LOVE ABBY: Two years ago, my 50-year-old husband confessed that 46 years ago, shortly after our son was born, he had a one-night stand with a total stranger that he had been driving to. She offered him sex and they went to a hotel for the brief encounter. He said he completely forgot until recently. He said he was very upset when he remembered, to the point where he felt sick.
He decided to tell me because he didn’t want any secrets between us and he asked me to forgive him. I forgave him, but I’ve been devastated ever since.
Abby, I can’t get over him doing this to me. Not a single day goes by without the pain and images of his being unfaithful in a marriage that I thought was near-perfect until then. Take hold of me and make me very sad. I don’t cry so much anymore, but the intensity of the pain hasn’t let up.
I haven’t spoken to anyone else about it. Your words of wisdom are valued. – Wounded in Florida
LOVE HURT: So your husband decided 46 years ago to calm his guilty conscience about this one-time infidelity and to impose it on you. It would have been kinder if he had “confessed” to his spiritual advisor.
Focus on the fact that what happened (once) four years after you got married is less relevant than the quality of the relationship you shared over the next nearly half a century. Since it’s been two years since your husband told you and you are still in emotional pain, it is advisable to seek help from a licensed marriage and family therapist.