DEAR ABBY: I need to know if I should forgive my husband, "Kurt," or move on and start over.
I had been married 26 years when Kurt called me one day at work to say he no longer knew how he felt about me. I was speechless. At first, I thought he was joking, but it went from bad to worse, and he asked for a divorce. He became verbally and emotionally abusive after that and moved out for a while. Then we reconciled. Everything was OK until a well-meaning friend called and told me Kurt had been involved with the office slut for more than a year.
When I confronted him, he lied, he cried, and then he spilled his guts.
I get sick thinking of the way Kurt treated me. He abandoned me for her like I was a weekend fling. He took money from us to support her, because she was "all alone and needed someone to help her out" -- all the while telling me that at age 44, I needed to learn to take care of myself! (I am a college graduate with a full-time job.)
My feelings for my husband have changed since I learned the truth. Had I known about the affair, I don't think I would have reconciled with him. What I thought was a midlife crisis turned out to be a true betrayal -- but where do I go from here? Since Kurt has returned home, I have been the "queen" in his life. He is truly a different person. He says he's sorry; however, I'm not sure if he's sorry he cheated or sorry he got caught. What do you think? -- FURIOUS IN OHIO
DEAR FURIOUS: I think he's sorry for the mess he made of things and for hurting you. Let's not forget, if he didn't care for you, he could have ended the marriage. You and your husband must talk this out until it is laid to rest, and the place to do it is in the presence of a marriage counselor. I know you're hurt, but make no decisions based on anger and bitterness. Other couples have survived infidelity -- and so can you, if that's what you both want. The choice is yours.