My girlfriend is threatening to tell my wife about our affair
I have been married for 14 years, and during the last five years, I have been having an affair with one of my coworkers.
I have recently decided that I need to give my marriage one last effort without having my girlfriend on the side, and broke up with her. I have half way tried to make my marriage work in the past two years, but my girlfriend was always there if I needed her.
Well since I broke up with her three days ago, she has stated that she now has nothing to lose, and is going to ruin my life and my family, and she doesn’t care. She wants me to hurt as bad as her.
I am an extravert, and my wife is an introvert, and we have both been to marriage counseling and personal counseling, and we have just recently decided to go to joint/marriage counseling again, and I think that is good.
I am totally in fear of what my girlfriend will do, is she just talking cause she is mad or are her threats real?
I don’t want to tell my wife about the affair, because there would be no recovery from that with her, and I risk losing my kids (I think).
I just really got myself into a rock and a hard space... How can I make my girlfriend understand what I am doing? She even tried to make me do this two years ago, but I didn’t take the opportunity...
Your situation raises a lot of interesting issues.
To begin with, it is very difficult to resolve problems in a marriage if you have an alternative person you can turn to for love, affection and support. All relationships require an investment of time, energy and effort (see healthy relationships).
Marriages which are in trouble require both parties’ full attention and cooperation. Having a relationship on the side only works to divert energy away from solving problems in your marriage. Ending your affair was the right thing to do.
But, now you are worried that the other woman will ruin your marriage by telling your wife. This is a legitimate fear. While your girlfriend holds on to the belief that there is a remote possibility that you will leave you wife, she probably won’t feel the need to expose your affair—she undoubtedly loves you and would not want to cause you such harm. But, once she realizes that she can NEVER have you, then she has nothing to lose. And people have a fundamental need to get even—it is called “reciprocity”—if you can ruin her life, then she will try to ruin yours.
If you want to save your marriage, you are going to need to tell your wife about the affair.
There are many reasons for doing so:
- To begin with, it is the right thing to do. Your wife is entitled to the truth so that she can make decisions about what she wants to do with her life (see lying limits choice). If your wife wants to save your marriage, she needs to know what the problems really are. Solving problems requires addressing problems honestly. Couples can actually grow closer when they work together to solve problems as a team—but this requires that both parties tell the truth (see surviving infidelity).
- Not only is telling your wife the right thing to do, but if your wife does find out from the other woman, it will be almost impossible to save your relationship. If you tell her the truth yourself, with the sincere intention of making your relationship better, you have a greater chance of saving your marriage. If your wife finds out the truth from someone else, it will be much more difficult for her to ever trust anything you say (see guidelines for confessing).
- The best way to tell your wife the truth about the affair is with the help of a counselor. It is important to tell your wife in a way which demonstrates that your intent to make things better—even though you are telling her something which is extremely hurtful. It is also important to talk to counselor so that you help your wife deal with her feelings of anger and betrayal in a constructive manner. Your wife has every right to be upset and angry, and you’ll need to learn to deal with her anger in a way that doesn’t make the problem worse (see dealing with a spouse’s anger).
- Finally, telling your wife the truth, takes all the power away from the other woman. She can no longer hurt you. Having this freedom will allow you to focus all of your energy on making your relationship with your wife better.
Hope this helps.
I have my own question to ask
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