By Amy Dickinson
September 20, 2014
Dear Amy: My husband of 34 years had an affair with a co-worker, lasting for a year. He has had at least one other affair that I know of. With the aid of a therapist, I confronted him, and he said the whole affair was a terrible idea, and that he wanted our marriage to stay together. He agreed to cut communication with the woman. She moved away.
A year later, after working hard (on my end) to try to repair the marriage, I found out that the two of them had been having long weekly phone calls that my husband had gone to great lengths to conceal. I said that if he felt compelled to continue the calls, I would leave the marriage.
Fast forward another year. The calls continued in spite of repeated pledges by my husband that they were not occurring. I confronted the scarlet woman and told her to cut it out, or I’d spill the beans to her husband.
Here’s the problem: My husband has never apologized for his actions. He says if he is warm and loving, that should be enough for me, and I should get over these events.
My husband is pleasant enough but is hardly warm and loving. He continues to have multiple phone numbers and multiple e-mails in his name. I’m not accusing him of romancing women, but I feel insecure. If I try to bring up our relationship, my husband refuses to talk because he says all I do is tell him that he is a horrible person (that is not true). He refuses to talk with a therapist.
Any hope here? — Saddened
Dear Saddened: I do have hope — mainly for you. Your marriage? Not so much. Your husband seems determined to deny you the healing and intimacy you desire. Catching him, catching him again and being proactive in driving off his mistress is pretty exhausting. You are expending all of the effort to keep your marriage going. He is passively letting you.
"Pleasant enough" isn’t a very high standard in a spouse. "Pleasant enough" is the ultimate standard you set for your dental hygienist, not your husband.
You need to value yourself more. An apology is not the MOST your husband can give to you; it is the very LEAST he can offer. And he is not even willing to do that. Reread your letter to me. Continue with your therapy. And then do what you want to do.