It was our 14th anniversary yesterday. The best gift? Send a letter or an update.
My husband and I have been together for close to nine years. We met young and have two children. We had a rocky period and separated for a few months. There was lots of reflection and I missed him. I expressed this and we reconnected late last year.
Something was going on with someone else during this time. I'm not sure of the details, but it's making me feel insecure – as she will be around a lot in our lives. Yesterday, I found messages between them. I asked him about it and he lied to me. Avoidance and deflection are his go-to reactions whenever I ask questions. I'm back to feeling like I'm on eggshells.
I love him and don't want to be without him, but I'm feeling so unworthy. He says he loves me, but I’m noticing little problems and him becoming distant. I fell apart during the time we were separated, trying to keep strong for the kids, but when they went to bed I was a mess. I don't want them to be without their dad and I want to make this work. My friends are angry and telling me I'm strong enough to do it, but they don't understand. I can't really talk to anyone about this.
You're light on details here. I don't know why this "someone else" will still be around. Also, why did your husband want to get back together? I don't know how he felt about the separation or your return.
What I do know is that you left the marriage because you were unhappy and uncomfortable, and now that you're back, so is the misery. You're walking on eggshells, and whenever you suspect he's lying, you feel worse about yourself.
If you separated for good, it would be difficult all over again. But your kids wouldn't have to be without their dad. People co-parent, and as a child of divorce I can tell you that unhappily married and stressed out parents can be harder to be around than two people who are building healthy, independent lives.
Your friends know your strength; you've done this once and can do it again. There might be more tears, but maybe the grief would lead to a more joyful life. Also, now that you've tried the marriage again, more questions have been answered. You know this didn't fix itself with a quick break.
This is a great time to find a couples counselor to help you take next steps. Maybe your husband will be more honest if there's a third party helping everyone along. Perhaps it'll be easier to figure out the real options – what a co-parenting situation might look like. You can also discuss your boundaries – who you want to be around, and what you need to avoid right now.
If it feels like you can't confide in the people closest to the marriage, let a professional try to help. Make that your next call.
Readers? Thoughts on returning to something that isn't so great?