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18 Feb 2004

Need an ear
I don't have anywhere else to turn, but I realize that I will get more than a few answers when posting this letter as I have done something which was so wrong and deceitful. Here goes anyway – I need to talk about this although I know I probably don’t deserve a sympathetic ear or advice.

I have been married for almost 12 years and have two children. We’ve relocated overseas for a couple of years about 2 years ago (for my husband's job). We do love and respect and care deeply for each other and naturally have been through an awful lot in the 12 years of marriage, and like every body else we've had our fair share of high's and very low's to deal with as well. Since arriving in our new home away from home, I have been terribly lonely and isolated. After a long process of settling down and finding our feet, I’ve met some good friends, I’ve joined a couple of groups/clubs just to have a break from everyday chores and responsibilities and I’ve really tried to make the situation for all of us as painless and smooth as possible by making the most of all the extra time I had at hand all of a sudden, by creating a cozy and comfortable home, spending quality time with the kids everyday, being a good housewife, playing hostess to colleagues from my husbands company, arranging play-dates after school and weekends for my kids etc. etc.

But I had these constant, nagging feelings of resentment because I felt that I’m doing so much for everybody else and I get very little in return. I know this is unfair to say, as my husband would love to spent more time with us and also all my extra efforts have paid off as the kids do really well at school, established good friendships, my husband feels happy and content as he doesn’t have to worry about us at home and can really concentrate on his job (which he subsequently does very well). He goes away so often, work un-godly hours and I know that he does this because he wants to look after his family, providing for us and making sure we don’t need for much. I’ve spoken to my husband about my feelings of isolation and loneliness but he feels that it is not up to him to change that. So I tried harder, but I’ve realized that I’m actually quite homesick and some days just wished to go back home, to my old job, being in my own house again, making decisions for myself, being with family and friends, etc.

Then I met someone, literally by going out for coffee one morning after dropping the kids of at school. We had a chat and he gave me his number when he had to go. I know I should have left it at that, but a few days later I’ve sent him a text msg and that is how things got started. I despise myself for doing that because through that I am solely responsible for this mess I got myself into. He became someone I could talk to, really say what I wanted to say. We didn't see each other much but we were in constant contact. This past weekend my husband had to go away again from Friday until yesterday and since it was Valentine’s weekend this guy asked me what our plans were. I mentioned that the kids and I will be alone and on Saturday night late he arrived at my front door with pizza and wine and again, I should have been the responsible one by showing him away, but I did not.
Needless to say that we ended up sleeping together and although I knew that I’ve allowed the situation to go from bad to worse, I still wasn’t prepared for the immense feelings of guilt and disgust at what I have just allowed to happen. I told him that much and of course the whole situation was awkward and uncomfortable.

On Sunday we had a telephone conversation and he declared his love etc. to me, but the fact of the matter is that I want to get out of this as soon as possible. It's hard to describe how completely empty, guilty and remorseful I'm feeling. I look at my children going about their business, looking up at me, telling me they love me, etc and I feel like a huge mess. Although I haven’t seen my husband for more than and hour since his return I cannot bear to look him in the eyes. I knew I was playing with fire, knew I shouldn’t have allowed any of this to happen. The responsibility for this unfortunate affair, is only mine.

Maybe I'm completely mad but I feel I need to tell this guy face to face that whatever there was, is over with. I don't want to do this over the phone or via email. We have arranged to meet tomorrow evening to talk and for me it's with the sole purpose of telling him that I can’t do this to him, my family and myself and that I am truly sorry that I’ve allowed this. It's not fair to anyone to try and juggle a "2nd" life on the side. I know it is going to be hard but I know that it’s the only way forward. I can’t possibly confess this to my husband as I know it will devastate him, so I will have to find a way to deal with this in quiet. I need to forgive myself and above all I will need to ask forgiveness from the Lord.

So far I have told no living soul about this but I am grateful for this opportunity to just finally “confess” this terrible secret. Bottom line is – it’s never ever worth it. Before this happened I was alone until late at night after tucking the kids into bed, now I'm still alone but with the extra burden of sitting and dwelling on the consequences of what's happened, and that is probably worse than being lonely and isolated. Better the devil you know ... Just not worth it.
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Dear Remorseful,
Well, firstly I hope that, as you say, simply having somewhere to unbuden yourself of this description of your mistake and how bad you feel about it, has helped you to feel somewhat better. And it sounds wise to tell this guy that it is, forever, over, as you plan --- hopefully in a public setting so that it won't be practical for anything more than that to happen.
And you have done others the favour of emphasizing from your own real life experience, a message we have often emphasized --- that affairs almost inevitably make the situation worse.
You already know what you need to do. And Lucia discusses the situation wisely and well. As usual, our readers have been understanding, and with varying degrees of kindness or delicacy, have responded as most sensible folks would. Good luck with achieving what you need to achieve --- and do return to the forum later, with a fresh massage, and let us know how things go.
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