Repeated infidelity hurts, but put your children first
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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My wife cheated on me, early on in our marriage. I forgave her for reasons I can now see as pure desperation! Stupid, I know.
Fast forward nine years, and we have two wonderful children and a new house. Inside that house is an expensive laptop I gave my wife — and she seemed very attached to it, always keeping it within arm’s distance.
One day recently she was cooking dinner and left it open “to keep an eye on the recipe.” I got called into the kitchen to help, and when she told me to look at the next instruction, she didn’t realize she’d left her personal Facebook open. A male co-worker of hers had messaged her saying, “I can’t wait to kiss your sweet lips (and more) tomorrow night!”
I was shocked. I dropped the utensil in my hand, walked to the car and raced over to my best friend’s house. I just lost it! I told him what happened, and also confessed what took place nine years ago. I felt so stupid.
I won’t take it this time! But now, I’ll be restarting my life as a divorced dad — sharing two young kids who are going to be heartbroken, no matter what happens.
Will that creep from my wife’s work get to be my kids’ stepfather one day? God forbid. I’ve met that alcoholic loser before.
What should I do now? I can’t tell the kids what their mom did, can I? I also can’t stop blaming myself for forgiving her for cheating all those years ago, before we had kids.
She isn’t even a happy mother. She drinks way too much, finds the kids “a drag” and even tells them how much she misses out on by having them.
— Losing Myself, My Marriage, My Everything? North Kildonan
Dear Losing: You haven’t lost the most important thing — your children — and possibly you can get custody of them. Don’t automatically give your wife that privilege. Get a good lawyer right away and fight for primary custody.
Your wife might even pretend to sadly give up custody, if she’s sick of day-to-day motherhood.
The positive side of this? You wouldn’t have these kids you love so much if you had not forgiven their mother the first time she cheated.
Be grateful for the little ones, and stress to your lawyer that your wife is not enjoying her mother role, and you’re the parent who does the most for them. Plus, you’re not a drinker, like she is.
Will she ever straighten up and fly right? Not likely. If a love partner betrays you once and is “terribly sorry,” they may just be “terribly sorry” they got caught! Cheating is not a big moral issue for them, so it’s still in their game plan to pull that move again, but they will work harder to cover their tracks.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I have been dating a guy who is my third cousin and we are so compatible! Although, I must confess he hasn’t asked me to marry him, so I’m quietly wondering if third cousins can marry in Canada.
— Curious Lady, north Winnipeg
Dear Curious: Third cousins can marry in Canada, and marriage is even allowed for closer cousins than that in Canada and Mexico, though not in some of the United States. The concern has generally been around greater risk of birth defects, though the risk is extremely low for third cousins.
Please send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6.
Maureen Scurfield writes the Miss Lonelyhearts advice column.