I’m 32 and have been married for two years—much of which was long distance as my husband and I were both in law school. We’re finally in the same place—we bought a house, got a mortgage and a Jack Russell—and BAM I find a note in his e-mail that he’s been sleeping with the EIGHTEEN-YEAR-OLD INTERN at work. I know he’s an asshole, but I actually feel bad that maybe I was too caught up in school and somehow let our romantic life crumble, leaving him with no choice. Is there anything worth repairing?
Here at She Does The City, where they let me bestow relationship advice with no training and little experience, I get a lot of disproportional praise and some uninvited criticism. The latter is largely from my bitch friends who, perhaps rightly, say I’m too quick with the following advice: Dump Him. As such, I’ve been trying to keep an open mind most of the time, but this is not one of those times. Dump him.
But first, let’s backtrack: Despite your descriptions of domestic bliss—the house, the mortgage, that annoying little pup—it’s clear that things were less true love and more Big Love by the time you creeped his e-mail. (It’s also clear he didn’t fess up and beg forgiveness, which may be the only time I’d offer it…maybe.) Not that I’m blaming you for peeking, Cheated, as your husband has thus forfeited his right to privacy by virtue of being a huge asshole. Props too on noticing this.
No props, however, on blaming yourself for letting your “romantic life crumble.” Romance doesn’t and won’t work if one party’s concept of romance includes intercourse with a teenager, so whether you were cramming for the bar in your sweats or dolled up in a garter belt, I suspect your asshole husband has different standards of marriage than you do.
And this is the real point here: forget his lonely plight (“No choice”? Get real) for a moment and take a good look at what marriage looks and feels like to you. If you believe it’s about mistakes and forgiveness (I don’t), then by all means find yourself a good shrink and begin damage control. Be warned though: it’s gonna be more difficult and way worse than long distance ever could be.
If, however, you believe that relationships are about the way you treat each other, then imagine yourself as a third party (a lawyer, perhaps) and get decodin’. Nothing says I-don’t-give-a-shit-about-you-or-this-marriage quite like cheating with someone half your age. Like most men, hubby’s telling you plainly and clearly exactly who he is and how much he values you. So thank him for his honesty, pack your Jack Russell, and dump him. It’s one of those times.