Long ago, I had a one-time sexual encounter with a female colleague; we both realized it was wrong but remained friends.
I was terrified to tell my wife whom I love.
Recently, she received an anonymous letter that falsely stated I was having at least an e-mail affair. I confessed the previous encounter, and now she wants to divorce me.
I admit that I made a mistake, with no justification for my actions. We have many older kids and one adolescent who mean the world to me. I’m a good person, and I just want to crawl into a hole and die right now. Please help.
- Huge Regrets
Escape is cowardly; you must stick around to try and re-gain your wife’s trust. She needs to vent her anger and learn more about the affair… why, when and where it happened (but NOT sexual details).
Remember that while you were building toward, and then indulging in this encounter and continued friendship, SHE was home raising all those children you helped create. So help her to understand the whole thing, as part of her getting past it, if possible.
State your love and willingness to go to counselling together, where the discussion can be directed by someone experienced in the healing needed after an affair.
If she won’t go, assure her you’ll see a therapist on your own (and do it!) to make sure you never betray her trust again.
My daughter 23 is involved with an older man (30) of a different race (black), who has only high school education, and works as a personal trainer. She’s a university Masters’ student, due to graduate in six months, yet has no idea what to do with her life.
This is her first “real” i.e. in the open, relationship.
We’re Asian and my husband and I, her grandparents and younger brother don’t approve of this man.
He’s now going back to school full-time for his university degree. She insists he’ll manage both school and work “because he doesn’t sleep!”
We’ve pointed out difficulties they’ll encounter financially and socially, and within the family circle, yet she won’t end it.
All of us in the family feel very distant from her and it seems she’s willing to give up her family for this man.
What can we do to convince her otherwise and how should this be handled?
- Deeply Worried
Proceed cautiously and from love instead of negativity, or you’ll lose her.
Your tight family network is shutting her out - not the reverse, as you describe – by immediately rejecting her choice. With everyone making judgments and not giving her any credit, she’ll naturally cling closer to this man.
HE, by the way, can make a very good living as a personal trainer and support himself through school, as many other trainers have, since most people want their fitness in the early morning and after work.
You’ve also warned her of social isolation from a racist view, which many young people today automatically, and rightly, rebel against. In a diverse society, many mixed-race couples manage just fine, so your dire warnings can only push her away.
You now have the choice – either acceptance, or loss. If you show understanding and caring, she’ll be able to relax and see, over time, whether this man is truly all she wants, or whether she felt pressured to stick by him because of your opposition.
My manager is 38; I’m 48 and haven’t dated anyone for 10 years, so can’t tell the difference between friendship and flirting.
We talk on the phone frequently; he drove 100 miles to see me when I had surgery.
He said he dates women under 30. Yet we talk intensely, have similar likes – music, food, etc.
I’m unsure how to keep the friendship but lose my obsession with him and keep my work environment professional.
This manager isn’t your man… his only “social” message is a clear statement that he dates younger women.
You’ve got a crush, based on imagining other meanings to his words – liking the same things is one of the draws of friendship and doesn’t red-flag an intended affair.
The way to keep work professional is to stay professional – no cute hints about getting together outside the workplace, no sexy chat or touchy-feely gestures.
Tip of the day:
You can’t run away from past mistakes, but must confront why they happened and how to prevent them in future.