My marriage has been dead for some time. My wife and I both stayed together for the sake of our child.
I’ve decided that the marriage is in name only and that we both need to move on. I’m ready to move out of the house and file for divorce as soon as practical.
I’ve not been faithful to my wife and have been having an affair with a woman with whom I’ve fallen in love.
I know my wife will find out about the affair during the divorce proceedings.
Should I come clean and tell her about the affair?
Do I tell her before we file for divorce, during, or never?
Your timing was off even in this email you sent – starting with “dead marriage” first, and not the affair that’s propelling you out the door, which is actually what you’re talking about here.
It’s clear that you see the marital divide as your valid excuse for an affair… and maybe it was.
However, your wife who apparently knew nothing about it, will see it as sad evidence that you both failed at this marriage.
Meanwhile, your child may interpret it as one or both parents having lived a lie, and be angry at you for it.
But all you’re asking is, how will your wife’s lawyer perceive this affair? Will it enrage your wife enough to affect negotiations over money, property, child custody, and access?
I’m not a lawyer, and you certainly have to talk to yours about this.
But I know something about what you can expect from a woman who learns that she’s been betrayed in more ways than she knew.
So here’s what I suggest: Go to her now, and say that you regret that the marriage didn’t succeed, and while it takes two people to arrive at the point of divorce, you apologize for the part that you played.
Say that now the most important thing is that you both carry on with joint custody in the most amicable way, since you both love your child and he/she needs you both.
Then, say that you’ve met someone else and it’s a serious relationship, but it won’t interfere with your commitment to your child or with fair negotiations of your divorce.
Be kind, and avoid all blaming conversation even if, in her surprise, she reacts negatively.
Your lawyer may not agree with my advice. But you asked.
I’ve been hurt many times in the past, so I never show my soft side unless I feel someone deserves to really know me.
I've always ended up with guys who didn't care or said they do, but show otherwise.
I finally met someone who cares, treats me well, and knows exactly how I feel without my telling him. He also gives me his undivided attention.
I want to be completely his, emotionally and physically.
How can I let go of my past?
I'm afraid of my Emotional Wall risking my chance at happiness.
You can let down your armour, you’ve got the right guy.
He’s proven he cares. Now prove that you care enough to take the risks that exist in all relationships.
Leave the past behind, everyone has some hurtful experiences, but that’s what helped you recognize this guy’s better traits.
Now you need to bond as equals – NOT be “completely his,” but rather be your true self through the give and take of what life together is all about.
FEEDBACK Regarding the mother who wants her adult daughter to move out (June 15):
Reader – “As a parent, I understand the mother being wary about her daughter’s choosing an unemployed girlfriend as her room-mate.
“But, if she wants an adult relationship with her daughter, the daughter has to learn this the hard way. She still must move out.
“It happened to me, around the same age. I moved in with a friend and had to pick up a lot of financial burden. But it was a mistake I had to recognize.
“My parents saw it within a few months after I’d moved, but kept their mouths shut. I’m forever grateful that they did.
“They never said, “Told you so.”
“Partly as a result of this, I have a very mature relationship with my parents.
“We’re all adults. They’re still my parents and I appreciate their advice, but they also let me live my life.”
Tip of the day:
Better to confess an affair than have it be revealed during divorce process.