DEAR ABBY: When I found out a few months ago my husband of 24 years had been having affairs with several men, it devastated me. I have gone to counseling to try to deal with the pain and depression I now suffer from. He’s in counseling for himself as well, and we are also in couple’s counseling to see if our marriage is salvageable. He tells me it has nothing to do with me but more about his need for attention, and he didn’t feel it was cheating because it wasn’t with another woman. The problem is, he did this for SIX YEARS.
I’m no longer in love with him — and yes, I did love him more than life itself. I feel I need to end our marriage because I never will be able to trust him again, and I never will be enough for him. I’m struggling with guilt about it. He cries when I tell him I’m done, which makes me feel awful. How can I make it easier for both of us? — Devastated Beyond Words
DEAR DEVASTATED: That might not be possible, and YOU are not to blame for what happened. Once you accept that fact, you might begin to feel less guilty. Married men do not engage in affairs with other men because they aren’t getting enough attention from their wives. Whether your husband is a deeply closeted gay man or bisexual is anyone’s guess. But he chose to cheat on you. Bisexual people (of both sexes) in committed relationships remain faithful — which he wasn’t for six years. Keep that in mind when you tell him (again) you are done, then hand him some tissues and call your lawyer.
DEAR ABBY: My oldest daughter, “Heather,” has started her senior year of high school. She often is angry and confrontational with my husband and me. We’ve learned to remain neutral and not react to her attempts to pick fights. However, we have two younger daughters, 15 and 9. We found out Heather often swears at them and calls them the B-word — and sometimes worse. Unfortunately, it’s something I hear about long after it’s happened. My younger girls have witnessed her swear at us, too. Heather will be 18 in a couple of weeks, and, frankly, we’re ready for her to move out once she gets her diploma. Until then, how would you handle this situation? — Tired Of The Language
DEAR TIRED: Talk to your daughter. WHY is she angry and disrespectful to you and your husband? Does Heather have emotional issues? If so, what has caused them? Once you have some answers, you and your husband can get your daughter professional help if she needs it. In the meantime, tell Heather you don’t like the attitude she has been displaying, and you want it stopped immediately. Make plain if her bad behavior continues, there will be “consequences,” and then, if it does, follow through.