Overexcited, Overweight Husband

25 Feb

Dear LetterBalm: My husband and I are 55 years old and have been married for 30 years. We have no children. I thought we had a good marriage, but for several months he was seeing a 24-year-old woman – calling, texting and receiving calls and meeting almost every day for coffee and meals at her home. When I accused him of having an affair, he said he never had sex with her, and he said he’d stop seeing her. Well, it’s a year later, and I just found out they are still talking and getting together. I think he’s obsessed with her. He’s bald with a pot belly, and I think the woman is seeing him just because he’s wealthy. I’m distraught. I love my husband, and he says he loves me and wants to stay married, but I don’t believe him. What do I say to him?

–Devastated in Marital Limbo

Your husband is besotted, and this can permanently damage your marriage or end it altogether. Ms. L.B. strongly suggests you seek therapy for yourself and move quickly and proactively before you talk with your husband. Discreetly review your finances, meet with a good attorney, and, depending on the laws in your state, contemplate hiring a reputable private detective. (As distasteful as this is, you may need evidence of your husband’s infidelity.) Do not discuss any of this now with your husband or with family and friends. If you do decide on divorce, you’ll have prepared the groundwork to claim an equitable portion of your spouse’s financial success – which may well have the additional consequence of making him less desirable in the woman’s eyes. After you have these ducks in a row, sit down calmly with your husband and say this:

Mike, we are at a crossroads. Your relationship with Shauna is irreparably damaging us, and, much as it pains me to say this, I no longer believe you want to be in this marriage. From the bottom of my heart, I want us to be together. But as I see it, we have two choices: you stop seeing Shauna once and for all and you and I go together to couples counseling to make a sincere effort to repair our marriage, or you continue to see her and we separate. You have always been the most honest man I have ever known, so you must realize that your actions aren’t ethical or fair to either of us. I love you, but you’re hurting me deeply, and I can’t live with someone I don’t trust. Where do you want to go from here?

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