Dear Dr. Hedda:
This is hard to explain. When I think about it I get stuck between two outcomes.
This is what happened. Three months ago I found out my husband was having an affair. We’ve been married 14 years and this is his first that I know of. I found out through a friend who saw him out one night with another woman. My friend said that their behavior indicated they were intimate. She saw a lot of touching and kissing.
I never told him I knew but the anger in me kept building. Why didn’t I confront him about it you might ask. Well I still love him and love our marriage and I was afraid that if I did he would leave me for her.
So I decided to get even in a more subtle way. I am having an affair. And I’m loving it.
After the occasional waves of guilt. We don’t see each other often, maybe 3 times a month. Our conversations are light and carefree. We don’t share the problems in our lives, we don’t even mention our spouses we just flirt, tease and make love for a few hours.
Is this the new normal or am I a sinful wrath?
I won’t stop my affair till I know he’s stopped his.
What I am having trouble with is twofold: the occasional waves of guilt and knowing I should never have started it and I should stop at once and the other side of the coin – I am enjoying it so much.
I need some advice from you. I certainly can’t talk to my friends and family about it.
On the Crossroads
Many, many years ago I would have suggested discussing the possibility of an Open Marriage. This got popular in the late 60’s early 70’s. This was when we were on the cusp on new attitudes about relationships partially due to the on set of the Women’s Lib.movement.
Now things have changed. We are a little less liberal about sexual infidelity than we used to be. For many reasons, like people marrying a little older, more women in the workplace, less of a glass ceiling in business and in general, women having a stronger prescence in the world of business and in the home.
It seems your husband’s affair and your affair have not really changed your relationship with him in any way. You still present yourselves as a happily married couple. Is it an act or do you really still feel the same way? When your current affair ends, and it will, will there be another and another? And what about your husband, will you ever really know if he’s having multiple affairs or not since you have chosen not to confront him about it?
Difficult things to think about when your thinking through anger and your vagina.
You didn’t mention children so I am assuming there aren’t any ’cause that would add another deep dimension to your problem.
There is no real advice I can give you. This is a decision you will have to make on your own.I suggest you keep several things in mind when you do think about it.
One-Who is getting hurt, who is getting even?
Two- What’s to gain?
Three- How does it make you feel about yourself?
Four – How does it feel knowing you are lying and cheating?
Five – What would happen if a friend or relative found out?
Six -Is this the woman you want to be, is this the person you want the to present to the world a woman who has chosen lust over trust.?
And lastly as my mother would say “If your friend jumped off the bridge would you do it too?”