I’m 33 years old, married for seven years to a wife five years my senior. We have two kids, one five and the other two years old. I have a good job in one of the biggest companies in the Philippines.
My wife and I met when I was in college. I was an OJT trainee in the bank where she worked. We hit it off right away, but I was still immature at that time while she had already a firm vision of what she wanted in life. I got intimidated by her maturity so we separated.
We remained friends for five years while having other relationships. Then we went back to each other and lived in for almost a year before we married eventually. Our world was perfect then. We put each other on a pedestal and we couldn’t ask for more.
But last September 2012, I caught her cheating on me. The guy is 55 years old, one of the bosses in her office, and married.
She said nothing happened because the guy is already old and that they just got along well. They would just have coffee, dinner, good conversations. But I saw a motel’s discount card in my wife’s wallet. She admitted that their affair lasted only three months. Now she wants to reconcile, forget everything and move on.
I’m hesitant because I now have a very big trust issue and lots of insecurities. I know I’ve been a good husband and a good provider. I’m so down and I cannot believe what has happened to us. I don’t know if I should still accept her. I just feel very, very uncomfortable and so insecure. What to do?—AL
What your wife did is really unconscionable. From your narrative, she had no reason to stab you in the back with this affair with her boss, being in a relatively happy relationship with you.
But such things happen. They work together, they see each other every day—actually more than she did you. They joke, they accidentally touch, they start looking at each other’s eyes more intently, they get personal, they become close. Before they know it, wham! They’re having an affair. Then, guilt seeps into their consciousness and one of them loosens up the intensity and goes back to the real world.
It was a momentary madness on your wife’s part because she instinctively felt perhaps there was no future there—that her boss wouldn’t ever leave his family for her. And most probably, she too woke up to reality and knew she couldn’t leave her family for him.
Clearly all your insecurities and anger are all justified. Nobody will take it against you if you rail against the world for this injustice. Now she wants to move on by asking you to forgive her and go back to being a family again.
You know what? Everything is now up to you, the aggrieved party.
How much do you love her to make you forgive this one horrible indiscretion? How much are you willing to sacrifice to make your family whole again? Your children are much too young to even understand how their mother had hurt their father. They wouldn’t understand your insecurities, your discomfort, your humiliation, your pride. They really couldn’t care less!
They just want a home where they will be loved, cared for and made secure. They want mom and dad at the end of the day to talk to them, make them laugh, and know that either one will be by their bedside at a moment’s notice when they have a bad dream. Children have such simple needs. And adults are tangled in such complex dilemmas.
Will all the pain you’re feeling now still hurt in five years’ time? Will this pain be as intense as being separated from your family possibly—for good? The ball is in your court.