My wife is dating another guy, and I’m heartbroken

My wife is dating another guy, and I’m heartbroken

My wife and I have been married for 15 years and have two teenagers. I know she has issues with me not being affectionate and our sex life, so things haven’t been great between us for a while. I haven’t done a lot to fix things. But I’ve just found out she’s having an affair with a guy she used to go to school with. She hasn’t moved out, but she is dating him and going out a few nights a week, and he buys her expensive presents. He wants her to leave me. I want to work it out. She doesn’t know what she wants. How do I handle this? I just want my wife back. Greg

Greg! Are you for real?! Grow a pair and tell your wife this is totally unacceptable. She can’t just cruise along with an old high school boyfriend, skipping out on dates, lapping up expensive gifts and sex sessions, when she has a hubby at home. Especially given you haven’t agreed to an open relationship. This just smacks of laziness and apathy on both sides. But you can’t play the victim here, even though you’re being cheated on so brazenly. You’ve been putting your marriage on the backburner for quite some time, haven’t you? You had warnings. Your wife wanted more input, more passion and ideas for spicing up your sex life and getting the spark lit again. But you didn’t listen, did you? You continued to sit in front of the TV, or the computer or whatever, and not chose not to do the hard yards and find solutions to your marital problems. And now look what your wife has done? She’s moved on, and is dating again, without having the grace to break it off with you.
You’re both as bad as each other. It’s bleedingly obvious, but it’s time, for your sake and your teenage kids (who know everything by the way – teenage kids aren’t dumb) that you need to call this what it is – the END of your marriage. Time for you or her to move out, to seek counselling, to work towards living separately for a while as you sort out what (if any) future your relationship has.
Love, reality chick

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Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).


  1. Deb 9 years ago

    OK – you still a ‘window of opportunity’ to work this out. If this guy is giving your wife expensive presents, he is financially able to take care of her. That is one thing that women look for and I do not mean that in a nasty way. Your source of information about this affair – is it honest? Do you know for sure, that this man wants your wife to leave you? Or is that being said to get a response and any sort of reaction from you? If he is that good, and you that bad, she would be long gone, especially in this day and age.
    Ask her for a good old fashioned date and court and woo her – do exactly what this other guy is doing. And you have the upper hand for the moment. How did you get her in the first place? What are her likes? What does she love? Anything that you should know about her after 15 years together. If you do not know, fall on the sword and ask your kids to help! Make it a family effort. (But do not ask the kids to choose sides, even for the slightest thing) Value her as a person – talk to her, ask her opinion, respect her opinion and she will do the same back – it might take a little while, but persevere. And do not fall back on your laurels – this is a once only chance.
    If it does not work, then at least you have tried.

  2. Lola 9 years ago

    Dear Greg, I do agree with RC, but I’m going to be even tougher on you: why is it that men in general believe that they shouldn’t invest time, energy, etc. etc. in their relationships? I’m not applauding your wife at all, but many times we ladies start trying to address relationship issues by trying to start a conversation with our partners, and our partners just consider us “unbearable”, “a nuisance”, “a pain in the a*#$e”, “a neurotic fruitcake”, etc. etc. etc.
    Men turn a deaf ear and when they start ‘listening’ again, they discover it’s too late…
    I don’t think you have anything left from your marriage and you had better finalise your relationship on a civilised and well-rounded manner for the sake of your children. I do wish you the best though, and feel for you: it is immensely bruising and painful to learn the hard way, but learn we must.

  3. v 9 years ago

    Whoa. Talk about complicated.

    Excellent advice, RC. Sometimes, as much as we don’t want to, you have to call time on a relationship.

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