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1 - 11 of 11 Comments Last updated Aug 4, 2013

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#1
Aug 3, 2013
 
Dear Amy: I have been married for 40 years. A couple of years ago I found out my husband was cheating on me. I have learned that he has been unfaithful to me during almost all of our marriage.

He claims to love this other woman but says he loves me too, and he keeps going back and forth between us, swearing he will never see her again and that he doesn't love her anymore (lies).

Our two grown daughters will not associate with their father anymore. I have lost friends and faced scorn from family because I keep trying to save the marriage for the sake of the family.

My husband has left me several times to be with this other woman but keeps coming back for various reasons, and I keep taking him back because I believe him. He says he loves me, but I think he doesn't want to lose our friends, family and lifestyle.

There is no trust or intimacy or real affection between us anymore. I do not want to give up everything I've worked so hard for all my life, and if I divorce, the other woman will get half of that.

I don't know if I love him, but I want to stay with him. I have gone for counseling but that does no good. My friends and family think I should walk away from the marriage because a leopard does not change its spots, but I don't know how to end it after so many years. I keep clinging to the situation hoping it will improve. It won't get better, will it? What should I do?-- Betrayed

Dear Betrayed: If you truly want to stay with your husband, then you should figure out how to happily engage in an "open" marriage with him and this other woman.

You don't seem able to do this, however. I imagine it is confusing and heartbreaking to be yanked back and forth by your husband. His behavior and your acquiescence keeps you permanently off-kilter, and this is why you are so paralyzed right now. You know you should leave the relationship, but you have been conditioned to stay.

You are not in this marriage for the sake of your family. Your kids have already checked out and your family and friends are mystified. You need to imagine how painful your passivity and paralysis is for your children, friends and family to witness.

Clinging to a marriage because you are clinging to a lifestyle is a natural -- but shallow -- impulse. The minute you are able to let go of this idea, the more liberated you will feel.

Speak to a professional counselor (or your bravest friend). Start the conversation by saying, "I'm scared and I need help."

Dear Amy: I am a soon-to-be divorced middle-aged man.

My daughter has a boyfriend, and I have known his mother since we were both teenagers. She has been divorced for five years.

We've had this unspoken thing for each other for over 30 years. We met for drinks and hit it off, just talking about our kids. Is it wrong to take it to the next level?-- Wondering Dad

Dear Dad: If by "the next level" you mean waiting until your divorce is final and then pursuing a romantic relationship with this friend -- then I say, go for it! Climb aboard life's elevator, hit the "up" button, and see where it takes you.

Dear Amy: I could really relate to the letter from "Tired," who had the misfortune to work in a place where loud music destroyed his/her ability to concentrate.

I had a similar problem at work. I find that any music with lyrics is extremely distracting.

We solved this problem by everyone in my section agreeing to turn the overhead music off. Those that still wanted music were permitted to bring their own sources in and either play it at an extremely low volume or use earphones -- as long as it didn't interfere with our work or our interaction with customers.

It was a peaceful solution.-- Earful

Dear Earful: The advent of ear buds has made our world a little quieter, and I am grateful.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#2
Aug 3, 2013
 
1- I think YOU are the one who doesn't want to lose your lifestyle. Put up with it or don't, but you get no sympathy from me.

2- By all means, marry this woman! Your kids are gonna love the fact they'll be dating as brother and sister.

3- If YOU can't handle music at work, get a new job. Don't ruin it for everyone else.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#3
Aug 3, 2013
 

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L1: I really think she's afraid if she can make it alone. She can. She has to believe in herself. She says counselling didn't work. I think if it's something she didn't want to hear it wasn't work. She needs to have a more open mind. She has to get to "that place" where she can hear constructive criticism. I''m with edog about sympathy b/c she really has the reins here on what her next step is. She needs someone to give her a good shove.

L2: Depends on the age of the kids. If they're over 17, go for it. Otherwise, hands off until your kids find their own footing. It would complicate their lives, maybe. Too many factors to know for sure.

L3: Everyone's idea of good music is different and therein lies the problem. Headphones or earbuds are a good solution.
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

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#4
Aug 3, 2013
 
1: I have a little sympathy for her situation, but it goes away the more I read her letter. How can someone be so pathetic? After awhile, you have to see what's what. 4 decades of this?

2: I know it's not against the law or breaks relational boundaries, but I would be squicked and annoyed if my dad started dating my boyfriend's mom! It's like dating a sibling's ex---with 7 billion folks to choose from, some are just off-limits.
not a ghost

San Antonio, TX

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#5
Aug 3, 2013
 
LW1 has taught that male that it is okay to treat her like that.

