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Cheated

Dear Rosemary,
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?

Dear Cheated,
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.

14 comments
AdamsJulie23
AdamsJulie23

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Anonymous
Anonymous

Follow your heart and your instincts, I think your instincts lead u to check his email. So therefore you must have felt a shift or something wrong. I personally think you should leave him, it may be different if you were together for say 25 yrs, and he told you and talked about it, and wanted to work on the marriage. But it’s been two yrs of marriage, and no matter where you are, he has no right to do that. And from experience, there is always more than one other person, just cause you found out about one doesn’t mean it’s the end of the story. Sorry if that makes it worse, but its usually the way it goes. I personally would have too much self respect and pride to go back with someone like that. It’s okay if you’re someone who enjoys loving and caring, and putting more effort into the relationship than the other person(which is not a healthy relationship). But it’s the lying, deceiving and cheating, and the fact that you’ve only been married two years and he can’t keep it in his pants. I say fuck him, he’s an asshole, just move on. And don’t worry the less time you waste spending on someone you know isn't right for you, and doesn’t treat you the way you deserve to be treated the sooner you will meet someone who does, and who is truly a better match for you. Ultimately you have to decide how this will affect you and what is the best outcome for you, not him, not the marriage not your family and friends. But you! Good luck and Be Strong, and listen to your self. This is just my opinion.

taelor
taelor

No one has any excuse to cheat on their partner, it's the coward's way out of commitment. It also doesn't help that there seems to plenty of young tramps willing to "that" mistress, but all in all you should burn his clothes, he's worthless!

Portable Soapbox
Portable Soapbox

Adultry, and that is what happened, is not the beginning of a change, it is a result of something. It is not excusable, but it does not occur in a vacuum. Whatever has happened in your relationship prior to this, something created the circumstances where your spouse felt okay to sleep around. The reasons may have nothing to do with you, and could be as simple as a different value system. The reasons are both complex and simple. There is always a moment where you can give in to the temptation or look away. He gave in. It is such a shame. Whatever you do - be true to yourself, and heed your inner voice. You already know the answer, you need to listen to it in your head and heart and not to what anyone else says. I wish I had done this more often myself. Sometimes, it helps to exit for a couple of days, go away, and decompress and have time to think. Good luck.

Sophie M.
Sophie M.

I am completely flabbergasted that there are people out there who: - blame themselves for being cheated on - are able to cheat and lie to the ones they are supposed to love the most - are able to forgive a cheating bastard (i.e. half of these comment-leavers above!!!) Come on people...COME ON!!!! Why did this loser even get married??? Why go in front of anyone (whether it was in a church, on a beach or at City Hall) and put down ON PAPER that you want to be with someone for the rest of your life, and then do this???? No, I am not perfect. Far from it. Nobody is. But let's have some self-respect and respect for others. Cheating is NEVER going to be excusable. EVER. And guess what. An asshole who says "I'll never do it again", is a big fat LIAR. Dump this loser's ass, seriously. He deserves to be with his 18 year-old assistant and you deserve MUCH better.

Mushy Pony
Mushy Pony

Everyone can slip up. If he's apologized and knows how to right his wrongs, then his wife needs to learn forgiveness. We all face this scenario at one point or another and simply chucking them doesn't leave any room for us to grow.

Anonymous
Anonymous

...or wants to. Once we accept relationships aren't meant to be monogamous, we can all be honest with each other. The problems not the cheating it's the lying!

Anonymous
Anonymous

... between cheating on someone when you've been dating for a while and feeling bad about it and telling them honestly and having them either forgive or not forgive you ... and cheating on your wife, who you married two years ago and vowed to stay faithful to, even though you knew she was going to be in one city and you in another. And having her find out through e-mail, no less. The former is a mistake. A bad one, yeah, but one that doesn't necessarily have to destroy whatever level of trust has built during the relationship. The latter is a violation of vows that should have meant something to you when you made them. So yeah, cheating happens a lot, and sometimes it can be forgiven. But there are absolutely different levels of cheating -- this case seems to be pretty high up the list towards 'unforgivable'.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Of course he had a choice, and there's no debating it was the wrong one. But I would suggest that succumbing to the temptation of an 18 year old legal intern while the significant other is away for months on end is most likely the choice most recently married men approaching middle age would make. I don't think there's much sense in treating mistakes that most people would make as unforgivable. There's some important details that were not revealed that I think are important here: How long were they having an affair? Are we talking about an email that said "look I like you but we can't go on like this" or was it "I can't wait to see you again"? Is this his first mistake? Did he explain why he did it? Did he apologize? Did he promise it wouldn't happen again? Sure, you can assume that this is a indisputable indication of his character and think him untrustworthy pig for the rest of his life. You could drop the asshole for being a prick and cheating on you because it means, unequivocally, that he doesn't love you anymore and he'd just do it again if you gave him the chance. But think back on your life, have you ever cheated? Have you ever come close? Have you ever even just had an emotional affair? Cheating happens a LOT out there, and if you're going to treat this like it's a black and white, zero tolerance issue, then I feeI that's the path to constant suspicion, a lack of communication, a lack of understanding and a long life of loneliness. I don't know how much you love this man but consider the possibility of never finding another person like him, living with the deep regret that you kicked to the curb someone who could have been the best match for you that you'd ever find, over a single mistake. This could just as easily also simply be the test that reforms the foundation of your relationship and makes him think about what he really wants and who he wants to be. I know I've been cheated on, and I know I've cheated. I've been forgiven and I've forgiven, I've been dumped and I've dumped. Relationships are hard, things get complicated, no two situations are the same and everyone makes mistakes. It's the people who learn from them that are worth keeping. What have you learned from yours? Consider this, if you hadn't have found anything, would he have been the type of person to just divorce you for betraying his trust?

Kirsten
Kirsten

Time invested, or no time- this guy is a tool. Although assholes are sometimes very attractive- to the point that you'll sacrifice anything and everything to be with (read: fix) them, you went through law school. You didn't even waste any time on this guy. Fingers crossed that the intern didn't pass on anything you'll have to turn to antibiotics to fix- and run without looking back

Kirsten
Kirsten

Time invested, or no time- this guy is a tool. Although assholes are sometimes very attractive- to the point that you'll sacrifice anything and everything to be with (read: fix) them, you went through law school. You didn't even waste any time on this guy. Fingers crossed that the intern didn't pass on anything you'll have to turn to antibiotics to fix- and run without looking back

KK
KK

I think that non-consensual cuckoldry and cuckqueanry is wrong and not very nice so you are right in telling this poor woman to leave her husband because marriage implies a bond of trust that he has obviously breached and adultery is wrong so that is why she should leave him right away and we should all pray for her so she can find happiness on her new road whether it be with a man or just her dog and I think your article is great and your writing absolutely fabulous and look this time I did not make any crass remarks or sassy rejoinders so please put the gun down I swear I won't call the police if you don't kill me.

Anonymous
Anonymous

As a guy, I believe that if you still want to f*ck around, then maybe it's not a good idea to get married. You don't get married to someone who you don't respect enough to stay loyal to. The thing that annoys me is these people who think its their fault when they get cheated on. If there's problems with the marriage or how you're feeling, talk about it. Boning some fine piece of ass isn't going to fix the real problems.