My wife of ten years and I got engaged after two months’ dating. I was 25, afraid I’d never find someone else.
Issues arose, I tried to end the relationship, but she soon became pregnant.
Our son, now eight, was born. Three years later, using in vitro fertilisation (IVF), we had triplets, now five.
We hired a nanny/babysitter, who I found myself attracted to, and hit on, unsuccessfully.
Next, I found myself attracted physically and emotionally towards a co-worker.
My emotional affair discovered, I spent 18 months in couples’ counselling and individual therapy.
I still communicated with the woman and lied about it for months to my wife and counsellor (it was never sexual; she quit her job, but we kept e-mailing).
I also hid relationships with family, friends, and co-workers who’d sided with me.
I eventually came clean which didn't help the marriage, but I felt relieved.
I’ve ceased communication with my dad and a close friend, both labelled as negative influences on me, though I don't hold ill will towards either.
My spouse still distrusts me, and I’ve remained resentful/belligerent towards her.
She added five years of unpaid leave from her government job after her one-year maternity leave ended, and maintains a lavish/indifferent financial lifestyle courtesy of my family inheritance. It disgusts me.
We stopped counselling the moment I inherited, I believe she just wanted the money.
I don’t believe in supporting her financially (it’s against beliefs taught me since childhood) since she has a job waiting.
Last spring, she pestered me to get a girlfriend. (We had a previous sexual relationship with another couple).
I gave in after she created an online profile for me, she’d already created her own.
After her several dates and a sleepover with her boyfriend, I had one date. My spouse freaked out and asked for a divorce.
It’s the final straw. I’ve lost all respect for her. I’m not attracted to her physically, emotionally, or intellectually.
She’s found a new boyfriend and says they slept together. I don't care, I want out.
I feel anxious, daily. I’m afraid to see a counsellor lest my spouse suspect that I'm done and wreak havoc until I leave.
I’m hoping you and your readers can help me move on.
I’m only with her because of our four wonderful kids whom I love, and because I don't want to get stuck paying spousal support for someone who refuses to work.
I’m afraid of how the kids will do with a break up. But it’ll ultimately result in me being happy again. I’m not being selfish.
Dear Readers: If you have any suggestions and comments for this man, please respond.
My comments: While raising four young children, including triplets, can be daunting, the level of reckless behaviour described makes a mockery of that responsibility.
You’ve indulged yourselves in Secrets and Lies vs. Controls and Punishment. Your marriage didn’t stand a chance.
You both rushed in without deep commitment, then reacted to your full family life like rebellious teenagers - through cheating and retaliating (despite the gift of financial comfort).
My advice: Get to a counsellor, a lawyer, a family law mediator, and a therapist for the kids. Recognize your own part in this marital mess.
Learn what legal/financial responsibilities you DO have in today’s world (despite “beliefs” from childhood), regarding housing, feeding, caring for and educating four children.
Above all, determine to give your own children a more stable, secure life including respecting both parents’ involvement with them.
I live in a different country from my dad, stepmom, and grandma who moved with them when her eyesight and dementia worsened. Now Dad has cancer. He's being treated and the prognosis looks good.
Grandma’s a great lady, but the dementia’s causing her to be rude and confrontational, driving a wedge between my stepmom and dad.
He doesn't want to put Grandma in a home, but she does. I agree. Dad’s fighting for his life and needs to minimize stress, and my stepmom’s being treated badly by Grandma.
Your dad naturally feels responsible for his mother. Meanwhile, your stepmom shouldn’t be verbally abused and they both need less stress.
The first step doesn’t have to be a nursing home, though that may come later. For now, home care can be arranged several days weekly so there’s less burden and interaction for your stepmom.
It’ll become obvious in time when, and if, full-time nursing home care is necessary.
Tip of the day:
When parents deal in lies, distrust, and retaliation, everyone suffers.