While separated from my wife because of a long term affair of hers
that I discovered and my living overseas, I became involved with another
woman. We were together for a year before I returned to the USA. We spoke
often about getting married when I divorced. Now, I see my wife regularly
and have begun to reconsider my plans and have become very confused.
My wife did many hurtful things to me during her affair,
and my new love is a wonderful person with whom I share more common interests than I ever
did with my wife. Am I crazy for considering staying with my wife?
As I understand your situation, you were married and living with
your wife in the USA. You discovered that she was having an affair. You
separated and went to live overseas. While you were out of the country, you
became involved with another woman with whom you have a great deal in common.
You have strong feelings toward her and have considered marriage.
You have subsequently returned to the US in order to terminate your marriage. In the
process you are seeing your wife regularly and are having second thoughts
about whether you want to divorce. You are confused by your feelings. On
the one hand you still have hurt feelings about her affair, and you have
positive feelings toward her based on the years you were together and the
time you are spending with her now. On the other hand, there is the woman
you met while overseas with whom you share much in common. You are
wondering whether you should try to work it out with your wife or should you
start fresh with your new love.
I suppose the answer to this dilemma involves several factors: (1) the degree
of forgiveness you are able to experience, (2) your previous history with
your wife, (3) the degree to which her affair may have been a symptom of
something wrong with the marriage, and (4) the strength of your feelings
toward your new love. Based on what you have written, it would appear that
you are not finished with your marriage.
At the very least, you and your wife might want to consider marriage
counseling if for no other purpose than clearing the air between you. You
might find that there were mitigating circumstances in which you played a
part which contributed to her indiscretion. You might find that you still have
strong feelings toward her. On the other hand, you might find that once you deal
with your hurt and anger you will feel freer to pursue this new relationship.
You owe it to yourself as well as your new love to come to terms with where you stand with
your wife before beginning a new relationship. You may also discover some
things about yourself that could be helpful to avoid making the same mistakes
in a new relationship. I am big proponent of learning from our mistakes.
Each relationship affords us the opportunity to grow.
Dr. Edward A. Dreyfus is a Clinical Psychologist,
Marriage, Family, Child Therapist, and Sex Therapist. Dr. Dreyfus has been providing
psychological services in the Los Angeles-Santa Monica area for over 30 years.
He offers individual psychotherapy to adolescents and adults, divorce mediation,
couples counseling, group therapy, and career and vocational counseling and
assessment.His book, Someone Right For You, is available in the Amazing
Dr. Dreyfus can be reached at: (310) 208-5700.