Question: Dear Luise: I have been married for 19 years but been with the same man for 23 years. He is 6 years older than me and I was married at 19. He is very controlling man. It is his way or no way. He is very verbally abusive and my feelings do not count because I am “being childish.” I had an affair with an even older man I work with. I decided I was going to enjoy my life and if hubby found out…that was fine because our relation ship was over. He did his thing; like watching TV, playing poker and fishing. So, I was doing mine. We had a major explosion over something very stupid. He took off and I ran away to work crying most of the time at work. He came to work to apologize but I’d had enough and told him to go home and we would talk when I got off work. We did. I told him I was leaving. I wanted a partner not a dictator in my life. We had a very hard time for about 3 weeks but he has changed…more respectful to me, helps around the house and asks my opinions on things. But there are little things that are coming back to me. Like telling me that if I left him I could only live with my mom and dad and could not have a place of my own. We owe a lot of money and I do not have a full time job. Also, he says things in front of our 16-year-old son like we had sex the other night and it brought tears to my eyes and he tells our son to “ask mom why she was crying last night.” He also said something in front of my mom about our sex. I don’t like it at all but he has done this before to me. Also, I keep thinking about my affair. I miss the guy and want to keep going with it. He made me feel so special. I just love the way he made me feel. When I have sex with hubby I think the other guy would be better. I want to know what is going on in his life, meet his children and mom and dad. I want to know more about him. I feel like I want to do more for him than my husband, sexually, and other things like taking care of him. Is this going to stop? I still care for him but not sure if I can spend the rest of my life with him or not. I am going to be unfaithful again? I am so confused. I have been cleaning my house thinking that am I doing this to get my stuff organized, so I can get away faster. Any suggestion to help me get my head on straight would be very helpful. S.
Answer: Dear S.: Your guy can only change so much. Being insensitive about your private times together and setting up the rules, should you part, may just be how he is. And only you can say if you are going to stop or be unfaithful again.
A new person that you only see on occasion is going to feel more special. There is a sense of novelty and romance that is often a very important part of an affair. People who marry those they had affairs with sometimes find that life becomes more challenging as the glow of novelty leaves their lives and reality sets in.
One of the very difficult issues for you to face is that the new guy has proven that he is capable of participating in infidelity. And one of the difficult things for him to consider is that you can be married and cheat. New couples often try to ignore such facts by saying that their relationship, if they choose to have one is “different and unique.” It seldom is. The players are different and the problems may look different, too, but it’s never as smooth as imagined. Where is the trust?
An affair isn’t usually experienced as something wonderful for very long. It brings confusion, guilt, chaos and all kinds of other garbage with it. What works best is to end whatever needs ending before you start looking around for someone new. And it goes without saying that the guy involved is better off waiting until you are available. Anything else is loaded. That’s what you are feeling. Blessings, Luise