My boyfriend of five years turned 40 last year. His
mid-life crisis took the form of an affair. He’s apologized and begged my forgiveness,
but trust, faith, and respect are all gone. He’s asked for another chance. He’s even
gone to the extreme of asking me to marry him. This is the first time the subject has
ever come up in five years.
I don’t want to be alone and can’t imagine
finding anyone with whom I can be as comfortable. What are the odds of us getting
through this? -- BETRAYED – WOODSTOCK, ON
I can’t tell you what to do; the final decision must be
yours. But I can give you some things to think about.
Let’s start with the
mid-life crisis defence.
Mid-life crisis—what a crock! He could have
bought a car he can’t afford or a motorcycle he could risk his life on to prove his
machismo. Instead he chose to risk your health, his health, and the entire
relationship—all for a little instant gratification.
You say one
motivation for you to stay is comfort. To me, comfortable implies routine, habit, even
complacency. These are not reasons to stay.
Studies show that over half of
married couples don’t even try to work things out after an affair. And of those who try,
less than half actually get through it. So if you do intend to work through this
together, it’ll be anything but comfortable for a long time.
One has to
wonder about a 40-year-old man, whom you’ve been with for five years, who only mentions
marriage after having cheated. This sounds like some perverse reward system. It’s almost
as if he’s saying if you’re a good girl and forgive him, he’ll reward you with ice cream.
Or in your case, he wants to reward you with the privilege of marrying a
I don’t know about you, but I’d take the ice
My lady has a child
with her ex. I understand they must talk about visitation and so forth, but it bothers me
when they discuss more than their daughter. Although it never gets too personal, they
often talk for anywhere from two to 20 minutes. On more than one occasion, I’ve told her
that it bugs me. She apologizes, and it cools down—only to start again after a couple of
weeks. I know she loves me, but it drives me nuts. Advice? -- SECOND FIDDLE – KINGSTON,
Doesn’t she have her hands full
enough raising one child? Grow up!
Those few minutes spent maintaining a
relationship with her ex are important for the child—as it sets a better example than
parents who are mortal enemies. Raising a child together is tough. Raising a child
separately is even tougher. It’s good to hear that she and the ex are able to get
Consider this a valuable lesson: When you get involved with someone
with children, this is only the tip of the iceberg of what you’ll have to accept. Casual
conversations once in a while shouldn’t bother you.
She may be your lady,
but her most important role is as a mom. And if she’s any kind of a mom, you will always
play second fiddle—after her child.
Have a question, a thought, or a
story to share (anonymity guaranteed)? E-mail Christine at: