My husband had two affairs last year. I am pretty confident he is not cheating now, and we are seeing a marriage counselor. He has changed much since I found out what he was doing. He put our property in my name and bought me a $12,000 diamond ring.
He is affectionate to me most of the time. I believe this is proof that he loves me. The problem is I also have proof that he does not love me because he had affairs. So I have proof he loves me and proof he does not love me.
Our marriage counselor tells me his affair is in the past, and I agree. The problem of the past is that one second later everything is in the past. To me, saying it is in the past is just a way to excuse anything. You could do almost anything, and then later say it is in the past.
If you drive drunk and kill someone, can you say it's in the past? Just because you do not drive drunk anymore you can never bring that person back to life. It may be in the past, but it has certainly destroyed the future. That is the problem.
The therapist wants to focus on the present and future, and consider the affair in the past. If this is a way to move on, then my husband can do almost anything to me and later be forgiven. He can even plan to do something and say to himself later on it will be in the past.
Because something happened before and is not happening now is not a good reason to think it will not happen again. For me, because something happened in the past, it is more reasonable to believe it will happen again. After all, if he had not cheated, there would be no past cheating and no reason to say "put it in the past."
Kayla, your logic is correct, and your therapist's reasoning is incorrect. As human beings we have to forecast our future in order to understand what we should do today. Your forecast for the future has changed because your husband has sex with other women.
His cheating is not in the past, because he can do it again. But there is one thing which is in the past. That one thing is fidelity in your marriage. Fidelity, the unbroken wedding vow, is in the past. It is gone and cannot be regained.
Yesterday I caught my girlfriend of two years in bed with my now ex-friend. I walked in and caught them in the act. After beating the hell out of him, I told my girlfriend to go to our house and wait for me. Upon arriving home the question I kept asking is, "Why?" She says she doesn't know why.
We went and saw a counselor that very same day. I told her we could work through this, but after sleeping on it I'm not sure I want to. I guess you could sign me "Cheated on in Texas."
Roy, most people who sleep on a problem wake up just as muddled as they were the night before. But in the course of one night, you gained the insight needed to grasp the end of your relationship.
Why do you go to work? Why do you pay your bills? Why do you lock your truck in a bad neighborhood? You know why.
When someone is caught doing what they know is wrong, the classic first answer is, "I don't know why." Why are there so many "innocent" people in jail? Because once you admit guilt, you must suffer consequences. If you claim innocence, there is a chance you might escape justice.
Ultimately, why doesn't matter. What she did ends the relationship. What she did trumps why she did it.
Direct Answers - Column for the week of November 15, 2004
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