Just curious -- are people online today? Working? Off today or Monday? I’m posting this letter today and I may leave it up through Tuesday. If you’re all out of town, I want to save the good letters. Let me know.
Also, to the person who made a Richard Marx reference in his/her comment yesterday -- well done. Endless summer nights, indeed.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but it makes me question how many people are meant to have a few long relationships instead of one big marriage.
A few months ago, my wife of nearly 11 years cheated. She kissed her ex-boyfriend. He kissed her. I have verified this with a friend who saw it.
My wife has admitted to harboring feelings for him and emailing him in secret for over a year.
Many years ago, my wife caught me sending questionable emails to another woman, and I have been living with that burden all these years and trying to make right by her by being honest and open about everything. I immediately cut all communications with this other woman and anytime this woman has tried to contact me I’ve told my wife.
As a result of these two things, we have gone to therapy, which helped. We now communicate very well and are both very much in love with each other.
My issue is this: How do I know that something like this won't happen again? I have to believe in her but right now it is hard. She expects me to be able to do it right now, even though it has taken her years to accept my indiscretion completely and it took an indiscretion on her part to get there. I just need to hear/read advice from neutral parties. Again I love my wife very deeply.
-- At a Crossroad, Beverly
Um, you don’t know it won’t happen again. She doesn’t either. Frankly, all of this talk about kissing and year-long email affairs makes me hope you haven’t stopped the therapy. That should be ongoing. It doesn’t get fixed in just a few months.
I think you and your wife need to talk about the why, not the what. It’s fine to promise that you’ll cut off communication with an ex or stop cheating, but what about the reasons you cheated in the first place? Did you get married too soon? Are you two people who can’t commit for a lifetime to just one person (that doesn’t make you evil, by the way)? Will this ever end? Is it out of your system?
People make mistakes. You of all people know that. I just want you both to make sure that you categorize these choices as mistakes. Perhaps you don’t. It’s worth some real honesty in therapy. Something tells me you’re not quite there yet.
Readers? Did this couple get married too soon? Will there ever be trust? Was the wife just trying to even the score? How long does it take to get over a cheat? Share here. (And feel free to tell me what you’ll be doing for the 4th. Seeing Neil Diamond downtown?) Submit a letter to the right.
Speaking of Love
"Love drains from you, takes with it much of your blood sugar and water weight. You are like a house slowly losing its electricity, the fans slowing, the lights dimming and flickering; the clocks stop and go and stop."
Lorrie Moore, "Self-Help"