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The Star / Asia News Network
July 1, 2018
"Dear Thelma" is a relationship advice column that appears in The Star, a publication that is part of the Asia News Network.
My wife cheated on me 10 years ago with her coworker, Mr M, from Nepal. I found out from their phone messages and I confronted her regarding this matter. I told her to send her coworker back to Nepal for good but she told me that she would resent me for the rest of her life.
I have three children, so in order to keep our family together I decided to accept my wife's demands and make peace with everyone including Mr M. He still comes around to the house sometimes, although I hate it, I don't show my anger as my kids are around and they shouldn't know about this matter.
Now I have a crush on a woman and I love her very much. I have gone out with her several times and we have a good time. If the relationship with her moves to the next level, I am planning to leave my wife. I am just waiting for my kids to go to college and then I will tell them what is happening.
I need your advice on whether this is the right thing to do. Although I have made peace with everyone, the feeling of hate and anger haunts me from time to time. Sometimes, it keeps me up late at night and I can't sleep at all. Please advise. — Crushed
Your wife cheats on you and doesn't even pretend to be sorry or change her ways. That's simply dreadful. I'm so happy you have found a lady whom you have a crush on, because you deserve to be treated with love and respect.
As for the rest of your plans, I'm not certain that they're that hot.
First, you want to wait until your children go to college. There is a perception that once the kids leave high school, that they're adult. That's not really true.
Generally speaking, the adjustment to college is huge, and many children find it very, very hard in the first year. After that, they have lots of exams, which a massive change back home will affect.
You don't say how old your children are, but are you really willing to wait until the youngest has a degree before you break free from this unhappy marriage?
Also, I'm not convinced your kids don't know about your troubles. In my experience, children know very well when something is wrong. They can certainly spot a loveless relationship! But often they see and keep quiet, because they don't want to rock the boat.
Children who grow up in unhappy homes are more likely to have relationship problems when they grow up. In your family situation, they may come to believe that staying in a bad relationship is proper.
Look, few people are totally happy about seeking divorce or separation, however, in your circumstances, it seems only fair that you be free to seek your own happiness. At the very least, it will show your kids that relationships don't always work out but that you need not suffer them indefinitely.
As for your crush, I strongly suggest you live alone for at least two years. You've been in a marriage for at least a decade, and a lousy one at that, so you need time to heal and to find yourself again.
If you rush from one relationship into another, without restoring your foundations, you may very well be jumping from the frying pan into the fire. So take your time, and learn to be happy before you commit again.
Good luck, and I'll be thinking of you.