Q: After 8 years of marriage and two children I guess I have fallen out of love. My husband is a good provider and great father but I have met a man that is my soul mate. We always have lots to talk about, have fun and he understands my feelings. I deserve to be happy and am considering divorce. Your thoughts?
A: Affairs always appear to be more exciting than real life. When you are with your lover you do not have to face mundane chores of daily living. You don’t become concerned regarding money or homework. You imagine that when you and your lover blend your families everyone will get along beautifully, the children will be happy and they will all be best friends. In affairs people do not fight about discipline, laundry or garbage.
During an affair at least one person is cheating on their spouse. This may initially seem exciting and an expression of the strength of the love. Once in a permanent relationship with this person, however, issues of fidelity and trust may arise. You currently have a lot in common to talk about. Experience tells me that often during affairs the commonality is that each partner feels understood when discussing their current bad relationship. Basing a future life on how bad your marriage is does not bode well for future success.
Children play a big part in the future blended family. Unless there is abuse, they never favor parents’ divorcing. Your husband is a good father so your children will not understand your breaking up the family. They may be resentful of the new adult in their life and will be resistant to accepting discipline or rules from their father’s competitor. Yours and your new partner’s parenting styles will not be the same and this is likely to cause confusion, resentment, anger and many arguments.
Statistics indicate that second marriages fail more often than first marriages. Children love both parents and divorce forces divided loyalties. Children become angry at having to be apart from either parent and having to choose between them.
Family, friends, neighbours often take sides in your relationship and you may be surprised at how betrayed and alone you feel. Affairs rarely work out as expected. It is often much more gratifying to put your efforts into working on your marriage and bringing it back to life.