My best friend is going through a terrible time in her marriage.
While she sometimes suspected her husband had too many “business dinners” before Covid struck, it became obvious between lockdowns when he insisted he had to go to “meetings” that lasted hours.
He’d show her that he was taking a mask along so she wouldn’t worry. But recently, his hurry to get out the door led her to snoop through his computer and discover the truth.
He’s been cheating on her throughout many of their 14 years together.
When confronted, he lashed out at her. He said that she was “uninteresting” while he “needs excitement. which she should’ve recognized,” and accepted.
He ignored the reality that she works full-time and also does the major part of parenting their two children, both under age 11.
My friend’s devastated. But the saddest part is that she blames herself. She feels unattractive, unsexy, unloved.
Only the last word is true.
He’s now mean to her during every discussion they have about his lack of respect for her. He says he can’t take living with her any longer.
However, he insists that since she’s the one who snooped, she is causing the break-up. He says it’s up to her to tell everyone because he’s fine if things stay as they are, so long as she accepts that he has his own outside life.
He even says it’s better for their kids if they stay together, and there’s no reason for their families to know anything different.
My friend has lost all self-confidence and frequently breaks down in sobs. How can I help her beyond just listening to her vent?
Cheating Husband Staying
Speak truths to falsehood. Tell your friend that she doesn’t have to accept being the “victim” of a husband with no conscience.
She’s a responsible woman and mother who’s been a loyal wife until learning that her husband cares only of himself.
His selfishness and flagrant disregard for her feelings will wear her down. She must fight to avoid this by taking charge of what’s needed.
This includes freeing herself from his self-serving suggestions, doing research to start the legal process of separating from him, getting financial advice, informing both their families and learning the best approach for telling children about changes while giving them close support.
Dear Readers - One man’s story of how some pandemic responses bring fear and anxiety into his personal life:
“At my work, anti-maskers arrive daily, standing a couple feet from us, shouting in our faces, saying they’re “exempt” from wearing masks.
“Of course, if someone in disability parking has difficulties getting from their car to the store, they deserve full consideration.
“But these healthy people lie, saying “we” are violating their rights. Some co-workers have been punched, spat upon. They can’t defend themselves without fear of losing their job.
“This happens every day, multiple times, with no support from employer or union.
“I run in the opposite direction when I see one come into the store. I speak as little as possible to avoid them talking to me. Some still berate me.
“How can I prevent this anger/fear from changing into depression? How can I save my peace of mind? Quitting isn’t an option.”
Ellie - Send this article to your employer and union. Human resources staff and human rights legislation surely have some responses to be explored. Get a doctor’s note to back up how this is affecting you.
FEEDBACK Regarding the counseling client who sought a therapist’s relationship advice but decided to follow her own instincts instead (Aug. 20th):
Reader – “Sometimes people miss the boat regarding where their counselor is trying to take them by giving them the advice they need... but by using unconventional methods to do so.
“When the counselor told the woman that she would never leave the man she’d been living with, because she enjoyed his prestige and social life, the counselor’s approach may’ve been an appeal to her sense of pride and self-worth.
“It could’ve been a matter of using reverse psychology to help move the woman to do what was actually in her best interest.
“The end result was that the client did leave the relationship and the counselor was proven successful in getting her to that place and state of self-awareness in her life where her best chance for happiness could now be achieved.”
Tip of the day:
Don’t let an unapologetic determined cheater wear you down. Take charge of moving on for your and your children’s sakes.