I’m a professional, mid-30s, married for 10 years, with two children.
My wife and I drifted apart and home life, outside of the kids, is a series of dramas. We’ve had marriage counselling with no meaningful results.
I’ve since become involved in the most spectacular love affair with the most perfect woman who’s also a professional. We connect emotionally, intellectually, and sexually it’s off the charts.
She’s married and over a decade older. I’m Asian, she’s Caucasian; I’m not religious, she’s traditionally Jewish.
None of this seems to matter. We want to spend the rest of our lives together but are considering the impact on my children, and the age and cultural circumstances on our family and social circles.
I’ve done all I can where I am.
Can such a relationship have any chance of success?
- Hopelessly Devoted
Relationships between opposites can have success within themselves, but that doesn’t mean that family and friends will be supportive.
There are challenging factors – including the impact on close people of your both having cheated. Only you know whether you truly worked on your marriage, or escaped into this affair.
Counselling couldn’t produce benefits if one spouse was emotionally detached, and the other reacting to that distance.
Affairs are almost always more “spectacular” than married life, and not all become satisfying life partnerships (though some do).
You’ll be risking your children’s respect and understanding, as well as some disapproval and maybe even isolation from others you care about.
You’ll be financially affected through child and spousal support, and the dividing of marital property.
Think this through, before you convince yourself that “nothing matters.”
After being married for 35 years, I was researching our surname, and discovered my husband's name as birth father listed on a birth certificate.
The birth mother was searching for her 37-year-old daughter and there was his name and hers. I learned through an adoption.com, that she contacted her daughter.
My husband acknowledged a one-night (drunken) affair with this woman when we were engaged, when he was on vacation. She’d later asked for money for an abortion, which he sent.
Two years later, he saw her again on a trip with friends to where she lived, and she then revealed she’d given birth. He claims she meant nothing to him.
When I try to discuss this, he gets angry, saying he’s long tried to forget about his mistake, and he’s extremely angry with the birthmother for putting it on the Internet.
I’m sure that someday his daughter will want to meet him. I worry what this will mean to our children.
I feel betrayed, jealous and distrustful of him, even though he’s been a good husband and father.
- Am I Overreacting?
You’re reacting normally to the shock of discovery, to the long-held secret, to the past betrayal.
However, given that he’s been a good husband and father all these years, to obsess on this to the point of distrusting or rejecting him would be overreacting.
What you two need is one thorough discussion of what happened and what you agree on doing about it. For example, you need to work out together how you’ll handle it if his daughter does contact him; or a mutual response if other people find this information, particularly your children.
If having that conversation is too difficult, you should both get objective guidance from a professional counsellor, to discuss how to move forward together.
And, if he won’t go, you may need to seek therapy yourself to get past this.
I'm 40; my husband's a farmer, and I’m fed up with chickens and cows.
My husband gets up at 4:00 am every day and isn't done until after 7:00 pm.
I tell him to hire help, so we can head to the big cities. But he says it's all about the “farm experience!”
I say, “Well, I DON'T LIKE THE FARM EXPERIENCE!"
I love him, but I want to get the heck out of here.
What do I do?
- Restless In Kansas
It’s about the relationship, not the chickens and cows.
Start communicating rationally. You both need to be satisfied with your chosen lifestyle; if it’s not working, it requires some adjustments and mutual compromises.
But farming is demanding and nothing can change that. We’re lucky so many good people are involved in this important work.
Tip of the day:
An affair is an affair, and can’t necessarily predict the potential for a happily married union.