Question: Dear Luise: I have been married for fourteen years. My husband has had Internet relationships and has physically cheated on me at least once. Every time I confront him he tells me he is going to change and for him it is just the thrill of it and it really means nothing. I tell him this hurts and he still continues his behavior-even to the point of exposing himself on one of the sites. We have two boys 13 and 8 and I know any decision I make affects them as well so I want to make the best one. Dad is considered the fun one because he lets them get away with more and I am the one who nags about brushing teeth and homework. I thought I could stay with him until the youngest goes off to college but I don’t know that I am strong enough. Divorce seems to be way to easy but I think I’ve fought enough for this relationship. I have no one else to talk to so your advice is appreciated. E.
Answer: Dear E. Whether to stay or go when you know a marriage isn’t working and is taking you down…is a highly individualized decision. I divorced when my kids were 17 and 10 and I have always been sorry. Too much damage was done to justify it. I might add that I had no such cause as you do.
Your boys may never forgive you; that’s a strong possibility. Most kids, no matter what they say, couldn’t care less whether their parents are happy or not. You need to factor that in. We raise them with a sense of entitlement and it’s not easy to take it away.
What I found was that a lot of new problems came with my divorce to replace those that were solved.
If you stay, you know that his promises are empty. You may feel that you need to take action regarding what your husband thinks is fun…(that you see as perversion.) Kids are too savvy and they will find him out. You need to impress that on him loud and clear. They definitely don’t need that kind of role model.
I would let him know that he will have to get a laptop that he keeps at another location…locked away…that he can use in a Starbucks or some such hook up or by wireless in his car and that none of it can go on the computer at home…ever. Get a new computer at home so nothing remains. And if you ever find that he violates that arrangement…l would leave. Remember that’s only what I would do, what you do is up to you. Blessings, Luise