The core of your relationship is gone, long gone. You can’t trust her. She lies to your face on a daily basis. She has decided that cheating and lying are an acceptable way to improve her life. The cost to you is quite secondary to her desires and imagined needs. There are many wives who are unhappy, feel neglected by their husbands and want much more in their lives. Some of them choose divorce and others choose to cheat. What is the difference between the two? Morality. To many good women, lying and cheating to enhance their lives is unacceptable. They choose divorce when they believe their marriage can not be improved.
Counseling can solve great problems in a relationship but counseling will not teach your partner morality. It is wrong to knowingly hurt other people. Lying is wrong and infidelity is wrong; according to every major religious doctrine that I am aware of.
You mention that her cheating is “emotional” and perhaps also sexual. She explains to you that emotional cheating is not really cheating. Love is emotion, perhaps the most powerful and meaningful of all emotions. When she turned to another man for her emotional needs, she invalidated the totality of her marriage to you. A marriage is based on love and trust and the most sincere belief that your partner will protect you from pain. Your partner has inflicted pain with a callous regard for your feelings and safety and overall well being.
She has purchased her happiness at the cost of your suffering. She plans to leave you and is making plans to do so. Does she care how this will upset your life or hurt you? You ask her to be honest with you. Why, because you would like to be prepared for your future. You would like to minimize the pain that potentially lies ahead. She continues to lie to you so that she will still have you if her affair doesn’t work out or her new man decides he doesn’t want her. You are her insurance.
What bothers me the most is her constant lying to you. She has found lying to be a functional part of her life. Dishonesty, cheating, deception are all signs of an unhealthy individual and all of these are certain poison to a relationship. Without trust there is no relationship. It’s time to think about your self. Stop thinking of her needs because she has long ago stopped being concerned about yours. She is not ready to leave you because she has yet to find someone who will accept her. I’m sure you are a convenient baby sitter and help pay the bills. You have proof that she is planning or at least attempting to leave you. Is your relationship over? It has been over for many years, even before her affairs.
She is insensitive to your well being. She doesn’t care if she lies or cheats and is anxiously attempting to find your replacement.
I can understand that she is unhappy in her marriage. I can understand that she wants more. I would agree that she should have a good strong marriage. I can not accept her belief that these things are accessible through lies and deception. I would say instead that theses things can never be acquired through lies. The only things acquired through deception and cheating is the illusion of that which she seeks.
The decision is yours. Good luck.
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on April 6, 2009.