Dear Amy: I need advice. I have been married for two years.
My husband is much younger than I, but I love him very much.
I asked him one day if he has cheated on me since we have been married.
He always used to say “no.” This time he said “yes,” and that he was sorry.
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I have forgiven him. It is very hard. I want to know some details.
Should I ask, or should I let it be and try to go on?
He has answered some of my questions, but some he ignores – or changes the subject. What should I do?
Dear Spouse: Admission and forgiveness is a start, but there is no “quick fix” to rebuilding your relationship after infidelity, because healing from infidelity is all about restoring trust, and this takes time.
Your husband should be completely transparent at this point, and tell you everything you want to know. Why? Because he loves you, and you are asking.
Many survivors of infidelity don’t want to know details of their partner’s unfaithfulness, but some people do need to know. Wondering and ruminating can make things worse for you, delaying your recovery from this extreme marital challenge.
The best place for you two to start this journey is in the office of a compassionate marriage counselor, who can help to guide this important conversation (and others that will follow).
You and your husband should both read “Healing from Infidelity: The Divorce Busting® Guide to Rebuilding Your Marriage After an Affair,” by therapist Michele Weiner-Davis (2017, Michele Weiner-Davis Training Corp). Your young marriage can survive this, but you need to forge a different path forward.
Dear Amy: I’m a 20-year-old college student who just began dating a great guy. He’s really funny, and I feel comfortable with him. I am his first relationship in five years, but things seem to be going well. However, he is seven years older than me. He just graduated from the same college I am attending and is still living at home, while I am in an apartment about two hours from my hometown.
The thing that keeps popping into my head is, if the relationship continues long term, how will the age difference affect us?
I also worry about what my parents would think of the age difference (and of him) if/when they meet him.
Is this just a bridge to cross when I get to it? What issues should I prepare for?
Dating Numbers Game
Dear Dating: You should take your relationship in gradual and realistic stages. The way you describe your boyfriend, his own development may make him closer in age to you, maturity-wise, and because of that, the age difference may not present too many challenges.
Generally, relationships between people far apart in age tend to be challenged mainly when both partners are at different life-stages. This issue will wax and wane over time.
Importantly, at 20, your primary job is to continue your own process of growing up. If this relationship interferes with your own personal or educational goals, then it is not a healthy one for you.
It is natural for you to worry about your parents’ reaction to this relationship, but always remember that this is your relationship, not theirs, and if it is solid and functional, and if your guy is respectful and kind, then your folks should embrace your relationship, and him.
Dear Amy: Thank you SO much for suggesting co-habiting with a friend to “Burned,” who didn’t want to grow old alone.
My chronically cheating husband ended our marriage when I was 33. For about 10 years, I didn’t mind being alone, but after that it began to wear on me. I was an only child, with just my mother still alive. I knew that eventually I’d be completely alone. I didn’t have a playmate to travel with, go to dinner with, etc. I wasn’t looking for sex, I wanted a good pal.
When I was about 45, I met another woman who was in the same spot I was in. Long story short, we combined our fates and we’ve been happy together for 22 years. We’re not gay, although most people think we are. We’re committed platonic partners. We aren’t facing our later years alone. This isn’t for everyone, but like Mick Jagger said, you can’t always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need.
And we did.
Dear Lexie: This is an ideal model for many people. I’m happy for you both.
Email Amy at email@example.com.