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Is it worth staying with a wife who lies and cheats?

Dear Panel,

...Then in 1996 she confesses to me that she has had two affairs. She claims that she just wanted to find out whether it was just me, or all men that she was unattracted to. I forgave her because I loved her. Then, in 1997 I find a diary about her, listing not just two affairs, but seven...

- Used and Abused

Male, age 30

[read the entire question below]

Dear Panel,

I am 30 years old, and have been married for 6 years.

My wife is 25, and has psychological problems after she was abused by a family member for 6 years of her life (from 10-16)

I married my wife in 1994. I knew that she had been abused, and was trying to help her over her problems. Things were fine at first, but then in 1995 my wife had a miscarriage. She blamed herself, even though I did try and comfort her and tell her that it wasn't. She started to be distant with me, finally ending up with no sexual relations at all.

Then in 1996 she confesses to me that she has had two affairs. She claims that she just wanted to find out whether it was just me, or all men that she was unattracted to. I forgave her because I loved her. Then, in 1997 I find a diary about her, listing not just two affairs, but seven. I asked her about this book, but she said that these were just fantasies that she had written down. I wanted to believe her, but deep down I knew the diary was true.

In 1998 my wife received fertility treatment and she slept with me twice, and then my wife told me she was pregnant. I was delighted, as now we were a proper family. However, our love life vanished as quickly as it had restarted. Again, she said that this was because of her problems.

This year has kicked out all the supports which bolstered me. I recently phoned one of her friends which she visited recently, who blurted out that she could not believe that I have had to put up with her cheating ways all this time. I asked her what she meant, and she said that her child is probably not mine, as she was still carrying on two affairs behind my back at the time. I know the two gentlemen concerned which hurt me even more. I have found a letter to one of them which my wife has written confirming that the child might be his.

We have also recently started up on the Internet, and my wife discovered chatrooms. In one of these, she talked to a guy who I will call Paddy. She had been over there to see him, and when she came back, I asked her outright if she was having an affair with him. She denied it, saying again that she does not want sex with anyone. I have since found proof that she did have sex with him from the history files on the computer (I have saved all the information to disk) I recently went into hospital for a routine operation on my nose, and when I came back, found that Paddy had been over to stay, and had slept in the same bed as her.

Once again, I accused her of having an affair, and once again she has denied it. Again, I have found proof that she is lying to me. She has also been emailing a married man who we both know, some quite filthy letters, and recently they also met up. She told me that this was to tell him to lay off, that she was quite happy to write sexy emails to him, but nothing else. Again, I have found proof that she is lying to me.

I have asked my wife whether she still loves me, but she says that she does not know. I have asked her whether there is any hope of us getting back together, but again she just says that she does not know.

The stupid thing is, I still love her, but having found out all this information I am wondering if she is just using me. It is leaving me very depressed, and wondering if I am just wasting my time, and if I am just staying with her because of complacency.

Please help me!

Can you help me decide whether it is worth me staying?

- Used and Abused

Male, age 30

Berly, Gillian, Jayne, Lefty, and Mare answer this question.

 

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