Q When Jeff and I met 15 years ago, we truly believed we were soul mates. Till this day we’ve never been bored with each other. We spend hours together talking, playing, laughing, scheming. People say he worships the ground I walk on.
He’s always been sexual in a boyish way, and when we first met, he said he no longer lusted after women. He was married to his first wife then, and she later informed me he would always cheat, even on me.
Three years into the marriage my 18-year-old son saw Jeff and a woman outside his apartment. Jeff asked my son if he could use his place for awhile. Confused, my son agreed and left. I found out about this five years later when my son felt he had to tell me. When confronted Jeff denied it.
There was always something suspicious about Jeff. There were cards, letters, and pictures that suggested he was cheating all through the marriage. All of the women seemed to be of the same makeup: weak, uneducated, and single. Jeff denied everything, tearing up the evidence before my eyes.
Two years ago a woman called me to say she had been having an affair with Jeff. In fact, on our anniversary, he bought her flowers. We had a knock-down, drag-out fight and he was arrested. Like most wives I dropped all charges.
After each episode, Jeff acts his usual cheerful self as if nothing happened. It makes me want to go out and do the same to him, but I just can’t. Mind you, I’m a good-looking woman with style. Men are attracted to me. Maybe it sounds crazy, but when Jeff and I are together, I feel loved. But I also feel betrayed.
There was no more evidence of cheating until a few days ago during our wonderful, two month vacation in Belize. I traced a hang up call back to a woman who Jeff was seeing. She said she wouldn’t have been involved unless he was getting a divorce, which he said he was.
I’m numb. I haven’t slept in days, I can’t eat, I haven’t spoken 20 words to Jeff. I can’t even imagine a future anymore. Yet I know Jeff will never leave on his own. Everything is in my name and my accounts. I feel sorry for him because I’ve always been the breadwinner.
I offered to pay him $10,000 to leave. He refused. He doesn’t want money. If I leave or put him out, what excuse can I give the family? They believe we are just like honeymooners. Telling the truth would destroy him, their relationship with him, everything. Why can’t he be faithful?
A Hillary, asking why he can’t be faithful is almost like asking why he can’t be taller. He just isn’t. You feel loved by him. So do all the other women. Making a woman feel loved, overcoming her scruples with lies, is what he is good at.
After each episode he acts like nothing happened. That is because nothing has happened to him. He is doing what he has always done. He is like the boss who tells prospective employees they will have to work overtime and on Sundays. Once hired, their complaints fall on deaf ears, and rightfully so. Why? The boss forewarned them and they accepted the terms.
Being the breadwinner is your plus. That is why he is with you instead of another woman. He turned down your cash offer because you are worth more to him than $10,000. You are his base of operations. Unwittingly you provide him with the means and leisure to court other women.
Your family, like your son, may well know the truth of your relationship. You are excuses to stay and not even good ones. Stop making excuses and start making plans.
Wayne & Tamara
Q I just looked at your website and read "Wanting To Be Caught," and I truly think that is awful advice! You said and I quote, "You can't act as if you had no wish to end the marriage when you undertook marriage ending actions."
I have just been caught cheating on my husband of 16 years, and at no point was I wanting to end my marriage. This whole experience woke me up and made me know just how much I love him. Now what I need to do is rebuild my trust with him, and hopefully one day he will believe me.
I don’t think you can answer questions if you have never been through it! I really don’t know why I cheated but I did, I do regret it, and I do wish I could take it away but I can’t.
A Raquel, people who work with criminals know if you want to understand the crime, you need to check police reports and the courtroom evidence. If you simply ask offenders, they will do everything to minimize their actions. They won't admit to anything you don't already know.
Whether you or your lover made the first advance, how did you justify your actions to yourself? What was in your mind when you decided to go out with him? What were you thinking while you undressed, or while he undressed you?
“I don’t know” works when you are a small child, but it doesn’t work with adults. Are you saying your mind was totally blank in the months and minutes before you slept with your lover? Are you saying you forgot you were married to someone else?
Your husband doesn’t know what you told your lover. He will never know the true record of what you did. The distress you feel about what we say is normal for someone caught in an indefensible position.
What you are saying now is based on self-preservation, which creates a dilemma for your husband. If you won’t say why it happened, how does he know it won’t happen again? Then again, why would he stay if you tell him everything that was in your heart and mind?
Wayne & Tamara
Invade – to enter as if to take possession, to intrude upon.