Q: Married and Unfaithful, now what?

Im married and have been having an online relationship with another woman. The other woman has found out and is now threatening to tell my wife. I know i must take responsibility for my actions, but aside from the obvious fallout for me, i simply didnt take my partner into mind and right now more than anything do not want to hurt her. I know i should have thought of that before, but i got caught up in affection and attention i found. My relationship with the person online was purely physical but it seems that she has developed feelings for me and now feels that i lead her to believe something more while i was married. Im not looking for you to approve of my mistake, i just want to protect my wife from my mistake because she does not deserve to be hurt due to my selfishness. but im not sure this can end well. Please help.

Thank you so much for reaching out. I think your experience is very common. We experience unhappiness and before we know what has truly happened to us, things unravel and are no longer under our control. No one would approve of this mistake.  I can feel your pain and the pain of the two women involved.

No one wins.

I think that it is very critical that you sit down with your wife and explain what has happened. She needs to hear it from you and she needs to hear it honestly. This is going to be the hard part. It’s kinda like stabbing yourself in the heart over and over again but somehow finding the strength to continue talking at the same time. Express the unhappiness you’ve been feeling and explain how you reacted to that unhappiness. Explain how you understand how you should have dealt with that unhappiness. Allow her to ask questions. Understand that you may not see her or talk to her for a while as she processes this information.There’s no way to know how it will go. Don’t react to her. Think and respond to each thing she says cautiously and honestly. Be sure to apologize.

You should also take the time to apologize to the other woman. You’ve crushed her heart and betrayed her trust as well and she deserves respect. Obviously I would resist having any other communication with her until you figure out what is happening with your marriage.

If you’re staying with your wife, it would be unwise to continue speaking to the other women. It will prevent you from growing forward with your wife and it will continue to harm the other woman. Express this to both of them. They’ll understand, even if it sucks. If you are not staying with your wife, you should give everyone some time to adjust to what has come to light and the changes that are going to occur.

Deciding to stay with your wife does not mean that your marriage is going to continue.

You’ve damaged it beyond whatever damage was already there. Do you want to continue to be married? If so, you’ll need to think long and hard about what it was that pushed you to be unfaithful in the first place. A lack of affection and attention are common reasons for someone to be unfaithful. It’s possible that you were together for 5-10 years or more and the attention and affection you had earlier in your relationship as no longer there. You sought it out where it was found most easily. Relationships shift. Your marriage can shift again, and in a positive way. I would highly suggest marital counseling so you can have someone help you have these discussions. It may be too difficult to go at alone.

Remember that the entire time you were cheating on your wife, you were actively hurting her, even if she didn’t know it. She doesn’t need to know for it to hurt her. You can protect her by being honest and never doing anything like this ever again.

I believe this is the right thing to do.

This trauma may also make you realize that you do not want to stay with your wife. In that case, there are many paths your life might take next. Don’t rush the process. If you don’t want to stay together, or if your wife leaves, I would recommend individual counseling. You can determine what it was that prevented you from working this out with your wife prior to being unfaithful and you can make sure that it never happens again. No relationship that is meant to last forever ends. Everything ends until something doesn’t.

Find some kind of peace in the process.

And, I cannot stress this enough: be honest. As honest as you can possibly be. Be kind to yourself and others. If there is anything else that arises feel free to submit again as many times as necessary. Sending good thoughts to all three of you. I hope that you’re able to find some answers.

Do you have a question about sex or love? Submit to http://www.suggestivetongue.com/ask and I’ll answer it on my blog.


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