Dear Annie: Abuse and another man

Dear Annie: I’m a mom and have been married for nearly six years. But for the past few years, my husband and I have not been on the same path.

We can’t communicate without fighting, bickering, arguing, etc. Our sex life has been nonexistent. And I have tried talking and suggesting that we do more things together.

I have even tried losing weight because I thought maybe the problem was that I was no longer attractive. I tried everything that I could think of. And some days, I just lay in a different room, balled up and crying.

About a year ago, I started a new job and met a man with whom I clicked almost instantly. Eventually, this co-worker gave me his number and asked if I wanted to go fishing sometime.

That night, I told my husband that another man had offered me his phone number and wanted to take me fishing. I hoped he would see that he needed to step up to the plate before something happened. Instead, he flipped out and started accusing me of trying to control him.

He started throwing things around the house — something he does a lot when things don’t go his way, often leaving me with bruises and/or him with bruises due to my trying to defend myself. His tantrum that night was the final straw. I decided to take my new colleague up on the fishing trip.

We became close friends but never did anything physical. Then, one day, I found out my husband had been exchanging racy messages with women online. That’s when I decided to go ahead and give my body to this new friend. It was nice. It made me feel like a woman again, not like a jacket that’s sitting in the closet waiting to be worn.

We continued seeing each other and sleeping together for a few months. But last month, after a night out with him, I confessed everything to my husband.

He was upset, of course, but in due time he came around and said he wanted to work things out. Well, that was three months ago, and my husband and I still haven’t been intimate.

I see no signs of things changing between us. In fact, they’ve gotten more distant, and I’ve noticed he now uses a lock code on his phone and computer.

My lover, meanwhile, is waiting in the wings for me to make my decision. — Between a Rock and Hard Place

Dear Between: More than anything, I’m concerned about your husband’s physical aggression. No matter your differences, it is unacceptable for him to hurt you or even knowingly endanger you as he does when he hurls things around the house in a rage.

But rather than further engage him right now, I encourage you to reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for guidance in planning your next steps.

“How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?” is out now. Annie Lane’s second anthology — featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation — is available as a paperback and e-book. Go to http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.


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