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Emily’s Post

Don’t let a dead-end marriage be a death sentence

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DEAR EMILY,

I am a 56-year-old woman and have been married for 30 years.  We migrated to California in 1994.  My husband, whom I met in my senior year in college, was my very first boyfriend. We were very intimate physically until I found out that his mother, a full-blooded Chinese, was very much against me.  We cooled off for a while after college and I allowed an office mate to enter my life—fully knowing that I really hadn’t broken up with my first boyfriend.  My office mate pursued me relentlessly.  We were together everyday including  meals.  One thing led to another until we had a relationship. It got serious enough for him to propose marriage and for me to consider it. He was, after all, intelligent, romantic, refined.  It was during this time that my first boyfriend returned to the picture and pursued me again. I chose him for sentimental reasons—like his being my first.  We had four children, but our marriage failed.  My husband couldn’t hold a job and that contributed to his sense of failure.  My office mate also got married but we kept tabs on each other.  When he became a widower four years ago, he sought me out.

I came home shortly after that to visit my ailing father and got in touch with office mate.  We were able to pick up from where we left off.  We became lovers again.  I’ve been home often since then for various reasons—like the death of my father, fixing family properties—and all that time we’d be together.  I would like to be open about my relationship with him, as clandestine meetings involve considerable hassle, which reduces the pleasures of the meetings.  Also, I would like my husband to know about us so he can decide whether to leave me or accept being a cuckold.  His leaving me will mean one less mouth to feed, lower medical insurance premium to pay, etc.

—ER

Ouch! Not even a fleeting spark from a dying ember?

After 30 years you must know what you’re talking about.  But why go around the bush and create all the unnecessary hassle?  Why not just go straight to your husband and lay it thick on him.  It’s bad marriages that create enough toxicity in the body that give morticians or doctors sustained wealth!

The first recourse definitely is to save the marriage. Have you seriously thought about the consequences of a separation, the effect this will have on your family as a whole, taking into consideration that you may just be having a mid-life crisis and need excitement?  But then, you’re 56 and should know yourself quite well not to act like an irrational teenager.   If the relationship you have with your husband is already in tatters, whatever for is the sense in this rigmarole?

Life is too short to turn marriage into a death sentence, or life in prison without parole,  or create needless martyrs for nothing. Let it all out and gift yourselves with a new lease on life, whatever the parties in this drama decide.  Everybody deserves peace—including unhappily long-married couples.

E-mail emarcelo@inquirer.com.ph or emarcelo629@gmail.com. Do listen to my podcast at http://kalikasanvigilante.blogspot.com.


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  • JX Peron

    Brilliant response — refreshingly different from what readers expected from the previous husband-and-wife team who used to have an advice column at PDI many, many years ago.  :)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EYYDTMYSK2VUPDWIMUDPPSVVU4 romulo

    So where is the “in sickness and in health, for richer of for poorer?  You mortal sinner!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JR4LBAPGYYMHZCCSS7FCUJX2IM Ricarte

      but he is not sick, he is just simply lazy as* coach potato. can’t blame her by doing that, she’s just looking for some affections.

  • E Rigby

    Kudos to Ms. Marcelo for a very sensitive and refreshing response.  Everybody does deserve another shot at happiness.  We all make mistakes in life because we’re simply human.  

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JR4LBAPGYYMHZCCSS7FCUJX2IM Ricarte

      and sometimes we need to say enough is enough.

  • http://twitter.com/AlfaQueen Sheryl E. Coronel

    Where is love then?  To make a marriage work needs sacrifice and acceptance.  Love is not a feeling but a choice, an act of will.  When you choose to marry someone, this marriage needs to be cultivated.  If one works on it and the other doesn’t then love calls for acceptance… that is what we vow before God and people– to love each other in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer.  Love is not selfish.  True love transforms, makes sacrifices, fills in what the other lacks.  Love is self-less.  It is when people see marriage as something of a contract with an expiry date that it loses its value and the persons are diminished by taking the easy way out.  

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JR4LBAPGYYMHZCCSS7FCUJX2IM Ricarte

      but do you want to sacrifice with rest of your life? to make marriage work, both sides must stand together. there are some AHole guys just depending on their wives. as many in this comments say we are only human. yeah we are only human we get tired too sometimes.

    • E Rigby

       Love is a two-way street, Ms. Coronel.  Both parties should be willing to put in the love and effort needed to make a marriage work.  Spouses who are subjected to never-ending abuse should take a stand at some point to protect their personal dignity/self-respect.  Loving someone does not give that person the license to abuse your love and/or reduce your humanity.  You can cite all the religious verses you want to protect the sanctity of marriage but at the end of the day, the decisions of two human beings to either stay or get out of their unhappy relationship should be respected.  They are the ones who know best what will work for them.  Not us and not the Church.



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