Infidelity no solution for a marriage in trouble

Toronto Star Reports:
Aug. 26, 2006. 10:11 AM

Q I knew he was married but didn’t expect to fall in love with him. Now I wish I could turn back the clock. I’d never do this again. It’s so wrong. He’s unhappy, I’m unhappy, but we both have obligations. I’m married, too. Please give me some directions where to go with this. I have an abusive husband who’s also a drunk. My lover has a wife who doesn’t want anything to do with romance, so he’s so lonely. So am I, and I love him so much, most times.


A My “directions” are for you to take the fastest and shortest route to get to a counsellor and look at options for improving or changing your marriage. Of course, you want to have a better life than one that includes abuse, and you cannot accept that the abuse continues. However, your affair has been only a “detour” — a delaying tactic for facing up to what you need to do. You and your lover both chose the seemingly easy path of escapism in each other’s arms. You wanted to avoid the hard work of dealing with those obligations you mention, which would mean looking to your own partners, stating your needs, acknowledging the others’ needs as well as their flaws and trying to get some help. Now you’ve discovered that the easy way comes with its own heartache, disappointments and roadblocks. Hopefully, you see the light now to go toward the only truly satisfying goal, which is to take charge of your life, starting with where you live. Once you’ve settled whether there’s hope for your husband to change or the need to leave him, you’re free to seek a new relationship. But by then, you’ll want one in which the other person has done the necessary work to be free, too.