"He forgave me but wants a divorce; what do I do with my son?" wife on affair

Amy Christie

*This article is a work of nonfiction based on actual events recounted to me by a friend who witnessed them firsthand; used with permission

Ending a marriage after finding out your spouse didn't value your trust usually happens when the affair lasts more than a few weeks, but in some cases, just once is enough to end the relationship.

What's the limit for trusting a spouse, and how far do they have to go for you to say you've had enough and can't give them a second chance? Is forgiving them the same thing as continuing the relationship, or is it just a way to move on without feeling upset?

My friend Samuel has been married to his wife Diane for three years. They have one son together, and they both keep their jobs to be able to buy a home and keep up with the monthly payments for it.

"I did want to be a stay-at-home mom for a while, but then I changed my mind. We would have been so stressed without my salary, and it just wasn't worth it. My mom and my mother-in-law were both retired, and they offered to help me with the baby. So it wasn't like we had to pay a babysitter to come over. I felt better knowing my son would be well looked after," Diane said.

They worked hard during the following year and often did overtime too, and when they celebrated their second anniversary, they could also move into their new home in Phoenix, Arizona.

"That made all the efforts worth it. Spending so much time away from home and sometimes coming back so tired I just wanted to sleep," Diane recalls.

Despite feeling happy about being able to afford the mortgage payments and living in a comfortable home, the long work hours changed Diane and Samuel's relationship.

They weren't so connected to each other anymore and got used to doing things on their own or dealing with coworkers and other friends more often than with each other.

"Working nine or ten hours a day changed how we behaved a little bit. It was like he treated me more like a friend than his wife, and he didn't seem to be so in love with me anymore. When I asked Samuel about it, he said he was just tired and that we could date again or plan short trips just for the two of us. But that didn't seem to happen as we both wanted to be promoted and to take on even more difficult projects," Diane said.

And while she was busy making sure her team always got the best results, Diane met John. He was a new member of her team, and he needed guidance to be on track with the requirements and new rules.

"We often spent extra time together after the schedule ended, so I could explain anything he didn't understand. He was dedicated and very curious about everything. I liked that a lot, and giving me compliments was also something he did very well," Diane said.

They went out for coffee a few times, and they had lunch together most weekdays, usually by themselves, without any other colleagues.

"I felt we were close and could be good friends. He told me about his wife and three kids and how much he needed to earn enough to look after them. I knew what that meant after my husband and I struggled to buy our house, so I was more than willing to support him," Diane said.

As time went by, they started texting each other when they weren't working, and John called her a few times during the weekend.

After two months passed like this, he asked her to go out. They had dinner on an evening when her husband had to work late.

"It was fun, and the pressure I'd been feeling in the past two years was gone. I could be myself with him, not just a responsible mom who couldn't make any mistakes. It wasn't like ending my relationship with my husband; I just needed something new," Diane said.

One thing led to another, and she and Jack eventually dated constantly; she stayed over at his place when his wife and kids were visiting relatives, and her husband thought she was helping out a friend going through a divorce.

They found excuses to meet for several nights until one day when Samuel checked his wife's expenses. He found dinner paid for at restaurants he didn't remember going to with her, and the amount was always for two people.

He also got a call from his aunt saying she'd seen Diane shopping with another man.

"He asked me what it was all about, and I had no choice but to admit everything. What would be the use in saying it didn't happen? It was just a few months," Diane said.

Samuel was very upset to learn what had been taking place behind his back, and he wasn't sure he could forgive his wife. Diane promised she wouldn't date John anymore, but she kept missing him even if she didn't say anything about it.

"It's not about how long it lasted. It's because it happened. That's like our work, and the goals and family I thought we were working for don't mean anything to her. I don't think I can look past that," Samuel said.

He avoided talking to his wife for about a week, and after that, he asked her to have a talk about their relationship. He had forgiven what she'd done but didn't want to stay married anymore, not even for their son.

"He forgave me but wants a divorce; what do I do with my son? I don't want to be a single mom, and I couldn't afford to pay for everything from my own salary. I only wanted kids if I was married to someone, and my mistake wasn't that serious. He's overreacting," Diane said.

So far, Samuel hasn't given any indication he wants to change his mind, so the divorce is going ahead. Diane is sure he will go back to her once he understands he will have to look after their son because she won't take that responsibility.

"He will need me. Moms are essential for kids, and he will remember he still loves me, too," Diane said.

What do you think about this situation? Is Diane being fair in expecting her husband to just move on after he found out about her affair? Should Samuel give her another chance, if only for their son and to keep their family together?

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX

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