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Ask Mom & Spawn: My Ex Husband Cheated, and Now I’m Sleeping with a Married Man

“What’s wrong with me? Seriously!” wrote in because she’s in a happy place after her she left her ex husband, who had been cheating on her. But now, he and her kids want them to get back to gather … and she is currently sleeping with a married man. What should she do?

“I don’t know whether it’s the forbidden ‘can’t have it so I want it more’ that’s making me pursue this, but while playing with fire is fun now, I know it will eventually blow up in my face. About a year ago, my husband of 9 years and I separated (he cheated – with 6 women over the course of 2 years). He went 3 months without seeing our kids and I guess finally figured out they’re the best part of his life? Anyway we have been working together since then to figure out coparenting and how to be friends (attend hockey and soccer games together, school conferences etc.) it had been working well until a month ago when he asked me to go to counselling with him to mend our relationship and work on our future (no thank you). But do my kids deserve to be raised in a traditional home with both parents? If I say no will he cut them out again to get back at me? The kids beg us to get together and do family things and talk about how it used to be when we lived together.The whole time we have been separated I have flourished. I got promoted at work, I have lost weight and fit in my skinny jeans, I’m happy. And now here’s the juicy stuff, while on a business trip last week my boss’s boss and I who have always been closer than most usually are – well…let’s just say at a 3 night conference in a different city – he was in his room for a total of 3 hours. It was wonderful and amazing and the connection we talked until 4am. It was easy and more relaxing and fun than I’ve had in a long time. But, he’s married.I just became everything I hate about my ex, to his wife (who doesn’t know). I was not the first one, he admitted. He has already planned the next 3 day trip away in 3 weeks for us. Can’t really say no without drawing questions. I feel like I was doing so well in my life and on my own, and now what. Do I sacrifice myself and go back to my ex and raise our kids and always wonder if he’s out there again. Do I have to tell him I have feelings for someone else?I don’t expect anything to happen with the coworker, not even remotely, but for now it makes me happy to talk to him. For being so wrong, it feels so right. Is it because I don’t want to deal with my reality that I find this affair so fun?” – What’s wrong with me! Seriously.

@KateFriedmanSiegel: Nothing is wrong with you! But I will say, wow that’s a lot!

@CrazyJewishMom: You’ve got the bad boy syndrome! It’s time for you to sound the FUCKBOY ALARM and start dating better men. Forget the both of them, get your skinny jeans on, and find someone who is capable of keeping his hungry caterpillar in one garden!

@KateFriedmanSiegel: Did you just manage to make The Very Hungry Caterpillar sexual? Was that what that was?

@CrazyJewishMom: Yes! It works!

@KateFriedmanSiegel: Childhood ruined. Okay, so to your situation, I’m worried that you’re conflating two completely different issues, and I think you need to separate them out and deal with them independently. Situation one: your ex husband. Situation two: your relationship with your boss. Frankly, I think both are precarious. First, I’m sorry about what your ex husband did.

@CrazyJewishMom: I hope you burned his life to the ground.

@KateFriedmanSiegel: Okay, no. But I think it’s amazing that you’ve gotten to a place where you’re feeling independently happy and co-parenting in a healthy, respectful way. I can’t imagine how difficult that must have been after such a horrible betrayal. You’ve created something very valuable there, and trying to rekindle things could put that at risk. That said, what do you want? Do you love him? If so, has he done enough to earn back your trust after sneaking away from his family to put his penis inside six different women? (If it were me, he’d need to do a LOT.) And while it might be amazing to be a cohesive family for your kids, if getting back together means you will be in miserable and unhappy marriage, that’s not a great dynamic for them to be around. Having said all of that, I always think therapy is a great idea, so you could try going to therapy with him and make it clear that you want to go to discuss co-parenting. Also, individual therapy is a wonderful way to work through your feelings. I know I always rant about this, but it’s awful that seeking mental health care is stigmatized in any way!

@CrazyJewishMom: We love therapy!

@KateFriedmanSiegel: We absolutely do! Now, to the second situation…

@CrazyJewishMom: Let me take this one. As the brilliant Joe Papp once told me, “don’t get your meat where you get your bread and butter.”

@KateFriedmanSiegel: Yeah, I tend to agree. I get that it feels forbidden and sexy, and it’s good that you’re being realistic about it not being a long term thing, but there is just such a massive downside to sleeping with your boss.

@CrazyJewishMom: : Yeah, he’s already scheduling another romantic work retreat that you can’t say no to? It’s not a good power dynamic. Trust me, this never ends well. And he’s married! Cut that off before it gets messy and really screws up your career.

@KateFriedmanSiegel: And go to individual therapy. In no way is it your fault that your ex cheated on you, but as women we sometimes learn super unhealthy relationship habits. A therapist can help you work through all of this, and if you don’t ultimately end up with either of them, they can help you identify red flags and toxic patterns to avoid in the future.

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