DEAR ABBY: I have been married 19 years to a beautiful, accomplished woman. We have two wonderful children. I fooled around throughout my marriage because I could. I justified it by telling myself the women knew what they were doing, and I never made any false promises about leaving my wife. She suspected a couple of times, but always gave me the benefit of the doubt.
My last affair ended publicly with every gory detail exposed. My family, work, reputation -- everything that mattered to me -- have been destroyed. I can't talk about any of it to a therapist because I am so ashamed. Friends, family and co-workers now shun me. I have hit rock bottom.
If you have a hopeful solution, please share it. Otherwise, please print this as a warning to other men like me that when they hit bottom -- as will surely happen -- there's nowhere to turn. I want to end my life. -- SHATTERED IN LOUISIANA
DEAR SHATTERED: I understand this experience has been painful for all concerned, but stop focusing only about yourself and your pain. Suicide may seem like a solution to your problems, but your children need you alive and functional -- and their needs must take precedence.
Find a therapist -- someone you can relate to, and feel safe enough with to discuss everything that has happened from the beginning.
There is life after divorce. And, as many celebrities can attest, there is also life after public embarrassment and career setbacks. So straighten your backbone and keep marching forward. While it may not seem like it right now, there are better days ahead.