Dear Abby: I have been married 30 years and have raised four children. I recently found out my husband has been having an affair with a prostitute from a strip club. He paid all her living expenses and promised to marry her. She was 26 when it started; he is 56. He told her his wife had run away with another man and that he was divorced. When I confronted him, he lied, lied, lied.
He wants to continue living together and pretend nothing happened. He went to counseling and quit. Then he went to a psychiatrist, who diagnosed him with a “mixed personality disorder.” He says he wants to make up for his mistake with me, but all the while he was having unprotected sex.
I doubt he’ll ever stop lying to me because he always has. I can’t spend the rest of my life looking over my shoulder because this has happened before, although not to this extent. He said he just “led a double life” and he doesn’t want to do it anymore. He admitted he did it because he never thought he would get caught.
During this long affair, he was brazen, arrogant and abusive to me. Now he wants to be attentive, but he makes me sick. What do I do?
– Can’t Trust Him in New Jersey
Dear Can’t Trust Him: Only you can decide that, but in order to do it rationally, without anger or vengefulness, I’m advising you to make up your mind AFTER some sessions with a psychologist on your own. What your husband wants at this point is far less important than what YOU want. And why you would want to continue in a marriage to an abusive philanderer is something only you can answer.
Penny brings message of love
Dear Abby: My stepmother was in a fatal car accident. A few days after the funeral, Dad told me the best way to handle grief is to clean house – so we began cleaning house like crazy, stopping to cry every now and then.
We ran out of towels, so I went to fetch more from the guest bathroom where they are kept. Seeing a penny on the sink, I grabbed it and threw it in the wastebasket. (I wondered where it had come from because I hadn’t noticed it there earlier in the day.) Suddenly, I remembered the letters in your column saying if you find a penny after you have lost a loved one, it means they are sending you a message of love from heaven.
I quickly reached into the wastebasket to retrieve the penny, praying that it was newly minted – and it was! I showed it to Dad, explaining the significance, and we both had a good cry. We keep it in my stepmother’s china cabinet to remind us that love is eternal.
To us, that penny is priceless. Thank you for running those “pennies from heaven” stories.
– Reader in Connecticut
Dear Reader: You’re welcome. To me your EXPERIENCE is priceless.