Did he cheat? He says yes

Los Angeles Times - - COMICS - Send ques­tions to askamy@amy­dick­in­son.com.

Dear Amy: I have been mar­ried for two years. My hus­band is much younger than I, but I love him very much.

I asked him one day if he has cheated on me since we have been mar­ried.

He al­ways used to say no. This time he said yes and that he was sorry.

I have for­given him. It is hard. I want to know de­tails.

Should I ask, or should I let it be and try to go on?

He has an­swered some of my ques­tions, but some he ig­nores — or changes the sub­ject. What should I do? — Sad Spouse

Dear Spouse: Ad­mis­sion and for­give­ness is a start, but there is no “quick fix” to re­build­ing your re­la­tion­ship af­ter in­fi­delity, be­cause heal­ing from in­fi­delity is all about restor­ing trust, and this takes time.

Your hus­band should be com­pletely trans­par­ent at this point and tell you every­thing you want to know. Why? Be­cause he loves you, and you are ask­ing.

Many sur­vivors of in­fi­delity don’t want to know de­tails of their part­ner’s un­faith­ful­ness, but some peo­ple do need to know. Won­der­ing and ru­mi­nat­ing can make things worse for you, de­lay­ing your re­cov­ery from this ex­treme mar­i­tal chal­lenge.

The best place for you two to start this jour­ney is in the of­fice of a com­pas­sion­ate mar­riage coun­selor, who can help to guide this im­por­tant con­ver­sa­tion (and oth­ers that will follow).

You and your hus­band should both read “Heal­ing From In­fi­delity: The Di­vorce Bust­ing Guide to Re­build­ing Your Mar­riage Af­ter an Af­fair” by ther­a­pist Michele Weiner-Davis. Your young mar­riage can sur­vive this, but you need to forge a dif­fer­ent path for­ward.

Dear Amy: I’m a 20-yearold col­lege stu­dent who just be­gan dat­ing a great guy. He’s funny, and I feel com­fort­able with him. I am his first re­la­tion­ship in five years, but things seem to be go­ing well. How­ever, he is seven years older than me. He just grad­u­ated from the same col­lege I am at­tend­ing and is liv­ing at home, while I am in an apart­ment about two hours from my home­town.

The thing that keeps pop­ping into my head is, if the re­la­tion­ship con­tin­ues long term, how will the age dif­fer­ence af­fect us?

I also worry about what my par­ents would think of the age dif­fer­ence (and of him) if/when they meet him.

Is this just a bridge to cross when I get to it? What is­sues should I pre­pare for? — Dat­ing Numbers Game

Dear Dat­ing: You should take your re­la­tion­ship in grad­ual and re­al­is­tic stages. The way you de­scribe your boyfriend, his own de­vel­op­ment may make him closer in age to you, ma­tu­rity-wise, and be­cause of that, the age dif­fer­ence may not present many chal­lenges.

Gen­er­ally, re­la­tion­ships be­tween peo­ple far apart in age tend to be chal­lenged mainly when both part­ners are at dif­fer­ent life stages.

Im­por­tantly, at 20, your pri­mary job is to con­tinue your own process of grow­ing up. If this re­la­tion­ship in­ter­feres with your own per­sonal or ed­u­ca­tional goals, then it is not a healthy one for you.

It is nat­u­ral for you to worry about your par­ents’ re­ac­tion to this re­la­tion­ship, but al­ways re­mem­ber that this is your re­la­tion­ship, not theirs, and if it is solid and func­tional, and if your guy is re­spect­ful and kind, then your folks should em­brace your re­la­tion­ship, and him.

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