DEAR ABBY: I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 30 years. Recently, she shared details of two infidelities that she had with other men.
The first was with an individual on the staff of our church who held himself out to be my friend. My wife says it was an unprovoked attack, where he forced himself upon her. But when I asked why she didn't resist or fight him off, she said she didn't know and that maybe, deep down, she wanted it to happen. The second was someone she met at a bar and had developed a relationship with. When I was away on business trips, she stayed with him overnight on four occasions.
She tells me these things happened more than 20 years ago and she's been faithful since, but to put it bluntly, I am devastated and unconvinced that that's the entire story. I believed my wife to be faithful during our marriage.
I guess I was naive because, over the years, she was jealous and accused me of something nefarious if I even looked at a woman, although I never strayed. Now I'm doubting everything. Did we live a fictional life? Were we ever truly happy? How can I believe that she's been faithful since?
The fact of the matter is I don't believe her. I still love her, but every time I look at her, I think about what she told me, and I'm having a hard time coping with this information. I don't think I will ever get over this. What should I do? -- DOESN'T BELIEVE HER IN FLORIDA
DEAR DOESN'T BELIEVE: I can feel your pain, and for that, you have my sympathy. You may need the help of a marriage and family counselor to figure out the answers to the questions you are asking yourself. Once you have started on that path, ask your wife to join you. Solid marriages are built on trust. Only if that can be reestablished will your marriage be healed.