Dear Annie: Eight years ago, my 28-year-old husband divorced me after I found evidence on my computer that he was having multiple affairs. Before our divorce was final, my ex-to-be visited a mail order bride overseas and brought her to our home. He wanted to take her to my eldest’s wedding but my eldest said no. My ex has since married and moved abroad and three of our four children have moved far away to the east and west coasts, with the exception of the eldest who lives an hour from me with his wife.
I am disabled and live in income dependent housing and do not have a car. My youngest three are in touch with me fairly regularly, by phone and Facebook, and also for personal visits every few years. I used to be in fairly regular contact with my eldest, going to their house for dinner about every six months. Gradually our communication became less and less until he stopped answering my voicemail messages. (I stopped trying about two years ago.) For a while, I used to send him a quick private message on Facebook Messenger about every three months, but I stopped doing that too because he didn’t reply. I’ve since learned that he doesn’t communicate with his siblings either. The last I heard from them was a postcard with their new address about a year ago.
I see on Facebook that he and his wife see their parents regularly. They are quite wealthy and hang out with their kids and families in timeshares across the state.
I love them and hope they will allow me to be in the picture if/when they have children. I just don’t know what to do, if anything.
— Mother misses her son
Dear mum: There are few things more painful for a mother than alienation from her child. Since you didn’t mention any arguments or arguments, it is quite concerning that your eldest son has cut ties with you and his three siblings. My guess is that he hasn’t recovered from his father’s infidelity and attempt to get a mail order bride to his wedding.
I would write your son a letter at his new address stating that you are willing to do whatever it takes to repair the family that your ex-husband has damaged so much. Explain that you and your other three children miss him terribly and want to be a part of his life.
Dear Annie: Seven years ago, after 37 years of marriage, my husband had an affair. It took five months and then I found out. We fell apart emotionally and lived apart for two and a half years. It was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced. It was awful.
I wanted to move on, but I also wanted to save my marriage if it was possible. Well we made up and it’s been really good between us for the most part. My husband is loving and supportive. I think we both appreciate that we almost lost something precious and we both say we thank God for each other and for being together.
The problem is that my thoughts are returning to and dealing with the trauma of that horrible time. I won’t mention it, but sometimes it’s the first thing I think about in the morning and the last thing I think about at night. I went to therapy while going through all of this trauma, but I still seem to be holding on to the pain and brooding at times. is this common How do people get around this problem? I’m thankful for our relationship and I don’t want to ruin it.
Better still in recovery: To answer your question, yes, it’s incredibly common to think about trauma even after the traumatic event is over. It’s great that you sought therapy after finding out about the affair, but recovering from such a betrayal takes a lot of work on both you and your husband. There is still work to be done, so I suggest that you return to therapy at least until these obsessions subside.
And I would like to ask all readers who managed to save their relationship after the infidelity: How did you manage it? What helped you the most?