Almost 34 year marriage on brink

by Kim
(Alabama)

I found out today that my husband of almost 34 years had run up his credit card, which caused my credit score to take a big hit. When I confronted him, he admitted that he did a loan against the card and used a lot of the money to pay several months worth of rent for a woman who he was in a relationship with previously. She lives far away now and he had confessed the relationship back in January. At that time, I confessed to him that I had been in a similar relationship/emotional affair 25 years ago, and I forgave him.


Fast forward a couple of months and he’s back in touch with her and paying her rent behind my back. By the way, this woman is recently married and her rent is more than our mortgage (over $2500). I asked him to leave and go stay at his late parent’s house. He hung around a long time, but he hasn’t been able to verbalize the whys or even what he really wants. I told him that he made his choice. He’s acting remorseful but I take that with a grain of salt under the circumstances.

It’s so hard to consider divorce after spending my entire adult life with this man, but he’s lied to me repeatedly over the years, just not about something this serious (that I know of). He’s been in what I would call a midlife crisis for a few years. Grew his hair out, bought s motorcycle. We have 4 grown kids.

I need someone to talk to but I’m not ready to wreck his relationships with my family or his kids, and the few friends I have are “couple” friends so I’m just looking for some outside guidance.

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Jul 10, 2024
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How to move forward
by: Eugene Kayser

Hi Kim. It seems from your story that both of you have been dissatisfied with your relationship for sometime, and both of you reached outside of the marriage. When these things happen, the first thing that gets broken is trust which is essential for any relationship to continue.

It’s time for both of you to sit down together and have a talk to decide how you want to proceed. Whether you want to divorce, or take a different path and try and stay together. If it’s the latter, then I would suggest that you find a licensed marriage therapist in your area who can help you with the discussion and hopefully the solution.

I suggest you go to a therapist directory like www.therapistlocator.net, which is run by the American Association for Marriage and Therapy. There you will find a therapist in your area who is licensed and specifically trained in handling issues of this kind.

Best of luck.

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Eugene Kayser, MA, MFT's profile on the Gottman Referral Network