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Ask Eleanor
Ask Eleanor, Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1517
Experience:  Marriage & Family Therapist with 20 Years Experience
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Hello. I am feeling very low about my marriage at the moment

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Hello. I am feeling very low about my marriage at the moment and....nowhere to turn,I wonder if you could give me some solid advice.
I am over 70 and my wife of 15 years is 51. We have one beautiful daughter aged 13.
Some 4 months ago I sensed that there was something wrong with our relationship. Loss of affection toward me,coming home late,not wanting to do things with me the usual signs. !!
I challenged her and said .."You are having an affaire aren't you!"..To her credit she admitted it. Though I suspected it this came as a shatterring blow to me. She has no remorse in doing this and says she needs this other relationship in her life..but that she also still loves me!! How can she if she is prepared to cause this hurt>? Her "boy friend" is 33!!She wants to have our marriage and carry on with her lover.I find this very difficult to take and said
whilst I was prepared to let her accept him as a friend...the sexual context has to stop. She is now very withdrawn with me now and fractious no real communication. A lightly disguised though I am not here. Very hurtful.
I am hanging in just now. Partly for our daughter who is very sensitive and ,I suppose because I still love her in
a way ,in spite of all this.
We have both been to separate people:she would not go with me.
I am just an ordinary bloke,no drink,drugs or aggression. She says I have been "controlling". This is too over the top I think. I may have been inattentive to her at times but I really thought that our marriage was "solid".
What is the best corse of action due you think for me now.? To get out of the retionship,give her an ultimatum/deadline? Or carry on in the hope that his will blow over . I also hasten to add that this "lover" says that he does not want a committed relationship with her and that he wants us to stay together as a unit!!He also has another girlfriend!!What a pratt!!
I am trying to be as normal as possible,even showing a little affectiion and jollity from time to time...but I admit this comes at a bit of a cost to me. I'm trying not to go down the accusing/aggressive road.
Please what do you think? Can you gives me any leads as to the best was of progessing in this horrible situation.

Hello, am a Marriage and Family Therapist and have been working with couples where there has been an affair for 20 years; I am very sorry to hear that you are in the midst of such a difficult situation in your marriage. It will help me give you my best answer if I have a bit more information. How long have you and your wife been married? Have you had any other difficulties in your marriage? Have you had a healthy sex life through the years? I am in the US and not familiar with Relate; please describe your experience there. Thanks, Eleanor

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Some answers you wanted following my last communication.
Married?.....15 years. This was in my letter anyway!!
Sexual reltionship with wife. Fairly good. But not frequent.
Yes went to relate. Ther are ver good at asking questions. But don't help with answers and guidance!!

Good to hear back from you. Sorry, you did say in your question that you have been married for 15 years. I certainly understand your impatience as this is an extremely stressful situation for you, so I will proceed with my answer based upon the information you have provided. You cannot work on a marriage alone. Unless you wife will commit to couples therapy with you, there is little hope that your relationship will survive this trauma. In addition to couples therapy, she must agree to not see this other man again. The "unit" that he is proposing is absolutely ridiculous! Staying in the marriage the way things are now and hoping they will improve is unwise and emotionally damaging to you. I will add that while a separation and/or divorce would certainly be difficult for your 13 year old daughter, it would be far more emotionally traumatic for her to learn that you are allowing your self to be emotionally abused by your wife and this "man" by allowing the "unit." I would tell your wife that either she agrees to couples therapy with you, or you will separate and file for divorce. Of course, the decision is yours to make. I hope this is helpful. Chat back if you need anything further. If you are satisfied with my answer, please rate me positively and click on submit. Thank you and take care, Eleanor
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