I’ve had a loveless marriage with my wife for the last few years. We’ve not been intimate in over two years.
Six months ago I began an affair that’s turned into a loving relationship. I think of my girlfriend constantly and can't stand not being with her.
I question somewhat whether our love is pure, or whether I’m caught up, having gone so long without.
My wife doesn't work and we have young children. Should kids and money prevent me from being happy?
I am trying to go through the proper steps and have started counselling. My wife says she loves me and wants to stay together.
I can't see how counselling can rekindle a love that’s faded over the years.
You’ve already made up your mind that there’s no love, no chance for it, and you should not be blocked from happiness by your children’s needs or your family’s financial ones.
Counselling cannot work if you start with a closed mind. That approach is unfair to the situation, as well as toyourself.
Divorce is harder than you imagine while in the throes of passion, especially an affair that by its nature holds more excitement, adventure, and seeming promise than a known relationship gone stale.
But inevitably, even if you move on with your lover, the aftermath of divorce can bring regrets… for its impact on your children, for loss of connection to them, for financial strain.
And, though you don’t think so now, for the never fully buried knowledge that you could’ve tried harder.
You haven’t said why you lost love for a wife who claims to love you. Or why your sex life together ended, presumably not long after your children were born.
Did you explore that link of circumstances, consider post-partum depression in your wife, body image issues, or that she was possibly overwhelmed by the changes in her life?
These are some fairly common but difficult adjustments many marriages face after children arrive…. often taking about two years to settle, IF both partners try.
For your own sake, and the future happiness you seek - free of later doubts and unhappy fallout – I urge you to deal with the counselling with an open mind. Also, with awareness of your own contribution as well as your wife’s, to the marriage’s decline.
Then, if you still love this other woman, make sure it’s because of who she is, not as an escape.
FEEDBACK Regarding “Who walks whom down the aisle” for a bride with divorced parents (March 8):
Reader – “My granddaughter had a similar situation and the minister came up with a good solution which no-one could fight about.
“The bride started down the aisle alone and the groom went to meet her about halfway. Worked beautifully.
“What about a bride’s insistence, “No young children at the reception.”
“Her sister and mother say they won’t attend if the two youngest kids can’t be there.
“I solved this at another family wedding by having two well-known babysitters at my home (near the church) for any children.
“This time, since there’s a hotel next to the reception where some will be staying, I’ve suggested parents take turns staying with the children there for awhile. The one little boy is a screamer and is only 18 months old.”
Ellie – Well done! You can’t please everyone, but you canfind ways to make the situation work…. at least until the speeches are over, the drinks and dancing take hold, and the kids are brought over for show.
FEEDBACK Regarding the Grandma who’s concerned about her granddaughter's weight (March 6):
Reader – “Besides having healthier nutrition, our young people need to move more, so perhaps Grandma could afford to pay for some activity that her granddaughter would like to try - swimming, bowling, tennis, rock climbing, roller skating, horse-back riding, rowing, etc. She may find something she loves to do!
“Also, Grandma could find something the two could do together on a weekly basis, even if neither have athletic
“It's about teaching her to try new things and to stay active. Doing an activity together will actually protect her from the taunts of other kids and perhaps encourage her to be more active. It's always hard to do something new all by yourself.
“It would give Grandma and her granddaughter bonding time together, and give the parents time for themselves - a plus for everyone involved.”
Tip of the day:
Counselling provides self-reflection, which is crucial before considering a family split.