Q: I recently discovered my husband of 30 years has been using internet dating services and is having an affair with a woman from another part of the state. What do you suggest I do? -- Janet, 54
Dr. Susan: Whether on or off the Internet, an affair is a major emotional betrayal. You need to decide how hard you want to fight to save your marriage. I'm sure you're devastated and are finding it hard even to think clearly right now. The very first requirement has to be that your husband stop seeing and talking to this other woman. If he's willing to do that, and if he's willing to talk honestly with you about what's been going on, then you have a chance of reclaiming your relationship. It would have been much better if he had told you about all this, rather than you "discovering" it. It's going to be very hard to trust him again. It might be best to see a counselor, preferably together, to work out the details of either staying together or of splitting your lives apart. You're young enough to start over, but it you would rather stay with him in name only, that's always an option (unless he decides he doesn't want to stay with you at all). Try to figure out what YOU want, before you lose the opportunity to do so.
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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.