After online affairs, should her husband get another chance?
DEAR ANNIE: I read you on Facebook and hope you can help. My husband and I have been married for two years, after living together for five. We have four beautiful children. Things were going well until we moved into our new home. It’s as if we suddenly became strangers. We barely spoke to each other. He kept a lot of secrets and lied about everything.
I started snooping around and found out he was having two online affairs. I confronted him, and he became angry, as if it were my fault. He made me feel terrible, so I let him walk all over me and was miserable. He claims these “affairs” were the same as looking at pornography, but he’s wrong. I know one of these women, and they were both sending him text messages and racy photos. Last month, he cleared out half of our bank account and won’t tell me where the money went.
After that, I told him he had to stop or the marriage was over, so he trashed his phone and now he rarely gets online. But I can’t help thinking, given the chance, he would do it all again. I love him and our family and believe in keeping our marriage intact, but I just don’t trust him anymore. Should I leave him or give him another chance? — Confused and Worried
Dear Confused: When trust disappears in a marriage, it takes a great deal of effort — from both parties — to regain a foothold. You have four children together. Your husband has apparently trashed his phone and rarely gets online, and, as far as you know, he is no longer carrying on with other women. These things would justify giving him another chance.
But he still hasn’t explained or replaced the missing money (this is a huge red flag) and, obviously, you don’t fully believe that he will remain faithful down the road. This is why counseling is so important. Please ask your husband to go with you to see a professional who can help him understand why his behavior is so damaging, and work on ways for you to trust him again. As always, if he refuses to go with you, go alone.