Find Hope in Your New Found Freedom
Nina from Baltimore asks:
Dear Red, I found out that my husband has had sexual relations. He feels this is not really cheating, because it was only oral sex and he was the receiver. I have three beautiful children, and this has happened before. I am afraid to leave him; he is the provider of the family. I feel guilty that my children will think I am the one who separated our family, and I don’t want them to resent me for having to relocate them.
Psychic Red ext. 9226 Responds:
It is very unfortunate that you are in the position you are in. There really is no easy way to make things right, because there are layers upon layers of issues that surround you and your family.
Your marriage has been in trouble for several years. While you may not want, or be looking forward to making changes in living arrangements, you decided quite a while ago that your relationship would eventually be coming to an end. The love that you once felt for your husband is either long gone, or completely buried under the stress and pain. Either way, it’s not a pleasant dynamic for you. And, to add insult to injury, he knows oral sex is a betrayal of no small degree, regardless of whether he’s giving or receiving. He also believes that denying to you that this act is a form of cheating, it will somehow make him look better and things less painful for you. But, even though he doesn’t want to be the source of your devastation, he also doesn’t feel the need to focus on you, the marriage, or practicing fidelity. He feels that since he is a decent provider, this makes him a good husband and father. He also doesn’t fully appreciate or understand the impact his infidelities have on you and your family. He seems to have some kind of conviction—through culture, gender, belief or something—that his extra marital activities should be excused. While he has some guilt, his beliefs that these things should be overlooked and not discussed is stronger. He actually feels “entitled” to have a life outside of you and the kids, as long as he doesn’t fall in love or become too attached.
At some point, you are going to leave your husband. The only real question that lingers in the air is “when.” Don’t be afraid to take however much time you need to think things through and plan your “new life.” Right now, it looks like you won’t be fully prepared to make your move until February of next year. But, this change is something that is within your control, and you can make it happen sooner or later. It really doesn’t matter what the calendar says, you will do it when you feel that the time is right.
It looks as if you’ve considered making arrangements to live with family. This is a very good plan, because you and your kids are going to need time and support in order to adapt to a new lifestyle.
Your husband will not go out of his way to help to make this an easy transition for all of you. Even though your marriage isn’t what either of you truly want, he will have a tough time adjusting to even the idea of not having you and the kids at home. By surrounding yourself with people who love you and are willing to support you emotionally and financially will help to make a confusing and painful time a little less confusing and painful for you and your children.
Your children may not understand all the circumstances of why things are changing, but they will understand aspects of the changes. Dad might be Dad, but he can also be a little scary as far as your kids are concerned. And, they aren’t totally unaware of the lack of respect that he shows you. While they don’t know about his sexual betrayals, they do know that there is an awful lot of tension and weirdness that comes about between you and your husband. While children do not have control over their parents or their parents’ decisions, they do have a remarkable way of adjusting to changing situations. You are pretty close to your kids, and this will be a great help and source of strength for them. While it is your job to protect them and make them feel secure, over-sheltering them from certain truths can make things more difficult for your kids, so don’t be afraid to be honest with them when they ask questions. Naturally, your children will not like the idea of their parents splitting up, but they love and respect you and their father very much. They present as good, intelligent and fairly well-grounded little people, with varying degrees of understanding and maturity. While they don’t need to know certain details, you can explain things to them in such a manner that they handle this transition about as good as can be hoped for. Your kids can handle honesty. They actually seem like they handle a great deal more than you are aware of. You will make things as easy for them as you can, and they will adjust. While it will be difficult, (your husband has an aspect of his personality that presents as strongly dominant and controlling) it is possible for the two of you to work together for the well-being of your kids during the time of your separation. After a bit of struggling, your husband will surprise you by being a better father and putting your children’s mental and emotional needs before his own, and that will result in some very positive changes for all of your relationships.
You are facing some big decisions and transitions—mentally, emotionally and financially. But, you know what? You, your kids and your husband are actually all going to come out of this better than all right. It’s going to be tough, but you are much stronger and more capable than what you realize. It’s one thing to be a good Mom, which you are, but these upcoming changes and experiences are going to make you more than just Mom—in time, you will be seen as a hero and a significant role model through the eyes of your kids.
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