Dear Dr. Romance:
Me and my wife has been married for 3 months now and I'm afraid there is a major problem already. A couple of months before we got married, my spouse had an affair, she admitted. I thought that we could get through that alone since she deeply regretted the mistake and promised to work with me so I can get over it. The only reason our relationship did not end there is because of our love for each other. I never thought that I could forgive something like that, but I did.
The problem is, she lied to me about their status. She told me that they were not interested in each other anymore and they don't call or speak to each other anymore, but they work together so I did not believe her.
Now, it's three months into the marriage and I have proof that she is still infatuated with this other guy, I found out that she is still calling him, hanging out with him, and God knows what else. I have proof that she called him yesterday morning at 3 AM and wanted to go over, I was at work.
Now, I'm no fool, in my past I would not waste my time over someone like that, but now something has come over me and I can't let go. If I confront her about this it will lead to a fight, then we will make up, apologize, and promise to work a little harder at this, it's happened before.
My problem is that deep down inside, I think it's over, but I can't deal with that, I really CAN'T. I still want to try some more. She keeps convincing me that she really loves me and she will try not to hurt me anymore. She keeps doing things that makes me believe that she really is trying, we go out, have fun, is it our family (who are so proud of us and think that we are so meant for each other), every now and then we reflect on our wedding reception, watch the video, pictures, it was such a blast, everyone is calling it the wedding of the year. I know for a fact that she really loves me and we really do have more than love.
I am reaching out to someone before something really drastic happens, I know it's possible, so I really need the help. I'm an emotional wreck. I don't know what else to do so I plan to confront the guy soon. I will do anything to save this marriage, I can't give up, I can't live without her, I really think we still have a chance. PLEASE, I need someone to talk to, I don't know what to do...
I suggest you not confront her, but negotiate with her. Here's what you need to know.
1. Why did she marry you, if she's so enamored of him?
2. Does she know what she wants, or is she too confused about her feelings to know?
3. Can the two of you work together to reach a real agreement, one that you can actually keep?
4. I strongly suggest you find a counselor (see my "Guidelines for finding and using therapy wisely") This situation is pretty volatile, and I'm worried about the well-being of both of you.
If you mean it about doing "anything" to save the marriage, then the most important thing to do is CALM DOWN. The worst thing that will happen is the marriage will be over; and you think that's the situation already, so there's nothing more to worry about.
If you get emotional, confront the guy, or make a scene, you could wind up in jail; which wouldn't do a thing for you OR for your marriage. The only thing you two can do that will work is talk calmly. Unless you've got a fortune she's after, she probably married you because she loves you, as you say. So, that's not too bad a reason. It sounds as if she's a bit emotionally immature, and neither of you really thought about this enough before you got into it. So, you have to back up and think about it now.
Should you two really be married to each other? What is your marriage about? If you can calm down and talk rationally about all the above questions, you'll eventually find out what you want to know, which is: Does your wife really love you, and is she capable of forming a monogamous commitment?
"Stupid Cupid" and "Couples Can Cooperate for Success" will give you a clearer idea of what relationships are about.
How to Be Happy Partners: Working it out Together will show you how to have a real conversation and talk about the truth.
For low-cost counseling, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org