My husband and I have been married 40 years. During that time he has had an affair on three different occasions, always with the same woman, his childhood sweetheart. The last time was eight years ago. Each time they broke up because he would not divorce me.
Now he is seeing her again. He tells me she’s been his demon all our married life. He thinks, but does not know, that he loves us both, and if I force him to choose, he will leave to find out how he really feels.
We have three grown children and six great-grandchildren. He keeps saying he does not want a divorce at this time, but he does not know what the future will bring. Meanwhile he goes to see her while I sit at home and cry.
When he comes back home, he acts as though nothing is wrong and is all lovey-dovey. I asked him to see a psychologist. He said maybe sometime in the future but not now. He wouldn’t know what to tell the guy because he doesn’t know what is going on himself.
My husband says he really doesn’t know her anymore and maybe this is just a dream he kept alive in his head all these years. He figures we will both hate him before it’s over, but he has to find out.
I hate to throw away 40 years. I really do love him. On the other hand, he’s ripping me apart day by day.
Sandra, why did the 5-year-old lick frosting off the cake? Despite what he told you, the answer is not, “I don’t know.” The answer is, “I wanted to lick the frosting.” If the 5-year-old isn’t told why that is wrong and given consequences, the next time there’s cake he will lick the frosting.
Then who is to blame?
You’ve known this man 40 years. He says he wouldn’t know what to say to a psychologist. Can’t you answer the question for him? Can’t you think like him? “I don’t respect my wife. I break vows, and my mistress and my wife let me get away with it. What a lucky boy am I.”
At this late stage in the game, there is no reason for him to stop. And you have a role in this. He couldn’t do this if you didn’t let him.
This isn’t Oz and you are not Dorothy, where all you have to do to solve your problem is click your heels. You’ve helped him be more selfish. You let him live like this. On any day at any time you could have ended this, but you stayed for your own reasons.
Don’t say it’s love. You can’t be in love with someone who abuses you. Otherwise he gets to say “I don’t know” and you get to say “I love him.” Those are both lies. He doesn’t love you and you don’t love yourself enough. The old expression is to thine own self be true. But he’s never been true to you, and you haven’t been true to yourself.
At some point, how we get treated is how we allow someone to treat us.
You could have a life expectancy of 25 years or more. It is your decision to make. Do you accept this for the rest of your life, or do you give yourself a chance now to live a different life, even if it is simply not having to look at him on the other side of the bed?
~ Wayne & Tamara
Direct Answers from Wayne and Tamara for the week of November 27, 2017
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