Scrutinizing Hubby

1 May

Letterbalm Magnifying GlassDear LetterBalm: I was married quite young to a very wealthy man from a prominent family. We have a beautiful five-year-old daughter who is the light of our lives. Starting with our honeymoon, my husband and I rarely had sex before she was born and never afterward. (It’s been years.) I believed he was gay, asexual or having an affair because he was out in the evenings until all hours. I decided to get to the truth and consulted a divorce attorney and hired a private investigator. I have definite proof that my husband is gay; he has a longtime lover. I don’t want to hurt him or cause a scandal – he’s a kind person – but for the sake of our daughter, I want to extricate myself from our marriage as quietly as possible with financial security for us. The situation is made more difficult because my husband is thoroughly under the thumb of his mother, the matriarch of the family, who will have access to my daughter when she visits her dad. How can I get out of this bind?

–No Longer Naïve

Ms. L.B. is sorry that your marriage is a sham and your husband is living an inauthentic life. You obviously entered into your union in good faith, and, clearly, you are sympathetic to your spouse’s position. He may well feel pressure to conform from his family, which may or may not know of his sexual identity. You’ve taken strong first steps and you have significant leverage. Now, with guidance from your attorney, you must sit down privately with your husband, show him the evidence and jointly work out a plan of action, mindful of his mother. Regarding your daughter, remember, you’re her mother and you have rights. Be sympathetic but firm:

Barry, we’ve come to a crossroads in our marriage. You and I haven’t been intimate since Olivia was born five years ago. I know you’re in a longtime relationship with Ronald Smith. The proof of your affair is in this envelope, so please don’t deny it. I believe you love him very much; I also believe you’re in a bind because of your family. I’ve seen an attorney who advises me that we can end our marriage quietly, if you and I act discreetly and respectfully and keep Olivia’s welfare in mind. He advises me to keep this private for as long as possible, and that it’s in your best interest not to inform your family at this time. I suggest you see a lawyer quickly – here’s my lawyer’s card – and move into the guest bedroom for now. We’ll need to work out an equitable financial settlement and child support and a home for Olivia and me. Of course, you’ll have generous visitation because you’re a great dad. And, once all the legalities and arrangements are settled, you can certainly have the rest of the evidence to do with what you will. My dear, the last thing we both want is scandal and gossip.

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