May 3, 2013 in Features

Get an attorney if he keeps her as a friend

Washington Post
 

Dear Carolyn: My husband and I are newlyweds. He had a long-term relationship with a woman who turned out to be married. When they first started dating, she lied to him about her marital status. He eventually found out but, by that point, had developed strong feelings for her and did not end their relationship.

They have remained in constant contact over an 11-year period, with occasional weekends together (she lives in another state). She always stayed with the husband, claiming she was “staying for the children” – who, by the way, are adults!

Since she learned of our engagement and marriage, she is tearfully telling my husband about how she “almost” left her family for him, that she thinks I have him “whipped,” and that he “doesn’t even sound like himself anymore.”

I really resent this woman’s intrusion into our lives and have clearly communicated this to my husband. He has yet to respond.

I believe he is going to say that he wants to remain friends with her. How should I handle this? – Why Do I Feel Like the Bad Guy?

You handle it with an attorney.

This isn’t advice I relish giving; I prefer to lay out options and let the couple sort it out. To complete the disclosure, I’ll even throw in that I believe in letting adults, married or not, choose their own friends.

However, if it’s marriage to someone who takes marriage lightly? I won’t shake my pro-marriage pompoms for that. If he pushes to stay friends with a married affair partner who lied to him, whom he might still love and who is actively trying to undermine your marriage, then that’s hardly marriage. That’s his cake, had and eaten, too. Surely you didn’t sign up to be that.

Email Carolyn at tellme@washpost.com, follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ carolyn.hax or chat with her online at 9 a.m.each Friday at www.washingtonpost.com.


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