Agree with Toj on LW2, as well as LW3.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

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#6
Aug 3, 2013
 

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If she is married 40 years, LW is at least 60 and probably older. Her skills and coping mechanisms are set. If she likes her life style- and she is entitled to do so at this point, accept that and either separate or turn a blind eye.

Dithering and polling the relatives garners disrespect. Fix what you are going to do and tehn do it.

It is cold to say, but a lot of people opt to turn blind eyes on a mistress or lover because the remainder of what they have is worth it to them. That refers not just to material things but to the remaining portion of time, attention and affection from the spouse.

If she plays it right, she gets to be a martyr with sympathy and the house.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

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#7
Aug 3, 2013
 

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1: I have sympathy for this woman. If she was married for 40 years, it's likely she married directly from her parents' home and has never lived on her own and had full responsibility for herself or a home. She may need to move out of her home for financial reasons and moving is never easy and especially so for an older woman on her own. I think she's scared for these reasons alone as well as being part of a generation that was raised to think divorce is bad and humiliating. I do think she's worried about a change in her living conditions as well.

My sister went through this kind of thing after 30 years of marriage. She felt humiliated by her husband's affair. He couldn't make up his mind whether to stay or go and she said it had to be one or the other. Eventually he left for the last time when she said he needed to make up his mind and that he could NOT come back home again if left. She made good on that and did not allow him to return home. She did however insist that her kids visit him and his new wife and insisted that he was still their father. They maintained a civil, even friendly, relationship until his death some years later. He used to visit my sister and her new husband fairly often. So from my sister's experience, this lady needs to make him choose one last time and not allow him to return home if he leaves again. If that happens, she needs to tell him she's filing for divorce and then do it. At 60 something, it will be hard and her kids should let her know that they'll help her with the transition.
Julie

Skokie, IL

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#8
Aug 3, 2013
 
LW1: "Our two grown daughters will not associate with their father anymore. I have lost friends and faced scorn from family because I keep trying to save the marriage for the sake of the family."
What a load of crap. Your children are adults and, in any case, they want nothing to do with their father. Exactly what "family" are you trying to save this travesty of a marriage for?

Your husband certainly doesn't love or respect you, and you no longer love him--you both just want to maintain the lifestyle you're used to. Own it. And stop whining. God, you're annoying.
Kuuipo

Salinas, CA

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#9
Aug 3, 2013
 
LW1: LW should read this letter as though it were written by someone else and ask herself what advice she would give this person. LW, you state that you have no trust, no intimacy, and no real affection. The reason that you are staying is because you fear the unknown. But staying is robbing you of your self-respect and self-worth. You deserve far better than this. But until you believe this, and until you can embrace change, you will continue to settle for your miserable life. Get that counseling and then get a good lawyer.

LW2: What cheluzal said.(Some people are just off-limits.)

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#10
Aug 4, 2013
 

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Julie wrote:
LW1: "Our two grown daughters will not associate with their father anymore. I have lost friends and faced scorn from family because I keep trying to save the marriage for the sake of the family."
What a load of crap. Your children are adults and, in any case, they want nothing to do with their father. Exactly what "family" are you trying to save this travesty of a marriage for?
Your husband certainly doesn't love or respect you, and you no longer love him--you both just want to maintain the lifestyle you're used to. Own it. And stop whining. God, you're annoying.
Julie, not everyone is strong. Whether or not they should be or should not be is different from what they actually do b/c they lived most of their lives one way and have lived their life "as it should be". They just don't know what to do. You can say they should know and I would agree with that. Some people truly don't now how, however. I have sympathy for those types of people b/c they don't have access to a diffent line of thought/actions.
Julie

Skokie, IL

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#11
Aug 4, 2013
 

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Toj wrote:
<quoted text>
Julie, not everyone is strong. Whether or not they should be or should not be is different from what they actually do b/c they lived most of their lives one way and have lived their life "as it should be". They just don't know what to do. You can say they should know and I would agree with that. Some people truly don't now how, however. I have sympathy for those types of people b/c they don't have access to a diffent line of thought/actions.
Toj, I agree with you. My issue w/the LW is that she claims she wants to save the marriage for the sake of her family, when everything else she writes indicates that is patently untrue. She wants to save the marriage for her convenience and lifestyle. OK.*Own* that, and stop playing the victim, when a lot of this is her own choice. I suspect that's why her family and friends are fed up with her.

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