Q. I need some serious help because I’m not sure if I should stay in my marriage. I love my husband but got married pretty young (at 26). Dating and the engagement were fine, although I had doubts at times, and even let a few comments slip when I was drunk. I was excited to be married, though. We’ve now been married for five years and together for eight.
A few years after marrying, I made friends with a friend of my husband’s. I thought it was just a passing attraction. There were some inappropriate texts, comments, a kiss, and some light cuddling. I broke it off and was kind of glad.
Then my husband and I had a baby, and things seemed to settle. But I met another man, this time a colleague. He was amazing — and I crossed the line into sex. The affair lasted for a while. I never told my husband.
I still love my husband; he means so much to my friends and family. I want to make it work for my child. I also want another baby.
I’m generally happy — or feel like I should be. He’s nice to me, and he’s a good dad. But I feel like I’ve always had doubts, usually expressed (not to him) when I drink. What should I do?
— Feeling Terrible
A. You’re not in an open relationship, which means you shouldn’t be dating or cuddling with others.
My recommendation for you is therapy, because you’ve been too good at compartmentalizing these experiences. You need to address them in a productive way with the help of a professional.
Once you get to therapy, talk about your experiences with other men, and how your relationship with your husband might work if you were no longer married. Do you ever fantasize about life if you were friends and co-parents instead of spouses?
Also, what if you knew your family would support you in walking away? Your loved ones should want what’s best for all of you. If they love your husband as much as you say they do, they might understand it’s best for him to be with a partner who can commit.
I know you want another baby, but you shouldn’t be considering that right now. You’re not going to get everything you want, whenever you want it. That’s the real lesson here.
He means so much to your friends and family? What about to you? MMNNEE
You like the idea of being married but are continually looking for excitement outside of your marriage. That is completely unfair to your husband and child. GEMINI58
You crafted your letter to make yourself come across as a victim of circumstance, but you are not. You chose to get married. You chose to cheat. You chose to cheat some more. You are 31. Please take responsibility for your actions. WINRYROCKBELL
1. Stop drinking. 2. Tell your husband you are cheating on him. 3. See where that takes you. THEGURUColumn and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters. Send letters to email@example.com.