*This article is a work of nonfiction based on actual events recounted to me by a friend who witnessed them firsthand; used with permission
Giving up on your relationship in a marriage can lead to losing trust and doubts between spouses that are very difficult to resolve.
But what do you do when your partner already left but after a while, they start texting you again and point out they miss you and particularly your cooking?
Would you see that as a compliment and a chance to get back to a happy relationship, or just think your spouse is trying to get along with you since they got disappointed with other options?
My friend Siena, who lives in Dallas, Texas, has been married to her husband, Alex, for five years. They don't have kids together since they both wanted to have successful careers and focused on that. Unfortunately, before they got a chance to think more about their relationship for the long term and plan when they wanted to become parents, the trust they had was gone.
Siena found out Alex was seeing one of his coworkers, who had also been his girlfriend in high school.
"I thought he was over that, but as soon as they began working in the same place, they wanted to be together. They didn't bother to avoid getting seen, either. My mom and a few of my friends told me they saw them having lunch and dinner in several places, and they also noticed my husband was giving her presents," Siena said.
She felt like Alex was behaving in an offensive way, considering their commitment to each other. What's more, her salary was a lot higher than his, so in the end, he was actually paying for those presents from her earnings.
"I asked him if he was ready to focus only on what we had together. But he told me our marriage wasn't nearly exciting enough for him and that he'd missed her a lot. So, I decided to let him make his own choices," Siena said.
Alex chose to pursue that other relationship, and he separated from his wife. He lived with a friend while dating the other woman but didn't ask for a divorce.
"I was confused by it all. If he didn't want our relationship to go on, why not end it? However, every time I called or texted to ask him to meet and do that, he found an excuse and asked me for more time to think about it," Siena said.
She also talked to the friend he's living with, and he let her know Alex's other relationship isn't going well at all and that there's an argument almost every day. On the other hand, during the last two weeks, something else has changed.
Alex connected to his wife on social media and began sending her messages daily. He reminded her about the good times in their relationship, told her she looked great, and added that maybe what they had wasn't completely over.
From there to texting, it only took a few days, and now they're messaging back and forth. What makes Siena uncomfortable in all of this is Alex won't clearly admit he left the other woman and that he constantly compliments her cooking as the thing he misses a lot about her.
"He left me, then began texting and saying he misses my dinners. I mean, I know I can cook tasty dishes, but I wanted to know he was in love with me. I'm not a cook or a maid. And if he misses having a tidy home and a good dinner, he did all that himself. I just let him leave and do what he wanted," Siena said.
She's not sure if Alex can commit to their marriage again or if it's worth giving him a chance to show he can do that. Siena doesn't want to be disappointed again, and yesterday, she met the other woman who told her Alex isn't worth their time at all.
"Maybe she's right. I mean, he couldn't get along with her even if he was willing to let me go to go back to her. And now he says he misses my dinners instead of me. Maybe he just wants a comfortable home with no responsibilities at all?" Siena said.
She talked about it with her friends, and they advised her to be very careful. They don't think she should give Alex another chance unless she's convinced he only cares about her and their marriage.
What do you think about this situation? Should Siena give her husband another chance just because he made an effort to talk to her on social media and texts about her cooking? Is it better for Siena to end this relationship permanently and find someone else who can make her happy without making her question their love?