Is He Asking Too Much?
Jay from Houston, Texas asks:
About six months ago, my husband had an affair at work. The sex stopped with the other woman, but he still interacts with her because of the job, and she is also helping him with some of his personal business. He teaches an exercise class at work that she attends. He now wants me to be friends with her! I’ve met her but am very leery of inviting her into our lives! She’s lonely, and is having a hard time making her own way. I do have a heart and see that she needs friends, but I don’t like this third wheel. I’ve said no, and it hasn’t come up again. His affair hurt me, but ultimately made us closer. What do you think?
Greetings, Jay, and thank you for sharing such a personal and painful situation. I feel your anger, bitterness and sense of betrayal in the biting undercurrent of your words. You’re trying ever-so-hard to be a trooper here. But do yourself a favor, and allow yourself a gram or two of pettiness every once in a while. Putting a cork in your agony and frustration will only work against the blessings of true catharsis through pain. So, get a little pissy if you feel like it. Get a whole lot pissy if you need to. Just always keep an open mind. Today I’m going to ask you to go a bit beyond your normal boundaries. It won’t be easy, but as I’ve delved into the chaos of your situation, I see hope for enrichment in what seems like a dismal set of circumstances.
First, and foremost, get the blinders off and stop being naive to what’s really going on between your husband and this woman. They’re in love, and they never stopped having sex. Hard as it is to hear, listen closely to the whisper of your own intuition. Look into your husband’s eyes and know the truth of the matter when he speaks about her. This woman has totally bewitched him using an archetypal vibration I’ve talked about a lot… The Little Girl Lost. She’s aloof. She’s alone. She’s vulnerable. She’s utterly mysterious and looks to him for help and support. Few men can resist such a charming mix, and your husband is hooked. Unfortunately for her, this archetype isn’t just a game. She really is very troubled. And your husband cares for her, not just as a knight in shining armor, but as a human being. However, this hasn’t changed the fact that he also loves you. Very much. Where in the world did we ever get the idea that a person can only be in love with one other person? We rob ourselves of such essence in life with our strange and limiting notions. The real problem is that he’s lying to you. I wish he wouldn’t, but he does because he doesn’t know any better. He hates to see you in pain. All of this is a torment to him. Utter torment.
And, as I see it, you have two choices: You can cling to your conventions and seek a divorce because it’s simply not your right to demand that your husband not love this woman. Or you can be the one to stand up and demand honesty out of everybody involved in this, yourself included. Get to the real meat and marrow of his feelings for this woman. Once that’s out in the open, I suggest you meet her once again. There’s something in you that’s curious about her; something about her that intrigues you just as it intrigues your spouse. Tell her up front that you’re very angry—with her, with your spouse, with all of it… but, that you won’t make her a rival. If she wants to see you that way, that’s her choice—but I don’t think she will. I believe that your brave stance will break her down and draw her out of her shell. I feel strongly that her play for your spouse is made out of a sense of extreme emotional isolation and alienation. She’s very unique and utterly misunderstood. As for you, there is more to you than society tells you, so why not try to understand her? Compassion often wins where force fails utterly. Marriage is a concept with many definitions, depending on culture, belief and morality. It doesn’t have to be smothering for anybody. Go forward with an open heart, because although that path isn’t for everyone, I really feel that by following Robert Frost’s “Road Less Travelled,” you’ll not only find clarity but healing as well. And more than that, you won’t have any regrets.
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