Fidelity is lack­ing in re­la­tion­ship

The Commercial Appeal - - Sports -

My wife and I have been to­gether for 20 years and mar­ried for four. We have three kids. In the be­gin­ning of our re­la­tion­ship, it was bad — and the bad all came from me. I cheated on her and hurt her. She stayed by my side, and that’s when I re­al­ized that I have a won­der­ful woman. I got my act to­gether and ended up mar­ry­ing her.

This year, I have caught her cheat­ing on me twice. All she does is say that I have done it to her in the past. I’m stuck, be­cause I don’t want to leave but I also can’t ac­cept the cheat­ing. What do I do?

Though you put your af­fairs be­hind you, your wife clearly wasn’t able to. It was wrong of you to cheat, but it was wrong of her to ac­cept your pro­posal if she wasn’t going to ac­cept the past. Now she’s in­flict­ing wounds on you in­stead of heal­ing her own. Such vengeance has no place in a mar­riage.

Mar­riage coun­selors aid cou­ples grap­pling with these is­sues ev­ery day, and I rec­om­mend you and your wife set up an ap­point­ment as soon as pos­si­ble. A pro­fes­sional coun­selor can help you un­pack the years of bag­gage you’re both car­ry­ing, light­en­ing the load so you can fi­nally move for­ward in love.

I saw the let­ter in your col­umn writ­ten by “Jeal­ous in Wis­con­sin.” I em­pathize with “Jeal­ous,” be­cause I know ex­actly how he feels.My wife and I both met when we were just barely 20 years old. I was a very naive 20. I had only had one girl­friend in my life, and we’d never even got­ten phys­i­cal.

My wife and I mar­ried at 21 after going to­gether for a year. I was deeply in love. A few years after we got mar­ried and had a son, I found out some things from a friend of hers. It seems my wife had quite a past with other men, in­clud­ing two mar­ried men. I didn’t be­lieve it at first, but it turned out to be true.

I have never looked at her the same. The love I had for her has dis­ap­peared. We’ve been mar­ried for al­most 40 years now be­cause I de­cided to stay with her — not out of love but out of obli­ga­tion, I sup­pose. I haven’t been in­ti­mate with her for decades and won’t ever again. I sup­pose she doesn’t care about the in­ti­mate part; she al­ready had her fun be­fore she met me. She has been a great mom to our son, and she has been kind to me over the years, but things with us will never be as a mar­riage should be.

You can call it wrong to act or feel that way, but I do, and no coun­sel­ing will ever change that.

Shame on you. Your wife didn’t break any vows, but you did. Rather than love and cher­ish her, you’ve treated her like dirt, all be­cause of some things she did as a teenager. Your pet­ti­ness has cost this poor woman the joy of a sup­port­ive part­ner­ship, and I’d like you to take a long look in the mir­ror and ask your­self what it’s bought you.

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