A se­cret out­side affair doesn’t im­prove your re­la­tion­ship

Journal Pioneer - - CLASSIFIEDS/LIVING ROOM - El­lie Tesher Read El­lie Mon­day to Satur­day. Email el­lie@ thes­tar.ca. Fol­low @el­liead­vice.

I’m 28, in a re­la­tion­ship for seven months (best friends for 10 years). We’ve talked about mov­ing in next year, kids, mar­riage.

How­ever, a cou­ple of months ago, I saw on his phone that he was look­ing on­line for bi-ex­per­i­men­ta­tion. While he never went through with it, it shocked me based on sit­u­a­tions in my past re: cheat­ing and ly­ing. He’s since been see­ing a sex ther­a­pist, be­cause he has a muchlower li­bido than me, and to sort out his is­sues re­gard­ing sex. His ex-girl­friend had put him down for want­ing to try cer­tain things with her, so he’s al­ways been afraid. With me, he wor­ried that due to his lower sex drive, he wasn’t pleas­ing me. When I dis­cov­ered his emails, I went crazy, feel­ing hurt and lost. That week, I started an affair. It’s still on. I feel like crap some­times be­cause I’m so op­posed to cheat­ing. But I’m al­most re­lieved that I could have this side, and this metime. I feel badly be­cause he’s work­ing hard on him­self, de­voted to me and our fu­ture. I love him and want to spend my life with him. I just don’t know why I don’t feel bad enough to end this affair. – Con­fused and Cheat­ing

You’re not ready to plan a fu­ture, not with some­one you feel no guilt about be­tray­ing.

Sue, he was the first to err, through on­line cu­rios­ity, NOT cheat­ing. Now he’s ad­dress­ing his sex­ual is­sues for you, while you have it off with some­one else. You’ve walked blithely into an affair, like you’re owed it be­cause of past hurts. Never mind the man you claim to love. Get to your own coun­selling, fast. Drop the affair and come clean with your guy. If you can’t do that, break up. You’ve both ex­pe­ri­enced a per­sonal cri­sis. He’s work­ing through his, you’ve opted for de­ceit­ful self­ind­ul­gence. Since your past ex­pe­ri­ences have numbed you against be­ing an hon­est part­ner to his ef­forts, you need “me-time” for pro­fes­sional ther­apy.

My univer­sity-ed­u­cated daugh­ter-in-law doesn’t tidy up, cook, do laun­dry. She has a reg­u­lar clean­ing ser­vice.

Her child, age four, is con­stantly re­buffed be­cause mom spends most of her time on­line. The house is lit­tered with her shoes and soiled cloth­ing. She buys ex­pen­sively, then loses, breaks, and tosses them like trash. She claims she’s too ex­hausted af­ter her desk-job work day to do “any more.” My son does all of the house­hold, yard work, and child-rear­ing. He’s very tired, and disillusioned. I’m afraid he’ll lose love for her. She re­fuses coun­selling. I help him with the laun­dry and babysit four evenings weekly so she can go to the gym. I’ve never had a dis­agree­ment with her, but have lost so much re­spect, it’s hard to keep si­lent. – Wor­ried Mother-In-Law

The ex­pres­sion among wise par­ents-in-law is this: Zip it.

That refers to your crit­i­cal com­ments. The worst thing you can do for your grand­child is to cre­ate an en­emy of her mother. Your son’s cop­ing. He must’ve known she was un­tidy and care­less about pos­ses­sions, from dat­ing her. Mean­while, she works. There’s a clean­ing ser­vice. They’re not liv­ing in dire straits. Lots of par­ents are seem­ingly on­line con­stantly. Their child will be, too. You can’t change that with dis­ap­proval. The cou­ple may dis­cover that it’s health­ier for their child to have some re­stric­tions on screen time and per­sonal de­vices. But that’s their bat­tle to fight, not yours. When you babysit, read to her. Buy her books and art sup­plies. Be lov­ing and at­ten­tive. That’s your best role.


A se­cret out­side affair doesn’t im­prove your re­la­tion­ship, it changes it.

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