How do I get through a lockdown with a husband who’s cheated?
There were a couple of incidents in the past, when he was on the road for a sales company. I was knee-deep in young children then.
He slipped up with an excuse of being ordered to stay another night away. I got a phone call asking why he hadn’t shown up at work, and we had a huge fight when he returned.
He promised “never again.” Then it happened a few years later when the kids were teenagers. I threatened divorce and he ended it.
With adult children now on their own, he barely hid an affair a year ago.
We went to counselling as a last resort because I said he either had to leave or there could be no more affairs.
Counselling helped. We both were forced to see how we’d pushed the other away without realizing it. We learned how we each needed to change certain habits that divided us.
Things were fine till the pandemic got worse, and now we’re in lockdown again.
We’re not able to do what we learned from counselling - no “dating” each other by going to things we used to love, like dining in our favourite restaurant, or holding hands in a movie theatre, etc.
Instead, the bitterness has returned. He remembers every word that the counsellor said about me, when I was in the wrong. I remember the smarmy texts he sent his last “girlfriend” when I snooped his phone.
How do we get through this? Is it the last chance for us? Or the end for two people who’ve lost the ability to ever love each other again?
Make this next phrase your guide: “It’s the pandemic.”
I use it when readers tell me that their relationship just can’t work anymore.
Little wonder you and so many others feel that way, when the overriding atmosphere is fear of a dangerous novel coronavirus virus that’s threatened our world and narrowed how we live in it.
Until we can all have access to a proven vaccine.
You and your husband have dealt with distancing and adultery in the past.
But you had the shared courage to accept what you learned from counselling about your own and each other’s part in the unhappiness.
Keep that knowledge. Use the lockdown to help you stay close - a weekly candlelit dinner (even pizza), handholding during TV movies and downloads, old re-runs.
Beat the pandemic at its own game of keeping you together.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman whose partner says he’s not on methamphetamine anymore (November 20):
Reader – “I say he most definitely is. Kick him to the curb immediately.
“If you don’t, you’re in for a lifetime of hurt. If you do kick him out, over time you’ll realize you did the right thing.
“One day you’ll wake up and say, thank God I’m out of that insanity.”
Ellie - This is a harsh assessment, though undoubtedly, it’s sadly true in some cases. “Meth” is a potent drug that’s very addictive.
The couple have been together for six years and they have two young children. The situation is unsafe for everyone, since it’s clear by her account that’s he’s still using.
A rehab program is essential, and she must seek a program for him and insist he join it if he wants to be part of the family.
I’m older than my wife by five years, nearing the milestone of 75 and the last segment of my life.
She’s planning a lovely dinner for just us, with champagne, a cake, and virtual party for our children, grandchildren and close friends.
I’m not enthused. Though we’re both healthy, active and energetic (we still make love but not as often as before), I’m uncomfortable about this event.
How do I handle it without looking as gloomy as I feel, and who are we kidding?... it’s the beginning of the last lap!
Realistic at 75
Now that you’ve expressed your doom-and-gloom outlook, re-read all your own contradictions: “Healthy, active, energetic, making love.” What luck!
If you can’t find positivity from that description alone, I recommend an online chat with a counsellor, your faith leader, family doctor or wise close friend.
Yours is the ideal senior situation. Forget the number. Live your life!
Tip of the day:
Don’t let a lockdown bring out the worst of your relationship from the past. Use it for connecting positively whenever possible.