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My husband has a history of infidelity. Last year I found conclusive evidence that he had had years of sex with two women and inappropriate relationships with several others. We separated for several months but never stopped sleeping together. He finally returned home. We have attended consultations. We are trying to make things work.
Then a job unexpectedly opened up with my husband’s employer, and lo and behold, one of the women he continued with was hired to work closely with him by pure coincidence. It must be said that her inappropriate relationship and one of the two sexual relationships was with previous co-workers. I want to believe it’s really a coincidence, but I’m having a hard time with it.
This woman (along with my husband) undermined my family and rocked my marriage. They are now partners. Do you think it’s possible that they can really work together on a strictly commercial basis? Should I just cut my losses? I must also mention that we have children together.
Probably not, at least in your husband’s case. You say he has a history of cheating with multiple partners and you found out for yourself, not because he decided to tell you the truth.
If he has demonstrated a willingness to be more honest with you (there isn’t a lot of evidence in your letter, but maybe you just didn’t have room to include it) and your marriage has improved steadily, you may share your concerns. and fears with him, and let him reassure you and demonstrate his new commitment to your relationship. Trust but verify; if he starts working late or has radio silence for an unusual amount of time, don’t be surprised if it’s because he’s cheating again. –Danny M. Lavery
From: “To help! My Husband’s New Coworker Is His Old Mistress. “(October 31, 2016)
I have been divorced for five years, raised a wonderful girl who is in her fourth year of college, and started dating a wonderful man a year ago. Things were going well for me, my daughter and my relationship with “Tim”. Tim and I were settled in by a mutual friend who is a teacher at the college my daughter attends. My daughter took a class from it last year at my suggestion. While she was in this class, she met and started dating a classmate who decided to take the class because of a suggestion from her father. … Yes, you guessed it! My daughter and I are dating a father and his son. I feel like I’m in a horribly written daytime soap opera. My daughter had met my boyfriend early in our relationship but was only recently invited to meet her boyfriend’s dad, he has been widowed for 10 years. She was in shock when she realized it was the same man, and I still am after finding out. I guess the question is what to do? Continue our relations? I have the impression that the four of us are getting serious and that marriage has also been mentioned between the two couples. Is it considered a major social scandal that your daughter-in-law is your own daughter?
You two couples should have a double marriage and instead of the Wedding March play, “I am my own grandfather”. It would be fun if your daughter and her husband became siblings etc. but it’s not really a scandal. The two couples getting married would certainly solve the dilemma of deciding which in-laws get to see the kids on Thanksgiving and Christmas. The only red flag I see here is that your daughter and son are a bit young to settle down. A lot of people manage to marry their college sweetheart, but I don’t see why they would rush. Early marriage puts people at a higher risk of divorce. If your daughter comes to you for advice on getting married after graduation, separate what you say from your own worry about her boyfriend’s being a stepson. –Emily yoffe
From: “To help! My daughter is dating my boyfriend’s son.“(April 16, 2012)
I’m in my late forties, successful, and pretty attractive. I travel a little inside the country and abroad alone. I do my best to cultivate a distant air, with big headphones on, but that only seems to deter polite guys who can take a hint. I end up getting picked on by men who almost universally lack social decorum, to the point that I’m not interested in talking to them, much less letting them buy me a drink. I’m not tall and I look young so it’s hard to look physically intimidating. It’s very uncomfortable because no matter how polite I am they almost always shoot the attitude when I decline their offer. As most often happens when I travel, sometimes we stay in the same hotel, share an exit row on the plane, or attend the same conference. Sometimes I find myself hiding, checking my hotel room door locks, or not falling asleep on long flights. When I travel close to home I take my German Shepherds with me which helps, but I’m sick of inventing imaginary boyfriends to keep these guys at bay. The two most recent cases actually involved the owners of the small hotels I was staying at – one said it was ‘cool’ with his pregnant partner if he and I had a relationship (so it’s not really. my thing) – and I’m too uncomfortable going back. The other followed me to my cabin on a previous visit. The two places are isolated, without cell coverage.
I want to enjoy my trip and not worry about scary men. How to best manage these situations? I work in technology and I put up with this kind of treatment day in and day out, and I don’t really want to spend my free time dealing with it too. And please don’t think I’m stuck about how I look. It’s not about my appearance. It’s about how empowered these men feel to get the attention of a lonely woman. Running out of a mail order husband or staying home, what’s your advice? Before you think, “Boo-hoo, these aren’t real problems,” think about how it would feel to spend your hard-earned cash on a vacation where you would feel pressured into hiding behind guard dogs or a locked door. –DL
From: “To help! I love to travel, but I hate getting hit by constant jerks. “(July 6, 2017)
My husband and his first wife named their son Adam. Their Adam is 25 years old and lives across the country back home. Now we have a son, and Adam is my late father’s name and my grandfather’s name. I have always wanted to give my son the name of my father. My husband says I can’t do this because of his firstborn son, and he can’t have two sons named Adam. But above all, because it would upset his ex-wife. I don’t think I should give up giving my son my father’s name because of this. We rarely see his oldest son, so I don’t see what the problem is. My husband chose our daughter’s name and it meant a lot to him. It means a lot to me. His son said he was going to be fine, but his ex is furious at the idea.
More than three other sons, all named Adam– and your husband could equal George Foreman’s record for having sons who all share the same name. I hear from many people who think other family members have “stolen” a name they wanted for their child. But although it doesn’t matter if the cousins have the same name, it is weird to give several of your own children the same name. Your husband already has a son named Adam. The older Adam may feel so out of touch (or is so laid back) that he says he doesn’t care about having a younger brother also named Adam. But your husband says he doesn’t want to give his two sons the same name. I agree that the ex-wife’s wishes are completely irrelevant, but maybe your husband is trying to hurt her. You can honor your own last name by making Adam your son’s middle name. You can even reverse your father’s first and middle name for your own son. I know Adam was the first man, but there have been many since them and you have to choose another name because in your family Adam is taken. –EY
From: “To help! Why can’t I give my son the same name as my husband’s other son? We hardly see it.»(August 13, 2021)
More from Dear Prudence
My husband and I have been married for eight years. We have never been really happy, and we have been in consultation several times. I want a divorce and am working to get everything in order financially so that I can leave. We don’t have children, so that’s not a problem. The problem is, I’m not yet financially ready to go, and our anniversary is approaching. My husband thinks we should get tattoos to prove our commitment to each other. Obviously, I don’t want to do this. But how do you say no without telling him that I plan to leave him in about six months?