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You’ve seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel All Alone in Their Marriages, keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show Braxton Family Values. Now it’s your turn to sit in her chair…
I’m recently separated from my husband and partner of 31 years. My husband had an affair with a woman who immigrated to Australia when she was a child, but lived on the same estate as my husband, seven years ago when our son was 15 years old. They reconnected through friends, reunited, had an 8-month long online relationship and a 10 day holiday affair in the UK, which all came to light when I found their online correspondence on our shared computer. Our son knew something was going on before me, because my husband would be on the computer all hours of the day and night. He also had long telephone conversations while out with our son at his school sports events. My husband and son’s relationship has been extremely strained ever since; he walks out of a room when his dad appears. He is not rude, but he won’t start up conversations with him and he is very cold and uninterested. After our son’s recent graduation I decided that I wouldn’t talk to him about his dad or try to make their relationship any better. My husband has since told me that he is spending this Christmas in Australia with family, who live in Perth. I don’t know whether to tell our now 22-year old son. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Your son is an adult and does not need to be pulled into your drama with your husband. Your marital issues are your issues. Do not use your son as an excuse to avoid dealing with your husband directly. Your son has nothing to do with your feelings about your separation from your husband and his possible relationship with another woman. You need to have a conversation with your husband rather than with your son. If your son asks about where is father is spending the holidays, tell him the truth. If he does not initiate a conversation, there is no need for you to bring it up. It is time to be honest with yourself and deal with your feelings and other unresolved issues with your marriage. It seems as if you are struggling to hold on to your marriage when it may already be over. It takes two people to have a marriage. Your husband must want to be with you and want the marriage. You must ask yourself if you are the only one working to hold on to this marriage. If so, why? I suggest that you seek individual psychotherapy to process your feelings. It is time to take a hard look at the reality of how things are rather than how you would like them to be. — Dr. Sherry
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