I married my high-school sweetheart when she turned 20. I'm nothing to look at, she was a “10.” We had great times and low spots too. And three great children.
Around 2001, I discovered a letter in her handwriting with some pretty outrageous information and painful to read as I headed out the door for work.
I didn't bother coming home for two weeks, then broke down and called her. We met and decided to attend counselling. That was a disaster.
She disclosed nothing - not how long it was, not any particulars whatsoever. In my mind it was a three-year affair. She had a very high-profile job which would allow her to escape for a rendezvous at any time. Our kids were teenagers at this time.
The guy, whom we both know from community gatherings, is very rich and 20 years her senior. I called him and threatened him, but I believe it fell on uncaring ears. I suppose he gets what he wants... he told me that once.
Now at 66, my life is finished. It’s been 10 years since she’s shown me any kind of love or affection. I’m overweight, which she never liked, and we have had separate bedrooms for 15 years. I'm sad to watch my final years slip away without the friend I’ve come to know and loved enjoying every minute with me.
We both have extra poundage these days, but I still see the 15-year-old girl I met by accident.
I don't want to start over, but thinking on what they did while I was sitting with the kids or working overtime consumes me.
I need to forgive if I want forgiveness. That’s a tough one for me.
You’re not so tough as you say or you wouldn’t have written to me.
Yes, she cheated on you and that hurts like hell at any age - then and now. But you have years left and choices you can still make.
Your kids are grown, you can stay connected to them and yet choose another life for yourself through other interests than focusing on the past.
Whether that means joining interest groups (virtually during the pandemic), being physically active to lose that extra weight you care enough about to mention, and/or dating online seeking to find someone you want to consider meeting in person... all are possible.
So, too, is recognizing that your wife did not choose to seek a separation or divorce. She may’ve initially had reasons based on her high-profile at work, but that time has passed and she’s still sharing a home with you, albeit as distanced partners.
Your original counselling experience was a failure based on her silence. That was then. Now, you could benefit on your own by talking to a therapist about your own future.
You’ve accepted a personal “lockdown” of your emotions and any future options. It’s an unhelpful, unhealthy and unnecessary way to carry on.
Find your inner courage to try something else.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman with the secretive, delusional boyfriend (April 9):
Reader – “The man’s talk about God and that only he could save her, his lack of sleep and being delusional, are all classic symptoms of a person with bipolar disorder who is in a manic phase. I think the writer needs to get professional medical/psychiatric advice as to how to move forward with this relationship.
“I lost a 27-year marriage to this, and it sounds so familiar.”
Readers’ Commentary Regarding the woman, 69 with an unseen overseas lover (April 5):
“This is a SCAM that almost happened to me.
“She shouldn’t take any more texts/calls and never mention her suspicions or soon another scammer will fall in love with her. She’s now in their cross-hairs.
“To test this, she could say her lawyer needs a copy of his passport, driver’s license and birth certificate. He won’t be able to provide all three... confirmation that he’s a scammer.
“My first clue was by recording the voice. My supposedly German-American “love” was clearly from Nigeria.
“She must keep the texts and share them with her lawyer or trusted banker/friend/family.
“I was very lonely. A man had said all the things my heart ached to hear. It wasn’t until he emailed me a “concierge” address in “Dubai” and said $200 wasn’t enough, that I was shocked into reality.
“I’ve been happily married to a real man for eight years.”
Tip of the day:
At any age of maturity, make choices that can re-shape your future.