Help! How Do We Tell Our Rich Friend That He Smells Like He Lives In A Sewer?
We also have letters about adultery and alcoholism.
In today’s edition of “People Sent Questions To Other Advice Columnists But I Am Answering Them Because No One Sent Me Any Questions Even Though I Set Up A Whole Email Account For That Purpose,” we have three letters that were published in The Washington Post. The first is about adultery. The second is about alcoholic skiers. The third is about people who smell bad.
I cheated on my wife and got caught and said I wanted a second chance but maybe I don’t
My wife and I have been together for 15 years, married for 11. We have two children. A little over a year ago, I started mentoring a female colleague at work and it became our routine to have a few drinks after work every Friday. I always knew this wasn’t really appropriate, but my wife didn’t worry since she trusted me completely. Over time, our meetups became more frequent and more secretive, we ended up having sex and it turned into a passionate love affair.
A few weeks ago, I got caught by my wife and I came clean. After a lot of tears, and apologies (on my part) and discussion she said she's willing to give me another chance, go to counseling and start fresh.
Before the affair, my relationship with my wife was great, she's upbeat and supportive. She takes care of me, our family and home. She is beautiful, inside and out. She should be enough for me but she's not. I never felt as passionate about her as I did my affair partner, who is so completely different, impulsive, wild and uninhibited. But also needy, clingy and volatile, so life with her is a rollercoaster ride.
Right now, my heart and my head are pulling me in two different directions. My affair partner wants me to divorce my wife and marry her. I don't really want to wreck my family but I'm craving time with her, being separated from her is driving me crazy, I can't think about anything else. I know it’s stupid and might ruin my life but I can't help feeling if I let this woman go, I'll regret it for the rest of my life. What do I do?
You should obviously leave your wife because you’re a soft, weak little man and she can do better. You then can marry your coworker and that marriage probably won’t work out either but at least you will have let your current wife move on.
Let me count the problems here:
You started fucking a women you were mentoring? I mean, I’m not some HR nazi but that seems like questionable behavior. I’m going to assume that this falls on the more innocent side of work relationships just because it’s nice to give people the benefit of the doubt, but uh it’s not the best foundation for a relationship.
“We ended up having sex” is the sort of wording a weak person uses when they aren’t willing to take responsibility for their actions. It was the world that made us have sex!
“I got caught by my wife and I came clean. After a lot of tears, and apologies (on my part) and discussion, she said she's willing to give me another chance, go to counseling and start fresh.”
Actually, doesn’t sound like you did come clean since in the next paragraph, you say that your wife isn’t “enough” for you. What you did in that moment was say things you thought you should say because you were embarrassed and ashamed. If you had actually come clean, you would have perhaps apologized for the betrayal but been honest about the fact that you aren’t committed to the marriage anymore.
The young woman you mentored, screwed, and began a long-term affair with is described as “ impulsive, wild and uninhibited” as opposed to your wife, who is “supportive” and “caring.”
This is not an interesting story.
This is every single affair a middle-aged man has ever had.
A young woman at work, often in and out of love, meets a man who is kind and supportive of her career. She feels things for predictable psychological reasons, and so does he. He is attracted to the things about her that are missing in his life. The youthful impulsiveness and passion he recalls feeling when he hears songs from a few decades ago. There is alcohol involved and they have an affair. Blah blah blah.
People can come back from this story all the time. Marriages don’t have to end because of adultery. But your marriage should end.
You are a cuck. You write in the passive voice because you are unwilling to admit your own volition, unwilling to confess your own desires. The world is something that happens to you.
You knew your relationship with the woman at work was heading towards an affair and you were not even forceful enough to act on that. Instead, it took you months of cocktails to summon the nerve. I would imagine that she is actually the one who made the first explicit sexual overture.
You knew this was wrong and that your wife was at least somewhat cognizant of the potential for adultery since she had said she trusted you before, but it was not until she caught you that you were compelled to tell her the truth. Even then—and most importantly—you still lied when you asked for a second chance while actually considering running away with your manic pixie dream girl.
The reason you weren’t honest with your wife after she caught you is because that would have been the end of the marriage. She wouldn’t have said, “Yeah take your time to think things through.” She would have told you to leave. You are not a strong enough person to willingly approach finality.
This suggests that you will stay with your wife unless she kicks you out. But it’s hard work to recover a marriage in trouble, and you are too lazy and stupid to do that work. If you stick around, you’ll both just politely hate each other until you die.
You should man up and leave your wife. It’s not only the nice thing to do for her, but it also would represent some form of growth in you. Hamlet only gets to dither so long.
Here’s what will happen next: Maybe you and the coworker get married. Maybe. But maybe not. Either way, the relationship will change on a fundamental level. It will no longer be secret and subversive and sexy. It will be boring. You will come to hate her clinginess, neediness, and volatility more than you do now. They will overtake the fun, sexy passion you focus on now.
And she will do the same. It might not be an HR violation to date a mentee at work, but that doesn’t mean the power dynamic isn’t real. She is attracted to you in part because she associates you with the next stage of her life journey. That doesn’t last forever. Maybe you two will be together forever. Sounds like you both have a bunch of emotional problems, and sometimes two jagged sets of psyches fit perfectly together.
But probably not.
She’ll probably leave you in a few years, and you’ll have a slow-motion nervous breakdown.
But, hey, when you see people in films ruin their lives during a midlife crisis, you’ll at least be able to be like, “it me.”
Someone drank too much on my husband’s ski trip. Should I end my friendship with that drunk’s wife?
Dear Amy: My husband has gone skiing with seven of his male peers for 17 years. One of these friends, “Patrick,” is an alcoholic whose out-of-control behavior during previous ski trips has been difficult for them to tolerate. Last year, Patrick was so offensive and unruly during a ski trip that it was the last straw, so the guys will not be inviting him to join them again. My husband has blocked him on his phone.
Although all agreed that this shunning was justified, the loss of this friend caused my husband great emotional pain. I am from a family who has suffered from generations of alcoholism. I have a low tolerance for the pain caused by that sad addiction. As a result, the shunning is not a problem for me.
However, I am friends with Patrick’s wife, who knows he has been banned from the ski group for his frightening behaviors. She is choosing to continue to support him and his painful, risky lifestyle, trusting that he will recover. Although none of us share her trust in him, she is asking for “understanding” from the ski group and is asking for me to maintain his friendship.