Dear Annie: I have been with my husband for 23 years now, married for eight years. A year ago, I found out that my husband had communicated with an old girlfriend from high school without my knowledge. They met seven years ago and spoke to each other on a daily basis. He used his work phone so I couldn’t suspect anything. She knew he was married and that we had five children.
He accepted the responsibility and said he understood it was a form of cheating. He apologized and said he doesn’t have any love feelings for this woman. They were just friends. I called her one day to ask if she had feelings for my husband. She said she didn’t.
A year later, I still don’t trust my husband. I don’t feel safe and think that maybe there is something missing from our marriage that this woman has provided for her. I just can’t get over the betrayal. People I’ve spoken to say it’s not worth ending our marriage. But I can’t let go. I’ve always thought cheating was a big deal, and that’s exactly what it did to me. I love my husband very much, but I don’t think I can get over his emotional story. Am I overreacting when considering ending my marriage for this? – Hurt and confused
Dear hurt and confused: It’s time to examine your feelings about yourself and your marriage. It is understandable that you are hurt by what your husband has done. However, he apologized for it and ended his relationship with her for you. Now it’s your turn to forgive. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. It gives you the strength to move forward. While you can’t change the past or go back to the same marriage you once had, you can decide how you would like your marriage to look from now on. Seek the help of a professional counselor to help you overcome this hurt and anger, then consider marriage counseling.
Dear Annie: Recently I read a letter in your column from a single mother who took offense at the term “broken house”. My comment is not about the letter but your response: “There is nothing broken in a single mother.” You should have added “single daddy” to your answer. My son is one of the many single fathers who are raising children without a partner.
His wife passed away suddenly when their son was 13 months old, and he had to navigate daycare and all other daily hardships raising a child while working minimum wage and having no family nearby to help him. He does a terrific job, and I’m sure these other single dads are too. I don’t think they get the sympathy or the credit of moms, and they both deserve it.
Raising a child is hard work, so here’s a letter of gratitude to all moms and dads, single or in a relationship. – Including dads
Dear dads, thank you for pointing this out. There are a lot of wonderful single dads out there who do a great job raising their kids, and you’re right; they often don’t get the credit they deserve.
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