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I’ve been looking for so long to find someone to secretly talk to, to gain some insight, validation, or hope. My situation is the result of the choices I made, but I just need someone to hear me.

I have been married for eight years. During the short time we dated, I knew he wasn’t the true person I thought I’d spend my life with. The day I was going to tell him I didn’t want to see him anymore was the day I learned I was pregnant. It was not intentional. While switching birth control pills, and continually being on them, I didn’t use a backup method.

I was not raised to have a child out of wedlock, so I did what I thought was right. He wanted to marry me. I thought it was the right thing to do despite our start, but not surprisingly, we had problems.

The first three or four years were horrible, with small pockets of being so-so. He treated my daughter from a previous marriage with disdain, which hurts a child who tries to be loving. He’s controlling and has broken our vows. I know he had an affair because I found evidence and confronted him. He doesn’t respect me enough, to be honest.

A few years ago, after failed attempts at counseling, I left him. When people found out, he acted like he was the victim. I was furious because he knew the reasons, but led others to believe I abandoned him. I returned, but I am emotionally drained, hardened, angry, and bitter.

I tried to make it work. Now, after all the headaches and heartache, I can barely tolerate spending time with him. When he says a line he used to give me while stepping out on me, I flip my lid. It’s like a trigger.

Now he says he doesn’t want to lose his family. He wants me to say I love him, but I can’t because I don’t. Should I lie and say it anyway, just to make him feel better? I’ve built up this façade, so people don’t know how miserable I am.

I’m a professional, driven person and this has minimized me to nothing. I’ve lost my motivation for things I enjoy because I see no hope for the future. How can you build on feelings that were not there in the first place?


Peggy, going back was a mistake. It doesn’t matter what other people think, especially when what they think makes you live a lie, because then there is no truth anywhere. They don’t see the truth, you aren’t living the truth, so it lies all around.

Some people say love is a decision, but you tried that and blatantly failed. Love is not a decision, and you knew he wasn’t the right one in the first place. Without love, the relationship has been a disaster on both sides. All you had in common was sex and the child the two of you created.

People think an impostor can stand in the stead of love, but it can’t. That is trying to trick yourself out of the real thing. Once you have been around false love for a while, you begin thinking about what it would be like to have the real thing.

At what point would some people tell our children that false, made-up, worked-on feelings can replace love? Forget Shakespeare and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Children can’t be allowed to see this poetry because it will touch their hearts. You don’t want children to grow up thinking there is real emotion if you are going to teach the false.

So where are you now, Peggy? You are right back where you were in the beginning. It is time to tell this man you have taken the long way around to return to what you always knew was the right decision.

Wayne & Tamara

Wayne & Tamara are the authors of The Young Woman’s Guide to Older Men, The Friendship Solution, and Cheating in a Nutshell—available from Amazon, Apple, and booksellers everywhere.


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