Ask Demetria: My Cheating Husband Wants Us To Keep Up Appearances
I am beyond blown. My husband decides to let me know last night that he has been having a two-year affair with a co-worker. I am in a daze right now. He is also begging me to still go to Thanksgiving dinner with his family because his mom has been dealing with major health issues and this would be too much for her. I adore his mother and she is honestly dealing with some major health issues, but I just think he is trying to “save face.” I just want to hide under my comforter and cry. What do you think? —Anonymous
Before I say anything else, I am sorry. I am sorry this happened to you. I’m sorry you got blindsided with this right before the holidays. I am sorry your husband is a sorry man.
But hold up. Your husband just did the emotional equivalent of kicking you in the chest and has you walking around “in a daze,” and you’re trying to be a good wife, concerned about him and his mama? Who is worried about you, boo? I’m asking: You OK, sis?
I’m appalled that your husband would spring this on you the week of Thanksgiving. And I wonder why now, since he hadn’t said anything all this time. What’s the catalyst for this horrific timing? Not that there’s ever really a “right” time to drop this information on a spouse, but doing it right before he wants you to show up and play nice for his family certainly isn’t it.
Why didn’t he wait until after Thanksgiving? Or after the holidays altogether? Or, since he’s so worried about how this news will affect his very sick mother, who sounds as if she might go any day, until after she passes?
I’m going to guess that someone found out about his affair and gave him a “you tell your wife or I will” ultimatum. What I know is, he didn’t confess out of guilt. Because any man with half a brain—or at least one who wants to make his marriage work—knows that if his wife finds out he’s cheating, he’s supposed to fall on his sword. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry … ” is all he’s supposed to say, not, “Yeah, so I know I just destroyed our marriage, but could you pull yourself together for my mom’s sake?” You’re his wife and all you want to do is cry. His concern isn’t about what he’s done to you but what your absence at Thanksgiving will do to his mama. Like I said: sorry.
Let’s be clear: Your missing dinner isn’t going to send his mama to the great beyond. But perhaps finding out that part of her legacy is having a sorry man for a son could. That, however, is between that man and his mama. The effect and appearance of him showing up to Thanksgiving sans wife was something he should have thought about while he was carrying on with his co-worker and, later on, when he was telling you about it. If he was so concerned about what his mother thought, perhaps he should have invested more energy in living in a way that would make her—and his wife—proud.
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