DEAR ABBY: I have known my husband my whole life. We have been married 20 years and have three teenage children. Last year, I caught him cheating. Turned out he had been with someone for seven years. Our children and I were devastated, and he swore up and down he’d never do it again.
I am occasionally triggered by things I see, things he says or does, or things I know he has done with her. When it happens, I usually bring up the affair again. He can’t stand that I do. He says we have to put it in the past and work on our marriage. I told him this may be easy for him to do, but I’m not that kind of person. I tend to overanalyze and dwell on things.
We have been to marriage counseling, and I was grateful for that because he was always against it. It helped somewhat. I need to know how to stop bringing up these matters because it is ruining my health and our marriage. I love him very much.
One more point: I’m insecure because he is in the military and due to be deployed for a year. I’m afraid he may go online and start talking to someone. He swears he won’t do this to me again and he’s so sorry for what he did. Please advise. — TOTALLY LOST IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR TOTALLY LOST: I’m glad counseling helped you and your husband through the rough patch. Now it’s time for some more — for you, to help you cope with your insecurity issues. Making yourself crazy over what he “might” do during his year of deployment isn’t helping you or the state of your marriage. You have to make a decision about whether to trust your husband — and then proceed from there.
DEAR ABBY: An acquaintance from 40 years ago contacted me three years ago after, he claims, searching for and finding me on social media. We have been speaking on and off since then, but he’s now calling every day (sometimes twice a day) saying he’s making travel plans to come see me. He lives in Canada; I’m in Massachusetts.
Way back when, he begged me to sleep with him, knowing I was dating his best friend. His friend was out of town at the time. Shocked and blindsided, I caved under his pressure and acquiesced, and then slept with him a second time. My boyfriend was still overseas, and I couldn’t tell if he had any intention of returning.
This acquaintance has yet to send me even a thorn, much less petal from a rose during the past three years and has ghosted me a number of times. Should I entertain the idea of seeing him, let alone think there could be anything more? I’m divorced, my children are grown and I haven’t enjoyed any male company for the last 14 years. All this time I’ve just been tending to my family. — DESIRING MORE THAN CYBERLOVE
DEAR DESIRING MORE: You may be lonely, but please, start thinking rationally. For your own sake, do not become further involved with a man who would seduce a woman who is dating his friend and who has ghosted you “a number of times” in the last few years. During the periods in which you have been ghosted and lonely, it appears he has been very busy! This person is not to be trusted with your heart or anything else.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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