Direct Answers - Column for the week of February 23, 2004
I feel rather foolish writing this letter, but I need help. I am a 67-year-old man living on social security. My wife and I divorced, but I never lost my love for her. One day we ran into each other and realized the magic is still there.
I did not hesitate to go back to her. She told me, however, she was dating a widowed doctor, and because she is unable to find employment, he is giving her a $500 weekly allowance. They see each other every Saturday evening. He takes her out to dinner, then they return to his home.
They have a sexual relationship, though she doesn't love him. She feels compelled to sleep with him because of the help he gives her. I asked if she loved me. She said without question she still did. I've been back four months now, and I want her to find employment and break off this relationship.
She's tried to get employment but failed. I asked, if nothing else, please give me some idea when you will end this affair. She said she couldn't do that. I asked how she could love me and do what she is doing. She couldn't reply.
As I write this on Saturday evening, she is out with him for dinner and the sexual romp which follows.
Wyatt, your ex-wife has found a way of blending the world's two oldest professions, medicine and prostitution. This "affair" is her employment, and you have no power here. You can't give her a job, you are not supporting her, and you are not her husband. In addition, your emotional support may make it easier for her to do what she does.
Now that you live together, you are benefiting from what she does. Perhaps circumstances led her into this. Perhaps time will change it. But the only power you have is to accept or not accept the situation. The second definition of her act is "devoting one's talents to an unworthy use." Until she believes that, things will continue as they are.
Wayne & Tamara
A Matter Of Degree
I'm a stay-at-home
dad, married with two children. Although things haven't always been great in our marriage, we've worked through them and been mostly happy. Recently a friend introduced me to online chatting. Over the past few months I've chatted with several people, male and female, and had personal chats with a few women in a flirting way.
The women don't live anywhere near, and there was never a chance of this going further. I view my actions as harmless fantasy. My wife recently found out, and she feels I have been unfaithful. She is considering leaving me. The children are the only reason she hasn't.
I agree it was wrong not to have told her, but I consider it harmless fun for my own enjoyment and think of it as my little white lie. I don't agree I have been unfaithful. She says we have different lines of what constitutes decency, and I have clearly crossed over hers. She is well-educated, a Christian, and a physician by trade.
Henry, your wife is hurt. Chatting with other women makes her feel less of a woman. She feels you are being intimate with these other women. As a medical person, she knows symptoms not dealt with only get worse.
Pictures in a magazine are a fantasy, but it is not fantasy when you interact with real people. Calling what you did a white lie indicates you know it was wrong.
You need to find something else to occupy your mind. We suggest using your computer to start a home-based business. You've been out of the workforce for awhile and that may make it hard to find a job. Once your wife feels a nanny would cause her fewer problems, you may need a way to support yourself.
Wayne & Tamara
About the Author
Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at www.WayneAndTamara.com.
Send letters to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801 or email: DirectAnswers@WayneAndTamara.com.