Dear Ann Landers

I found after 19 years of marriage that my husband was having an affair. I demanded that he leave but he refused to get out and begged forgiveness.
Instead of hiring a lawyer, I asked myself some hard questions:

1. Would the children benefit emotionally and financially from a divorce?
No. Their lives would be disrupted. They would miss their father a great deal.

2. Would my career benefit from a divorce?
No. My job requires total concentration, 40-50 hours a week.

3. Would my husband’s family (elderly parents, close siblings) benefit from a divorce?
No. It would kill his mother. She believes him to be the perfect son, husband and father.

4. Do I want to change my lifestyle?

5. What is the bottom line regarding my feelings?
Wounded pride because he preferred her to me.

6. Can I live with and recover from wounded pride?

My husband and I talked at length. We agreed on two things:
1. I would never mention his affair or the woman again.
2. He would end the affair and never have another one.

It is 5 years later. We both have lived up to the agreement. It was not easy for me. I had to learn to put the other woman out of my mind.

When we argue, it is about the matter at hand. I never bring up the past. I do not think about “What if?” “Where is he?” “Will he again?”

He is a better husband than before, more caring, more compassionate and sexier. We value each other and all that we have.

My pride? I have more self-esteem than ever, knowing I did the right thing and knowing I can face and conquer most anything that life can throw at me.

I just received a promotion at work. Our children are happy and well-adjusted. His mother died last fall with a loving, intact family at her bedside.
“Been There” in D.C.

Dear D.C.: You used the old Ann Landers formula-you asked yourself, “Would I be better off with him or without him?” The answer was “with him” and you decided on the basis of what was best for you. Bravo! I wish all women would behave so sensibly.

SOURCE: Orlando Sentinel

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