I recently caught my wife of 20 years in the midst of a sexual and emotional affair with a co-worker.
After a year of counselling sessions, and late nights of talk, we got through the affair together.
However, how do I trust her again? The affair’s over, but I think about it often. I know she wants to get over it, too.
But I find it hard to continue on, especially when she still works in the office with him.
You’ve made a tough mutual decision to move forward together, now find tough solutions.
An obvious one is for her to change jobs or job locale. Even with the possibility she’ll not get the same position or income elsewhere, it should be considered by you both.
Continue with counselling together. It takes time, can roil emotions during the process, may unearth past hurts and flaws from both parties, but it keeps you actively trying to create the bond you need to stay together and re-build trust.
Dear Readers – Your feedbacks are very important to other readers. Your shared experiences and decisions bring greater clarity, and often give others hope.
When your comments disagree with the advice that I’d given, it broadens the discussion. I add my own response if I feel that the feedback missed a point I already made.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who blamed her son for not letting her know about his father's affair (July 25):
Reader – “My mother had a long-term affair which my brother discovered years before my dad knew. He carried the weight of this terrible news for years.
“When the affair was revealed, my brother then had to live with the guilt of knowing and everyone asking why he didn't say something sooner.
“Seven years later, my poor brother still lives with depression, lack of career goals and ambition, which I believe all relate to my mother's affair and his involvement. No child should have to live with this guilt from either parent, he never asked for this burden. The writer’s anger towards her son isn’t fair or justified.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman, 30, whose 27-year-old boyfriend’s sex drive was less than hers (July 26):
Reader #1 – “You should’ve told her to run! If he’s like this at 27, one can only imagine what he’ll be like at 47, or later!!
“Many women these days are finding - like this woman - that their men have much weaker sex drives than they do, leaving them feeling - as she does - “unattractive, rejected, and resentful.”
“This situation will only get worse as he ages. She needs to make her decision NOW (before she wastes many more years of her life) as to whether she can live feeling like that.
“I tolerated it for 37 years.”
Ellie – This woman loves her guy and they’re having sex once a week, so she rightly wants to consider how to improve things. However, I agree that no one should tolerate feeling rejected for 37 years!
Reader #2 – “I lived in a marriage for 20 years hoping that things would improve. I found out years later that all the clean bills of health he got were fabrications made up to appease my concerns.
“I was lonely, felt unattractive and unloved for decades. It destroyed my self-esteem and confidence.
“I ended up resentful, unhappy, and eventually discovered he was playing for the other team. Love does not conquer all.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman concerned about the father wearing ladies’ underpants (July 20):
Reader – “Why is a man showing his underwear - whether it’s ladies or menswear - to young boys in his care? I don't care if a robe "slipped,” I’d be extremely concerned.
“As the host of young children, he should be dressed in clothing. I wouldn't allow my child in his company again without my supervision. And I’d respond the same way if it were men's briefs that become exposed under his robe.
“Anything other than his being dressed, is suspect to me as a parent.”
Ellie – “That's why I suggested that the mother go over there when her child was invited to swim in the neighbour’s pool, comment on giving him “time to dress,” and otherwise limit the boy’s exposure to this man whose cross-dressing, while unlikely to be harmful, was inappropriate with children around.
Tip of the day:
After an affair, the work of staying together requires continued strategies that re-build trust.