Ask Amy: Wife's Risky Behavior Escalates

By Amy Dickinson | March 24th, 2021

Being a wife and mother has its challenges

Wife on the phone in bed exhibiting risky behavior

Dear Amy: I’m a 31-year-old husband with a beautiful wife and two amazing little girls.

My wife and I have been married for six years.

Two years ago, my wife reached out to an old flame and engaged in an emotional affair. She continued to talk with him even while we were going to marriage counseling. After she stopped that relationship, a few months went by quite nicely.

Then she started an emotional affair (through Snapchat) with a co-worker.

She was caught and said it would stop.

That happened exactly a year ago.

The day before Mother’s Day last May, she told me that the only thing she wanted was a day of not having to be a mother.

I was happy to oblige, so I loaded up the girls and we spent the day together, so “Mommy” could be on her own.

I didn’t hear from her all day and she didn’t come home that night.

The following day, on Mother’s Day, she met me at my mom’s house and apologized. She said she got drunk with an old friend.

Turns out, that was a lie. A few days ago, she confessed to sleeping with a total stranger that night.

I don’t know what to do. I feel like the love in my heart is just gone, and I do not want it to be gone.

Amy, I have never been unfaithful to my wife, but she has hurt me so many times. When do you draw the line?

If love doesn’t reappear soon, I don’t know what I’ll do. Neither one of us deserves a life of unhappiness.

Please lend me some of your wisdom.

– Heartbroken Husband

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Dear Heartbroken: Your wife’s risk-taking behavior seems to be escalating – going from what you both define as emotional affairs, to anonymous sex.

She kept knowledge of this one-night stand to herself until recently.

So why did she disclose this now?

Is she trying to force the issue in order to end the marriage, or is she trying to come clean in order to save the marriage? Is she trying to punish you, or does she want to punish herself? Does she have an STD? Did she become pregnant?

You two should head right back into counseling.

You should set your own goal for what you want from therapy: Do you want to continue to try to repair your relationship, or do you want to move toward parting ways peacefully?

And you should also contact an attorney to explore your legal rights and responsibilities regarding a possible separation.

At the very least, it sounds as if your wife is overwhelmed by marriage and parenthood. You must put your kids’ well-being first. It might be best for the children to be with you in a separate household at least half-time while their mother sorts through her personal problems and choices.

In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068

© 2021 by Amy Dickinson

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