Dear Monica, After a long marriage and what I thought was a great summer spent together as a family, my husband has asked for a divorce. I have since learned he was dating a younger woman during our union. I am blown away. How did this happen? -P.P., Haverford
Sadly, this is a tale as old as marriage itself. Married man dates younger woman, leaves wife, and thinks that will solve all his problems. We all know this is not the case but now is the time for assessment and moving forward. Your marriage with Mr. Wrong is DONE.
As fall comes around, our lives turn to the mundane routine of the children’s school schedules and the impending winter blues. Fantasies of breaking out of routines puts cheating at the forefront of many American’s minds, according to the extra marital dating site, Ashley Madison. So many people have signed up for the site in September that founder Noel Biderman has dubbed it “Infidelity Month.” It is not so surprising that after a summer spent together your husband has come clean and admitted that he wants out. Married people often crave affairs when their partners fail to meet their expectations. People seek opportunities to be together, relax and have free time to indulge in each other—both inside and outside of the bedroom—during the mellow months of summer. If this vision is not attained, the immature at heart will blame the lack of spark or sexual desire on their partners rather than themselves. For you, this situation is not so much about your husband and his infidelity as it is about your understanding of him and your relationship.
First things first, you need to really delve into what went wrong in your marriage before moving on to a new relationship. Marriages break up for a multitude of reasons and many believe that when a spouse cheats there is an underlying problem with the couple that needs to be faced. Were the two of you compatible? Was there intimacy in your marriage? Is this the first time he has stepped outside his vows?
People think that by changing partners everything that was wrong with the first marriage will be fixed. Not so. There is a big difference between lust, love and reality. Your husband may be having hot sex with arm candy, but eventually life will settle in. Once the hot chickadee puts demands on him and his time, she will begin the process of morphing from the girlfriend into the wife. Your husband will again be bored. People do not change.
Marriages end, but there is a way to end them with respect and dignity for your partner and your family. Cheating certainly is not one of them. Realize that chances are high that he will cheat again. Ten years down the pike, there will be a younger, prettier version of his current partner—but she is probably too naive to realize that he’s going to cheat on her too.