After my husband's best friend died last year, he started an affair.
He’d wanted to marry that same woman 50 years prior.
When that didn’t happen, he married another woman. Twenty years later, he had a disastrous affair which ended in his attempting suicide.
We met several years later, together 22 years, which have been rough because of his fragile ego.
But the past few years, we've been doing well. We’re in our 70's. He has a high-profile community position.
The woman from his past and he fell into each other’s arms when he reported his friend's death.
He’s tossed me aside romantically. She cannot leave her marriage.
They live two hours apart but are emailing several times daily, phoning, and meeting for wonderful, clandestine sex.
When I discovered their affair, he promised me never to have contact with her again.
We were intimate, but within days, he emailed her saying that "no other woman could come close to her magnificence."
I was devastated, blew up, and we now have no romantic contact.
He claims that we'll be impoverished if we go our separate ways, plus he doesn't want his adult children or the community to know what he’s doing.
I’m very sad, very angry, but would never trust him again. He consistently lies to me.
Otherwise, we get along very well most of the time.
What do I do?
Enough about him – his past, his old love, his ego, his great sex, his community status……
What about you? How long can you “get along well” while he lies, has sex elsewhere, and puts on a phony public face for the community and his adult kids?
If he’s been successful, you won’t be “impoverished” in a split. He’s threatening that possibility, to protect his image and his own finances, not necessarily yours.
See a lawyer. Know what’s at stake and what isn’t.
Even if you decide to stay, do so on your own terms. Travel, see friends. Date if you wish.
You don’t have to hold up his image, just focus on what’s best for you. He’s shown you that example.
Four years ago my husband had a traumatic brain injury, and was hospitalized for 13 weeks. Mostly my son and I nursed him back to reasonable health.
He still had some problems with memory, aphasia, lost ability to read, or comprehend certain things.
Recently, his mother, 88, and his sister, 62, convinced him to file for divorce.
We’ve been married 44 years.
They’ve brain-washed him into believing that I’m the worst person on earth!
I’ve filed to have the divorce action dismissed because he’s incompetent and cannot even understand “divorce.”
He’s regressed back to a six-year-old, but I don't want a divorce.
Our marriage has always been rocky, but 95% of the time it was because of his family, mostly his mother.
How do I get him to come home when they won't let him out of their sight? I know that his mother’s been feeding him this story for the past three years. What can I do?
You need information from an advocacy group for brain-injury patients, as well as legal advice from someone familiar with those issues.
Search online for such an agency and related professionals in your community.
It’s not clear whether he now lives with those relatives, or in a nursing home, institution, etc.
If their divorce push is based on financial interests, also get informed legally about how to protect your marital assets.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman’s future brother-in-law who drives her niece and nephew around even after drinking “a few beers.” (Sept. 12):
Reader – “I strongly disagree with advising the woman to “gently” discuss her concerns with her sister.
“It’s not a topic to be discussed gently.
“Too often, the drunk driver walks away unscathed from a crash, while innocent people are killed or injured.
“You’re right that the woman should attend the wedding. In spite of their issues, they’re still sisters.”
Ellie – Most people already know that drinking and driving is dangerous. However, this woman’s sister is distanced from her, due to her disapproval of the fiancée and of his drinking problem.
Currently, nothing she says is accepted.
She must attend the wedding, repair their relationship… and then get through (gently) to her sister, to acknowledge the potential tragic consequences of his drinking and driving.
The children’s mother must call out her fiancé on it.
Tip of the day:
When a spouse acts only on his/her own interest, you’re free to make the same choice.