Should I leave my se­rial-cheater hus­band?

Toronto Star - - LIFE - El­lie Tip of the day Se­rial cheaters rarely change with­out a strong com­mit­ment plus on­go­ing ther­apy. Read El­lie Mon­day to Satur­day. Email el­lie@thes­ or visit her web­site, el­liead­ Fol­low @el­liead­vice.

I’ve been mar­ried for four years and have two tod­dlers. Re­cently, I dis­cov­ered that my hus­band had a girl­friend for three months, to whom he was say­ing “I love you,” while I’m home tak­ing care of our chil­dren and cook­ing din­ner. I was dev­as­tated. When con­fronted, he said he cared for me as the mother of his chil­dren, but didn’t love me as a wife.

We split for three weeks, he begged me for a sec­ond chance, promis­ing to be a bet­ter hus­band. I agreed, feel­ing that I owed it to my kids to give our fam­ily that chance.

Yet I couldn’t trust him, and con­stantly ques­tioned his where­abouts. He acted like he didn’t care if I stayed or left.

Then I dis­cov­ered there’d been at least four other women prior, dur­ing our mar­riage.

I broke, told him I was done. I don’t even look at him the same way.

Aweek later, he’s telling me I’m the only one for him, that he can’t live with­out me, that I should work on our fu­ture. He asks how I can throw our fam­ily away. But I feel our en­tire re­la­tion­ship’s tainted. Am I wrong for be­ing done? Still Ques­tion­ing

You’re feel­ing nat­u­ral con­cern for your chil­dren, but they’re not the only de­cid­ing fac­tor here.

In many cases, se­rial cheaters don’t change un­less they rec­og­nize their ad­dic­tion to sex and at­ten­tion, get ther­apy and then prove they can be loyal and trusted.

So far, your hus­band’s proven to be a hound dog.

He dis­re­spects you, lies, ne­glects you and his kids while he cheats.

If you and he agree on joint cus­tody, he may end up see­ing more of them on “his” time.

How­ever, if you feel there’s any chance at all, get­ting coun­selling will at least give you the sat­is­fac­tion of hav­ing tried to keep the fam­ily to­gether.

If he’s un­will­ing to at­tend, go any­way. It’ll help you try to have a civ­i­lized re­la­tion­ship as par­ents if/ when you part. My mother died four years af­ter my father, and two sib­lings were ap­pointed ex­ecu­tors of the will. When my mother was suf­fer­ing from can­cer, I took stress leave and looked af­ter her for three months. I wasn’t given much sup­port from the other sib­lings.

Af­ter she died, there was a huge fam­ily rift. Three of my five sib­lings sent me nasty “dis­own­ing” emails. I no longer have con­tact with them. The house was sold and each of us was given a por­tion of the in­her­i­tance. But $5,000 was held back for a cer­tifi­cate of clear­ance when we were to re­ceive the re­main­ing money.

Over four years later, we still haven’t re­ceived pay­ment.

I have a “sort of” re­la­tion­ship with only one of the ex­ecu­tors.

An­other sib­ling and I have only been given vague an­swers. Lately, our emails go unan­swered.

Can the ex­ecu­tors just keep the money with­out no­ti­fy­ing us? Is this le­gal? Shut Out

See a lawyer, if you feel the le­gal fee is worth your share of the $5,000 when di­vided among six sib­lings.

Some of those in­volved have al­ready be­haved meanly and self­ishly, so a le­gal fight for your share may just not be worth it.

Mean­while, look up “will ex­ecu­tors’ re­spon­si­bil­i­ties” on­line, spe­cific to the ju­ris­dic­tion in­volved.

You may get an an­swer that will help you alert those two that you know what you’re owed legally and in­tend to go af­ter it.

Mean, self­ish peo­ple are some­times also cowards, so this could pos­si­bly help.

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