This is an open letter to the woman who’s trying to break up my marriage:
If you think it’s going to be a slam-dunk because you’re younger than me and pretty, forget it. I’m attractive, smart, and I know my husband in ways you cannot guess.
We share three children and the same values and hopes for them.
We survived one child’s serious health scare by taking turns staying up all night with her, clinging to each other long after the crisis passed.
We share parents/siblings on both sides, bonded over 15 years of marriage to all, plus a larger extended family whose values we share.
We advanced together - he in his profession, me in my chosen field, until I chose part-time work to accommodate the children’s extra-curricular activities.
Are you interested in picking up those tasks with my kids?
They involve driving and pickups, between 5pm and 8pm, and hanging around large, cold facilities.
You’ll need a plan for feeding them and yourself plus a meal to heat up back home for my husband.
Incidentally, we both fell deeply in love those 15 years ago, purchased together every piece of furniture for our first apartment, and were in full taste agreement when we bought our house.
Did you think it would be yours next? Were you planning to toss the hand towels with both our initials on them? (They were one of his gifts to me that first Christmas there.)
You have the advantage of being “new,” which during passion laced with cheating, can feel overwhelming, a sure win.
Not so fast! Our marriage is rooted in far more than that. Sex? Of course, even during your affair.
If you can actually draw my husband away from all that we’ve been and still are together, you can have him.
Because he won’t be the man I know and love.
PS - Have any advice for me, Ellie?
I applaud you. For your directness and reality-check about what the “other woman” may face.
But she’s only half the problem in your husband’s affair.
Now, take your anger, hurt, disappointment, and marital history to counselling.
Insist that your husband attend too, before you both try to define the next steps.
You need to hear the “why” and the “now-what” of his cheating. You both need to fully understand the next steps regarding the children as well as the marriage.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding why, besides not passing on COVID-19, masks matter (Note: This event occurred days before the current lockdown when nail salons were among businesses shuttered):
“My friend entered a nail salon masked, sat distanced from a nail technician who wore a mask and face shield.
“Seated beside each other, two other women in their 20s removed their masks during nail treatment, talking and laughing loudly.
“My friend, 40, suggested the owner “say something.” The answer: The salon’s business was at five percent of what it normally was. She couldn’t afford to risk losing more clients.
“My friend approached the women and calmly explained that besides putting others at risk, if an inspector saw unmasked clients, the salon would be closed down.
“As they begrudgingly replaced their masks, one muttered, “bitch.”
“What do you say?”
“Pathetic.” I understand everyone’s desire for “normalcy,” but little can again reach that state until the majority of citizens are not at risk for falling ill, nor dying from this dangerous virus due to others’ ignorance and self-centredness.
FEEDBACK Regarding the daughter, age eight, no longer invited for playdates after her mother died (November 16):
Reader – “Though the early loss of a parent is a significant event, kids grow/change, as do their friendship preferences.
“The parents are in the awkward position of trying to tactfully communicate that their daughter doesn’t like a child as before.
“It may be a “mean girl” situation. Talking to the classroom teacher may be helpful in case there’s any bullying involved.
“Also, some families are wrongly uncomfortable with single fathers, as their daughters approach puberty.
“Or the friend’s family may have concerns about differences in perceived safe practices.
“Best for the daughter to focus on the friends she does have and being open to new friendships.
“Maternal loss isn’t the only important fact about her. An identity centered on being a child whose mother died is detrimental in the long run.”
Been Down Similar Road
Tip of the day:
An affair doesn’t have to end a marriage. What matters is why it happened and what can be saved and/or revived.