Q I found out my husband was involved with a young woman when she e-mailed me last summer and told me that she has been his girlfriend for the past four years. ¶ As you can imagine, I was blown away. My husband said he wanted to end this relationship and rekindle our marriage and that he would go to a marriage counselor with me. His therapy efforts were minimal, and after two weeks, he said he wasn’t over this woman, he didn’t think therapy was working, he didn’t want to go anymore and he might move out of the house. He finally took a place for four months and moved out, saying that he would still see this woman “as a friend.” ¶ This wasn’t my husband’s first extramarital relationship. He left me in the ’90s when he was involved with another woman, then came back a year later for the sake of “the family.” ¶ This time my husband left me as well as our 28-year-old son who is bright, kind — and schizophrenic. Our son volunteers regularly, sees an excellent psychiatrist every month, takes his meds every day, abstains from drugs and alcohol, and has even graduated from college. However, he hears voices that get really bad when his stress level goes up — and, as I told my husband, it really went up the week after he left. My son kept telling me how mad and sad he was, which must have made the voices get terrible because his screams in the night were loud enough to wake me up. ¶ I have been taking care of myself throughout this ordeal. I exercise every day; I’ve met with our pastor; I see my therapist, my family and my friends regularly; and I know that I don’t want to be in a marriage if my husband won’t give me the love and respect I deserve. How much time should I give him?
A How much time? Probably more than you want to give and less than he thinks he should get.
As much as you might want a divorce, you and your husband need time to decide, because you both may change your minds again and again.