Candid Corner: Scared about separation

Q: I know my husband is probably having an affair. He goes on weekend trips and always extends them last moment. I have seen some photos of him with a girl much younger than me and have noticed extra expenses on his credit card bill too. This is all very painful, but I don’t want to let go of what we have. I am too scared to be on my own, my family is my support. Please help.

Ans: Betrayal and deceit are painful, but they don’t necessarily have to lead to separation. Families are very complex structures that take time and effort to nurture, it is normal you don’t want to let yours go. There are ways of addressing the pain and repairing the relationship, and they involve work on both sides.

First establish if both of you are up to reinventing your relationship. If you both are, you will have to delve deeper into your insecurities and disappointment, ideally with a help of a professional. Just remember that, the affair is irrelevant, it is all the unaddressed feelings that came before it that matter. Who your husband is seeing is also irrelevant. If your husband is having an affair, he is probably unhappy about who he is, or has become, and not about you or you aging. He might be now attracted to someone else and someone younger.

Does it mean that he loves you any less? Probably not. Luckily today people are more open to other relating styles as non-monogamous marriages have become less of a taboo. Maybe once you address your insecurities and get over the disappointment of your husband lying to you, you could be less averse about him outsourcing his new needs. People evolve so do their needs.

When was the last time you thought about yours? Women are socialized to be the caregivers in a family set up. Maybe you were too busy thinking about everybody else in the family and have neglected your own needs. You know that family is your priority but ask yourself what else is and why. This affair is a big opportunity to reinvent your relationship and yourself. It is an opportunity for both of you to grow as people and understand where to go next.

The writer is an Intimacy & Relationship Coach, Founder of The Intimacy Curator, an organisation promoting self-discovery through emotional and sexual wellbeing (www.theintimacycurator.com). (Have a query? Send it on fpjcandidcorner@gmail.com)

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