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I cheated on my husband of less than a year by texting this guy constantly, going out of my way to see him, even saying I love you. About two weeks ago, we kissed. This all happened within the span of two months: so seemingly innocent at the very beginning, until it wasn’t.

My husband, who I have been with a total of four years, is devastated. I told him four days ago because I was consumed by guilt. He told me this, to him, is like the impossible happening. Four months ago, I would have said the same.

I’m trying to see what I missed when we got married. My husband is a solid, truly good person. He’s 10 years older, but I’ve been the breadwinner since the very beginning of us dating and living together. I told him I didn’t want that long-term.

He agreed, but it hasn’t worked out that way. He’s not lazy, but his chosen profession is competitive. He got a part-time job which helps, but the financial burden has been draining. He is optimistic about getting full-time employment, but he always is about these things.

Since we’ve gotten married, I think we’ve had sex about five times. We also don’t sleep in the same bed because of different issues, and maybe that’s a problem.

While I can’t make excuses for cheating, I’m trying to make sense of what let me be okay with having an affair. I’m also angry at my husband that he can’t afford to get his car fixed. It’s been sitting idle more than three weeks, and he’s been spending extra money to get to work.

I hurt and embarrassed my husband to his core. He wants to forgive me and for us to go to counseling. I agreed. But in my heart of hearts, I’m still unsure.

I don’t want to hurt him more than I already have. I don’t want him to face the embarrassment of a short marriage. I also don’t want people to know I cheated.

The guy I started this affair with was okay pursuing me because he felt I was unhappy. I do feel “in love” with him, but do I feel that way because I’m emotionally out of control right now? As ironic and hypocritical as this sounds, does the fact he’s willing to get involved with a married woman mean it’s not going to work out with us?

Bottom line, I don’t know if I want to work on my marriage or not. My husband said he would eventually be able to forgive me, but that didn’t make me feel relieved. I have a solo counseling session next week so I can figure out what I should do. Do you have any advice in the meantime?

~ Lesa

Lesa, often when people can’t find the words to express a problem, they act out what they cannot say. Of course it didn’t make you feel better that your husband might forgive you. That would defeat the whole point of attempting to end your marriage with this dalliance.

You married a man you cared about but can’t respect and are not in love with. You’re still the breadwinner, even though you didn’t want that long-term. That’s the problem. You are just roommates arguing over the bills.

Sometimes when a woman is with the wrong man, she can’t break it off until the relationship goes to marriage. “I’ve been dating this guy three years. Maybe that will fix things.” Only it didn’t. Marriage doesn’t solve relationship problems.

You know the new guy is a no-go. You said it yourself: I don’t want to date a man who would cheat with a married woman.

Choosing solo counseling is smart. The object is first to quiet your emotions. Then, from a calmer place, you can face the words that you could only act out.

~ Wayne & Tamara

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Direct Answers from Wayne and Tamara – Column for the week of October 16, 2017


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