Red Responds: He Had an Internet Affair

Deb in Granville writes:

My Capricorn husband and I are in the midst of total chaos in our relationship. We seem to be headed toward a separation and divorce. After 20 years of living with the man that I felt was my best friend, advocate, father of our twin sons, and soulmate, I discovered a three year long Internet affair he’s involved with. He refuses to end the affair, won’t leave the house, and expects me to co-habitat with him until the economic climate improves or the twins graduate from high school – that’s five additional years of this!

Each night he talks to his new “love” in his bedroom. I’m able to hear a muffled conversation through the wall that separates us. It’s torturous. Sexually we were never passionate and what was there has waned over the years due to his verbally abusive and omnipotent communication style. In writing this I feel embarrassed at my choices to deal with this man for so long and under such conditions.

Is there any insight you can share as to the outcome of this most trying situation? I’ve already spoken to counsel and just want to see if there is an ounce of hope remaining that things could improve and be redeemed for this marriage and this distraught Aries woman.

Dear Deb,

Sometimes the only way out is through… even if it is less than pleasant. Fortunately, you have the strength and fire of a true Aries, which will assist you in head-butting your stubborn Capricorn out the door.

You have compassion toward your husband, which is quite admirable under the circumstances, but compassion is not the same as love. Without love, there is very little hope of redemption for your marriage. This doesn’t mean that it has to end – you could go on living together and sharing a level of partnership for years, but what really is the point? It has been a long time since this marriage has fully met your needs. You are just now coming out of denial, because you have a solid and acceptable reason.

While your husband is certainly behaving badly and selfishly, he isn’t the worst man on the planet. You recognize this, and his more positive qualities. There is nothing embarrassing about doing everything you can to keep your marriage and family intact, that too is quite brazen and admirable. However, now that you can no longer deny the faults and flaws that exist in your relationship, even for the sake of family and stability, the Aries in you is pushing you to deal with it head-on – swiftly, and with more acceptance and less regret.

You are a strong woman, and you know what you must do. Currently, you technically are separated from your husband, except you aren’t allowed to live your life with the freedoms that usually are a part of separation and divorce. Your husband, however, does. The phone calls may be torture, but it is going to get worse as he becomes more forward with his extramarital relationship, behaving less and less like your husband and partner. Now that the truth is out, he has less to hide, and will continually become less respectful of the relationship he shares with you.

There is always financial concerns and upheaval when a relationship breaks apart, regardless of the state of the economy. This is something your husband may not like, but is going to have to deal with.

Your kids don’t really want the two of you to split up, but even though both you and your husband do what you can to protect them from your relationship chaos, your kids aren’t immune to what is going on. Whether you are living together as a family or in separate spaces, your boys will still graduate with both of their parents watching. They can spend the next five years in confusion, watching things ebb and flow from strained peace to loud arguments and unhappiness as an “intact” family (plus one) – or they will adjust to a new sense of family dynamic, that involves two homes.

Each avenue has its rewards and challenges – neither is stereotypically ideal, but your boys will handle it. All of you are going to suffer a sense of loss if you separate and divorce in a traditional manner. Currently, three of you are already suffering a sense of loss and confusion, while your husband is exerting control and power that keeps his world a bit more complete and sane. This dynamic is hardly healthy, righteous, or fair.

Every way I look at it, your marriage is going to end in divorce. The “when” is something you can control, the “how” is something you can guide. The outcome, however, brings order out of chaos – something that you crave and deserve.

Good luck!
Ext. 9226

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