My husband will not stop seeing the other woman and I don’t know what to do

I suspect my husband of 11 years has been seeing other women for a long time but he has now been having an affair with the same women for the past four years. He says he cannot give her up and refuses to give her up. He says that this relationship gives him balance. He says he loves me, that he will not leave me, that we are a family, that this will never change and that the rest is not important. But I ask myself if the rest is not important why can he not give her up. He goes on holidays with her, he sees her for about a week every month, but I am never told anything about what he does when he is away, in fact there is no communication, or very little when he is away. I found all of this out by way of forgotten air tickets left in the photocopy machine, or my 8-year-old son’s neatly packed suitcase or other silly mistakes he has made. He did not want to admit anything to me but doesn’t reject what I say either. Phone calls when he is away are awkward and stilted.

He never picks up the phone if I phone him but phones me back within a few minutes. I know I cannot change him, am trying to live with this. I do not accept it but am forced to live with it since I do not want to leave him. When he is here, is a good father, kind man, and we have fun together, we laugh, go out, have sex, a lot of sex and in fact he has never changed his attitude towards me when we are together. And I do love this man. But he has this whole other life, which I find so difficult to live with. The weekends he is not here are very difficult for me and I have even considered going away. But I have children and they need me and so I stay and try to be strong for them. I am trying to rise above this situation and see all the positive points, and there are a lot but my imagination gets the better of me and I almost go insane.

So what is my question, I am not sure, but is there anything I can do to make this easier for me to get on with my life and stop the pain. Please help.


You are right; you probably cannot change your husband.

But, you have several options. You say you want to get on with your life and stop the pain.

Continuing as you have will only produce the same result – being forced to share your husband with another woman and the pain and sadness that this causes. This is an option. An option that provides stability and security even though it causes you grief. Some people value stability, but stability often entails sacrifices. Only you can determine if the stability is worth the loss and sadness it brings to your life.

You could also seek to end things with your husband. Again, he is unlikely to change, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t change. This option has its costs too. The end of any relationship creates tremendous loss, sadness and uncertainty. These emotions will dissipate with time and you will have to learn how to do things in new ways and on your own (there will be a lack of stability for a while). This option, however, may provide you with more happiness in the long run. Sharing a spouse with another person is an awful feeling. It is a degrading and hurtful experience. But, leaving your husband is no guarantee of future happiness either. There is also the possibility that you will find yourself feeling alone and sad.

There are, of course, more options than the two outlined above. One option would be to find ways to standup for yourself while being present in your relationship. When your husband does something that is hurtful to you, tell him about it. Tell him you will not let him treat you that way. But, also follow through – do not give him your love, warmth, kindness and consideration until he shows you the same respect. You can assert your needs and refuse to satisfy your husband’s needs. He may not respond positively, but you will be developing the skills and confidence you need to treat yourself, as you deserve to be treated. Doing this may bring you a sense of happiness in the long run. When you are present in your relationship and standup for yourself, you will probably realize that you are not alone. You have the most important person watching over you, someone you can always count on. This option takes a lot of insight and effort, but it is most likely to produce the results you want. This option is also best pursued with the help of a counselor. Asserting your needs does not make you selfish, it provides you with comfort, stability and love.

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