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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Dear Annie: Should I stay in loveless marriage for my kids?

By Annie Lane Creators Syndicate

Dear Annie: I never thought I would send one of these letters. I have been married for almost 20 years. Last September, my wife asked for a divorce after what was a rough year, one that was much rougher than I even thought. A week later, I found out she had been having a long affair with my son’s Boy Scout leader while I was working 16-hour days trying to provide for our family.

My request for her to leave was answered with a “NO, I am not leaving.” After six months of counseling, I realized that she had promised us having a third kid over the last decade (we have two) by setting up a series of “If you want another baby, I need this,” which included stable careers, an au pair, a new home – and one we couldn’t really afford. This has now been followed by her saying she will not have any more children and never planned to. She said she said those things to get what she wanted. I feel that was worse than the year-long affair she had with another married man.

After months of counseling, I can’t help but have this weird feeling that the relationship is great as life partners and as parents. We do look after each other. But I feel if not for the kids and the intertwined finances, we would both walk away.

If the kids are my priority and we’re amicable, am I being selfish wanting more? – Lost in Transition

Dear Lost: The betrayal you experienced, both in the affair and the broken promises, is deeply painful. Your wife’s actions and deceit are understandably hurtful and have shaken your trust.

You’ve invested a lot in counseling, and it’s clear you both have a strong partnership as co-parents. However, if you feel your relationship is only sustained by shared responsibilities and finances, it’s crucial to reevaluate things. Wanting more from your relationship is not selfish. It’s important that you feel happy and fulfilled.

Discuss these feelings openly with your wife and seek further counseling to explore whether you can rebuild a deeper connection or if it’s time to move on. (At this point, more likely than not it will be the latter.) Ultimately, a healthy, honest environment benefits both you and your children.

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