Dear Readers – Here’s a reader’s cautionary true-life relationship tale.
If involved in a torrid but illicit affair, do not rush too quickly into a major life change through divorce.
Some of those changes may be needed within the marriage, and may still be possible, if both spouses still want that.
Though counselling doesn’t always resolve everything that led to an affair and potential divorce, it can often bring new insight about what the couple had in their union that was good and meaningful, and what they can still improve together:
Reader – “Following a passionate affair in 2011, one that included travel together and was so intense that it prompted a marriage proposal, my friend realized upon arrival back at his local airport that it was his wife — who, incredibly enough was there to meet him and drive home together — for whom his true passion lay.
“Subsequent couples’ counselling helped with the confusion:
“How can a man who felt so strongly for another woman come back and claim to be content in the same relationship that apparently wasn’t working?
“One of many answers was that fresh new romances like his affair are like fireworks going off - all spark and sizzle.
“A solid long-term romance is more like hot coals - deceptively calm and cool to the unobservant but full of heat upon closer examination.
“That affair occurred nine years into the friend’s marriage. It’s been almost nine years since, and there’s not been one real or perceived notion of any infidelity ever again.
“Because the old saying is true that we don’t know what we’ve got until we lose it.
“PS: My friend’s wife knew exactly what was happening when he left for a couple of weeks.
“Divorce documents had been drafted, and their house had been listed for sale. In fact, the divorce would’ve been signed off a day or two before his trip, except for a brief delay by the city in providing documents.
“Good thing. They were never signed. The house was still sold anyway because the couple realized all of their mutual sporting activities and quality-of-life priorities lay somewhere other than that neighbourhood.
“So, they started the next chapter right away. And it’s been nothing less than beautiful ever since.”
I planned a very special fifth birthday party for my daughter.
She’s been in hospital with pulmonary issues and is now recovering.
Most girls her age admire princess stories. But she’s learned to be tough, so I created an Iron Girl theme, a young female version of IronMan.
Two months later, her friend had a party using the same theme! It was an obvious copy and I was annoyed. It was my unique idea to make my child feel special.
My daughter wasn’t upset. But I can’t look the other mom in the eye!
“There are no new ideas. There are only new ways of making them felt.”
So said Audre Lorde, the American writer, poet, feminist, and civil rights activist. She, too, was tough-minded, like your young daughter has learned to be.
That’s why your party theme was inspirational for all the young girls whose mothers, like you, want to help instil and celebrate the value of their inner strengths. So that, like your daughter, they can face life’s challenges.
Be proud, not annoyed.
If imitation is the highest form of flattery, then this other mom paid you a compliment for your creativity.
My former best friend from University days recently pretended that she didn’t know me!
I started my career after my youngsters entered pre-school. She also had kids and got involved in social activities around charitable work.
We drifted apart, she moved away for a while, but returned to where we grew up.
When we bumped into each other at a holiday party, she kept staring at me, insisting it wasn’t me! There was some cold scrutiny of my face, as if she was seeking cosmetic surgery scars.
We’re both early 40s, both colour our hair, I’m slimmer than I used to be. I found her staring very rude and now wonder if I should’ve just told her so.
Like I wrote above, Be proud! She flattered you – albeit rudely – because you obviously looked very good! Unless you have the graciousness required to privately ask how she’s doing, the old friendship is gone.
Tip of the day:
A passionate affair may seem perfect but rushing to divorce won’t always work. Some marriages can be re-fired to greater happiness.