Three years of marital problems

Hi Meredith,

I have been with my husband for 12 years and married for the last three. Before we were married, we had a great relationship and got along wonderfully. Months before we got married, my sister passed away suddenly and I was devastated. My husband tried to be as supportive as possible but didn't understand why it took me so long recover. Then, right before our wedding, I lost my mother and I was inconsolable. We went ahead with the small wedding. A month after our wedding I was diagnosed with an illness that required chemo and radiation. It took a toll on both of us.

There have been many ups and downs with our marriage during this process. For example, I caught him on a dating website and he said he just wanted to see what was out there in case we got divorced. We eventually decided to separate because we were constantly fighting, but we decided we wouldn't date anyone else. Well, as you can guess, I caught him again on the dating websites and found out he has been meeting women. He lied to me the whole time.

After I discovered this, he said he wanted to make the marriage work, so we have been getting back to where we were before all this happened. It was going well, but earlier this month I saw a strange number on his phone, listened to the voicemail, and heard that it was one of the women he had dated. That prompted me to go into his email, where I found messages to women he'd met on Match.com. I don't know what to do. Do I try to save this marriage or do I just move on?

– Please help


Your relationship was hit with an overwhelming amount of stress in three years. Two losses and a significant illness will throw any marriage off course.

That said, you guys have been together for 12 years. You may be newlyweds, you have a long history together. It's strange that your husband was baffled by your reaction to losing a sibling and then a parent. How did he expect you to behave during this process? Why did he jump to the conclusion that you might get a divorce?

My advice is to seek counseling as a couple, just to get a better perspective of what you're trying to save. You need a safe place where you can ask questions. You also need input from a professional. Tell your husband that you must go to therapy before you can make any more decisions about the state of the relationship. If he refuses, there's your answer.

Readers? Is there any hope here?

– Meredith