Dear Coleen, I’ve been with my husband for 15 years and when we got together he’d recently broken up with a long-term girlfriend. They’d been discussing marriage and moving in together until she broke it off and moved abroad.
I don’t think he ever got over the break-up – or her. Like us, she got married and had kids and then about five years ago she divorced and got back in touch with my husband.
They chatted and messaged each other, which I put a stop to when I found out, and I know nothing happened between them because we live at opposite ends of the country.
However, recently, my husband admitted to me that he’s never stopped loving her. It was like a dagger to the heart.
He’s never once told me he’s in love with me. He says he won’t do anything about it and that he wants our marriage to work, but I don’t see how that’s possible now I know how he feels.
I don’t want to be anywhere near him right now.
I want him to leave for a while so I can get my head straight, but he doesn’t want to. Where do I go from here?
I think you should tell him that if there’s any hope for your marriage you need time on your own to think about it – that’s the bottom line.
If he genuinely wants to save the marriage, then he’ll agree.
You can’t neatly move on from an admission like this.
What does he expect you to do with the information? Just carry on being a loving wife?
You deserve to know the whole truth about his feelings for his ex and also how he feels about you, and how he sees your future.
But, also, use the time to really think about yourself and what you want. Can you get over this? Can you work on a marriage when your husband has admitted loving someone else?
I think if you do decide to move forward, then you should try relationship counselling.
At the end of the day, it might not keep you together, but it could give you the confidence to move forward on your own.
It’s possible that by admitting this to you, he’s hoping you’ll be the one to end the marriage because he can’t bring himself to do it or he feels guilty about breaking up the family.