My husband has been involved with another woman for over a year. Four months ago he said it was over, then began seeing her again. He says he loves me and our family and doesn’t want to leave, but nothing I’ve said or done is able to convince him to stop seeing her.
I finally realized he’s the only one who can end this relationship, if and when he wants to. I love my husband, we have two great kids and we’ve had a nice life. We still enjoy each other’s company and visit with friends and relatives.
Since he began seeing her again, I haven’t wanted to make love with him, just to watch him call or go to her. I told him, “Do whatever you need to do to figure out what you want from life.” I also said I would not judge him, hold it against him or hate him.
All I want is for this relationship to end. I harbor no grudges. Having him back in my life is more important than anything he has done. He has a real problem with getting older. It really bothers him.
I honestly don’t know what else to do at this point.
Amy, if you let a man reach in your purse and take your wallet, while you say “I’d rather you didn’t do that,” were you robbed? If your husband has an affair with another woman, while you say “Oh, I wish you wouldn’t do that,” is he actually cheating?
You’ve given your husband carte blanche with no consequences. That makes you complicit and part of the problem.
You are acting from the unsaid thing in your letter. “If I put my foot down, he’ll leave.” That’s why you are playing the weakest of all cards, the doormat card. The doormat card never commands respect. It blurs the line between being a nice person and being a weak person.
You wrote us from your husband’s email account. Is that another doormat card? Are you hoping he’ll see your letter and come back to you for good?
Our core belief is people are better off living in reality. It can be painful, but acting from reality is always the wisest way. You’ve gotten what you were willing to tolerate, and your tolerance will cost you unless you develop a plan. He can leave at any time.
He’s having a hard time getting old? Please. We get older every single day. We don’t get to use that as an excuse to misbehave. You’re not going to judge him? Please. Our life is all about judgments. Will you tell your 15-year-old daughter, when she begins to date, that you won’t judge her choices?
Make plans based on what your life is today, not based on what you hope it might be. Stop acting as if you don’t have any power. You have more power than you realize. See a good divorce lawyer privately, so you know where you stand legally and financially after a divorce.
You want to cling to the idea of a happy family, but at any time your husband can demand a divorce and threaten to take you to the cleaners. When that happens you can say, “I’ve seen a lawyer. Someone is going to the cleaners. And it’s not me.”
When someone reaches in your purse and steals your wallet, you get to say, “I was robbed.” When your husband is unfaithful, you get to say, “Here are the consequences.”
~ Wayne & Tamara
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Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at www.WayneAndTamara.com.