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Relationship expert: Forgiving a cheater?
Dear Susan: I’ve been married for several years to the perfect man: he’s very attentive and showers me with gifts, among other things. We’ve had two children together, and our family life is very important to both of us. However, I found out that he has seen other women during our marriage. On one occasion, someone even said to him, “What’s this I hear about you and other women?” Unfortunately, there have been many such comments. When I confronted him about it, he denied ever having been unfaithful to me. At one point during our marriage he travelled a lot, which was convenient for him to play around. For instance, I once found condoms in his travel bag and sometimes he’d ask me not to call him at his hotel room while he was away on business. This issue weighs heavily on my mind. All I want is for him to confess and apologize, and then I can forgive him and continue on with my life. Any advice? Committed
Dear Committed: Even the purest of diamonds can look flawed depending on which way the light hits them. So nothing is perfect; everyone has flaws. Your husband can’t confess because he doesn’t think he has done anything wrong; he isn’t looking for forgiveness. He will never confess because he knows that you have no real proof, but you and I know that the doubt is there and it has flawed your view of your perfect husband. It’s a painful and bitter life lesson, but you have learned, I hope, that you should never put anyone on a pedestal. I feel for you, but I also know that you can — and will — overcome this. You have a festering wound that needs healing, but your husband is oblivious to this because he is a very selfish person. Learn that about him. You need some tender loving care right now. My only worry is that over time, resentment will build up in you toward him. He has some big wakeup calls ahead of him! Start thinking about yourself: do things that make you feel good about you. The coming year will bring you new beginnings.