My husband’s having a three-year emotional affair with a married, long-distance “colleague,” via daily emails and phone calls. Last summer, they met in Europe and spent a week together.
When I discovered this affair a year ago, he said it wasn’t an affair, they were “soul-mates” and need each other, but their relationship shouldn’t hurt either marriage.
What I read before and after the vacation together was a different story (he prints his emails). He won’t end their relationship, claims he and I are closer now (not true) and feels no guilt.
He says – and the lady also wrote me – that she and I should be friends. She’s much younger and thought I could become her “older and wiser friend.” But I’ve read what they both said about me and it’s not possible.
For 40 years, work, hobbies and community work kept him from home and me. Now, at home, he’s on the computer. Our talks are on hold, for her crises or upsets.
I’ve offered him a divorce or separation; he’s declined. He doesn’t understand why I’m upset. Because she lives so far away, he thinks the distance voids any hurt, and they may never see each other again.
Meanwhile, she frequently casts suspicions about me. I’m hurt, sad, angry, depressed, can’t sleep, losing weight, and under doctor’s care But I can’t afford the luxury of moving out. I’ve been waiting for my man to “come home.” Will he?
- Betrayed in Ontario
Your husband is cruel and selfish, as is his partner-in-extramarital fantasy. He’s playing a mean game of re-inventing himself as a romantic father figure who only has to express devotion … rather than live up to daily sharing a life with his wife.
You “can’t afford” to lose your health, self-confidence and good judgment, which should have you seeking legal advice immediately. In your jurisdiction, you’re entitled to a half-share of the house and half of all his assets gained within marriage, possibly plus support payments.
It means you can insist he leave, with legal backup; and can pay for your own place and start to have peace of mind and self-respect again. You’re more alone now, living ignored and disrespected by these two escapists.
Will he ever “come home?” If he’s the same man, lock the door!
Dear Readers - Here’s one man’s opinion on why people cheat. I’ll print a selection of your responses.
“Those that survive monogamy, have low levels of sex hormones driving them toward variety.
“Those with elevated levels of sex hormones must play out their destiny.
“Women don’t experience the elevated levels of sex hormones that males experience. Women will never understand the extreme male impulses, and likewise, males will never fully understand what cranks a female.
“Sometimes, cheating is very good for a relationship. Often, it’s not. How do you know unless you check it out? You only live once and sexually stimulated people want to explore."
I’m 28, married with a child, and my older brother who’s also married uses me as his sounding board. He tells me his problems, then doesn’t wait to hear mine. I feel so unvalued by him!
- Fed Up
Value yourself. Say that you’re too busy with your own stuff to just listen to his. But you appreciate his trust and want his understanding of your issues, too. If he wants to set a time where you both share some recreation and sibling bonding, say you’ll be free then.
I’ve been in a six-month relationship; we’ve travelled together, have mutual friends, met each other’s parents. But we haven’t used the Love word yet, and I'm unsure if I should say it first.
Although he’s had past girlfriends, I don't know if he's loved before. I don't want to pressure him to say it back. I want to tell him that I love him, but I fear it’ll ruin our relationship.
We both act like we love each other. Don’t actions speak louder than words?
- Unsure in Vancouver
Long silences also speak volumes. If saying you love him could “ruin” the relationship, then you’re not ready to hear his response, or have a healthy conversation about any concerns he may have about commitment, timing, the next stage, etc.
By holding back, you may be encouraging a lack of real communication, now and in the future. Speak up … without adding demands or timelines.
Tip of the day:
It’s better to be free than to accept a relationship in which you’re ignored, neglected and hurt.