you focus on the marriage and what you want from it (love, respect, trust), these are goals to work toward.
However, if all she wants is house and child - plus the occasional affair - it won't last.
My wife had an affair one year ago with her co-worker and someone who pretended to be "our" friend. He was also married. They denied their affair even when caught. It has changed me both for the good and for the bad. I'm glad she's out of my life, but have been left with lots of damage as well.
She's gone, so move forward. Otherwise, you'll put a shadow on any new relationship, due to continued distrust and moodiness from past hurt. Even though she's the one who messed up, counselling for yourself can help you get past this. You should be wiser from the experience, but do not impose on yourself the label "damaged."
My wife had a three-year affair with somebody from her past. Once I found out for sure, she begged me to stay married to her and that she would get counselling. She says she loves me............ but will it happen again??
It's possible, if she keeps in contact with this guy. They may have some bond or history that drew them together again. So insist that she break off all communication with him and that her counselling deals with whatever connection between them caused her to risk the marriage. If she agrees, make it clear there's no second chance. Then, show trust rather than keep snooping to be sure.
I found out about my wife's first affair online. Then a friend told me about a number of others. After we split, I discovered letters from a married guy she was seeing while we were engaged. She confirmed all of these, but says she didn't expect to be caught. Can it be really true that she didn't expect to be caught?
Sure. She loves the risk, cares more for the "danger" and escapism than for you or anyone else. You're lucky/wise to be finished with her.
I've been married for two decades and have suggested counselling to my wife many times. We get along well, but for a variety of psychological reasons she refuses to have sex consistently. Throughout our entire marriage we've never had sex more than 1-2 times per year.
I love her and we have a great family together, but I can't reconcile my needs with her unwillingness to participate. We've been to counselling four times previously, and she's unwilling to commit more to it. I love my family and wife more than my needs, but am more and more interested in finding someone who'll fulfill my sexual needs.
My wife's ambivalent about this, although I know she wouldn't approve. Thoughts on affairs in situations like this?
She's pushing you in that direction. Tell her so. Maybe she wants you to "err" so she can detach herself emotionally even further, or even leave and blame you.
Tip of the day:
There are many after-effects of an affair, which, if you didn't think of them beforehand, need addressing NOW.