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Dear Stavroula

Ask Stavroula: My Husband Is Cheating on Me

Dear Stavroula,

I am married with four children. My husband takes great care of us – he works from morning to night so that I can work part time from home and raise our children, the youngest of whom is 13 months old. He is tender to me, and there is nothing that I could want that he has not given me. He takes care of the children, and on the weekends he helps me a lot with the house and shopping, and he cooks on Sundays. Everything is fine, isn’t it?

Until a mutual friend took care to inform me that my husband has been cheating on me with one of his colleagues for about three months, maybe more. I collapsed. This woman, whom I have met, is young, beautiful, very dainty, takes care of herself and is nothing like me, as the last pregnancy has left me 16 kilos overweight. I haven’t been to the hairdresser since the christening of the little one, and when I look at myself in the mirror I think I see a stranger. I know my husband has no intention of leaving us, at least not yet – we have been together for many years, I know he loves me or at least cares about me, and he adores his children. His children and I are the constants in his life, while a love affair can fade and pass. My problem is that I don’t know if I should talk to him, tell him that I know. I’m afraid this might lead him to make rash decisions and I certainly don’t want a divorce no matter how hurt I feel. I would like your opinion.

Kallie

 

Dear Kallie,

Infidelity does not always have the same causes, but the result is often the same. The trust between the couple is shaken and crisis is inevitable. From there, the couple will have to decide if the relationship has reached its end or if it is a manageable crisis.

If a relationship has reached a dead end, that is, if there is no communication or sex life in the relationship, the third person comes to cover the gaps in the relationship and can often act as a way out, as a catalyst that may accelerate the need to make decisions, perhaps even ending with the dissolution of the marriage.

Many times, however, infidelity can be due to a personal need for confirmation, to a moment of weakness, to personal insecurities. In this case, the gaps covered by the illicit relationship are personal and there are many chances that the marriage can be saved – if both want to and if the partner who has been unfaithful realizes what is happening to him and wants to work on himself and his relationship.

Perhaps something similar has happened in your own relationship. But the road to keeping your marriage alive and healthy afterwards is not easy. It requires you and your husband to realize what led him to choose to have an affair. Both parties taking responsibility is the first and very important step. Then, it is very significant that there is a willingness on both sides to overcome this difficult situation, to rebuild trust step by step, and to overcome the problems created for each of you by infidelity.

The path of silence you have chosen is not easy either. It gives you the advantage of time, because indeed many love affairs burn out quickly, especially if they are based on sexual communication. But on the one hand, the problems are not solved – they are covered up – while on the other hand it will be difficult to hide and manage the insecurity, anger, and suspicion, and maybe even more of a rift will be created in your marriage.

This is why I would suggest you talk to an expert on a regular basis. He will help you understand what would be the best way to react individually and as a couple.

Finally, it is also very important to restore the relationship with yourself. The way a person sees himself also determines the image he gives others of who he is. Self-love and acceptance is an important prerequisite for a happier life and healthier relationships.

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