I’ve been with my husband for 22 years, married 13. We both work full-time and have two children. I contacted someone from my past last spring. We exchanged emails and inappropriate texts. My husband was suspicious.
While away at a conference, I met up with this other person and slept with him. However, my husband had had my car bugged and had me followed the whole time I was away.
He has pictures and audio of the other person and me together. When I returned home, he confronted me, said it was over and that he was going to expose me to both our families.
Six months later, we’re still in the same home. His feelings change from leaving me, to giving it another go. We gave up marriage counselling after two sessions. He didn't want to work things through.
I desperately regret my actions and the impact it’s had on my marriage, my life, and my mental health. I feel that I can’t go on living if he leaves. But I don't want him to stay out of sympathy.
I’m currently seeking mental health help. However, I don't feel the strength to carry on.
You made a mistake, and you regret it. But it is NOT the end of your value as a person. Of course your children need you, and others who love you do too. But you are more than the sum of those needs… even though you’re acutely ashamed and being pressured by your husband to feel only guilt.
Your own need is to live and explore why you were restless, and try to improve the life you are so lucky to have.
Stay with your counselling process. And gather the strength to tell your husband that you’re glad he’s stayed so far, but you don’t want pity - you want a happy marriage and need him to work with you to achieve it.
FEEDBACK Regarding the daughter distraught about her sister’s “pushing” their mother into a nursing home (Oct. 31):
Reader – “The daughter should contact her mother's doctor. Few people of 88 are up to travel or prolonged stays out of the country. And health insurance for snowbirds is very expensive.
“The daughter suggests her mother’s been forced into a nursing home, and says her sister says she’ll need to accept this at 24 hours’ notice.
“If in Ontario, the Community Care Access Centre is involved, takes a client’s wish list of several facilities, then announces when a bed’s available, with an answer required within 24 hours. The agency becomes involved when long-term care is deemed necessary.
“The mother’s planned six-months’ stay in Florida may not have been a realistic option.
“The daughter undoubtedly has the best intentions and this may’ve been the best way of sharing care duties in the past. But her doctor’s input is needed.
“The daughter may be in denial. She needs to be honest about her mother's age (88) and healthcare needs.
“Why is her sister looking at long-term care? What will happen after Florida? Is the daughter going to be her caregiver year round?
“I’ve known siblings engaged in lawsuits over the care of their parents… often not about the care, but about being unable to face their parent’s mortality. And sometimes it's about the desire to get an inheritance. And don't discount the persistence of sibling rivalry.
“I know from hard experience that parents with mild dementia and declining abilities need long-term care long before they'll admit it.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the man, 58, seeking love online with a woman, 40 (Oct. 31):
Reader – “There are plenty of women his age in Canada, who are looking to meet one nice guy for a real relationship.
“I’m 60, very good looking, financially secure, work full-time, have many friends and family, varied interests, lead an active life style and have been alone for 15 years because I don’t know where to meet a nice guy!
“I’ve tried asking for introductions, meet-up groups, chance meetings, etc.
“On dating sites, men my age are looking to re-capture their youth with young arm-candy that they never enticed when they were that age! Anyway, that’s my rant. Thanks for listening.”
Ellie – Stay positive. A smile, warmth, and open attitude go a lot further than a jaded one. Young people don’t easily pair off perfectly, either. It takes time to find someone special.
Tip of the day:
Infidelity often has a reason that needs to be explored, rather than punished.