March 31, 2011 at 3:36 pm , by Jennifer Castoro
Affairs are clear no-nos. Sleep with a person other than your spouse and you are pretty indisputably in the wrong. But what about unconsummated relationships? Does an affair of the heart equal an affair of the flesh? Or, in plain terms, if you fall for someone else but you never get it on, are you still a cheater?
This week’s Can This Marriage couple, Larry and Liz, are dealing with that very issue. Larry, a partner in his family’s contracting business, has been married to Liz, a stay-at-home mom of three boys, for 10 years. He chose their anniversary dinner as the venue to tell his blindsided wife about his emotional affair.
Liz’s turn She should have seen this coming. Larry’s been spending all his time at the office or the gym, getting fit for his new love, and they haven’t had sex in ages. Liz gained significant weight with each pregnancy, so she’s not surprised her husband isn’t attracted to her anymore, but it’s not as if he couldn’t have guessed she’d put on some pounds: They met at a Weight Watchers meeting. In the early years of their dating, they worked out together and kept each other in check. Now, Larry works out with the other woman – a receptionist at his office who’s fitter and younger than Liz. Larry tried to sleep with the coworker, but she turned him down, saying she didn’t think of him that way. What hurts Liz the most is that Larry seems to think it’s okay since he didn’t physically cheat. Read more
January 27, 2011 at 3:09 pm , by Jennifer Castoro
By this point in time, pretty much everyone on the planet – and their mother, neighbor and dog – has a Facebook account. That may be an overstatement, but with over 500 million active users, the tally isn’t too far off. And while it’s a great place to reconnect with old friends, share photos and updates and generally keep up-to-date with the people in your life, it’s also an easy place to get into trouble. And not just the computer-hacking, home-robbery-when-you’re-on-vacation type of trouble, either. In the Can This Marriage Be Saved? column from our February issue, one husband used the social network to get back in touch with an old flame and start up a new affair.
Sue, a 40-year-old working mom of twin teenage girls, is married to Carl, also 40, who travels frequently for business. As Sue found out, he ended up traveling for more than just work.
Sue’s side She’s totally blindsided by her husband’s affair. The other woman, Jill, is Carl’s high school girlfriend who dumped him not long before Sue and Carl went on their first date. When they met, Sue was wary of getting involved because he seemed hung up on Jill, but by their second date he seemed to have forgotten about her and they fell in love quickly. Now they bicker constantly because Carl seems to think that despite her full-time job she doesn’t need help around the house, and they also don’t have anything more than surface conversations – and definitely don’t have sex. She loves Carl and wants to save the marriage, but at the moment she can’t even think straight.
Carl’s side He didn’t want the affair to happen and had no intention of sleeping with her when they reconnected through Facebook, but when he saw Jill in person after suggesting they meet up for coffee, he felt the past evaporate and his old feelings rushed back. He now talks to Jill constantly and has slept with her several times, and he can’t seem to stop himself. He’s totally unhappy in his marriage and thinks Sue talks down to him, is always anxious and acts like a micromanager and a dictator. In his eyes, the marriage has been in trouble for a while and it’s only come to a head because of his affair.
The counselor’s take Many people don’t consider the implications of reconnecting when they hit “send’ on a friend request, but adolescent relationships can leave strong marks that are tough to erase. Sue and Carl were terrible communicators, trading accusations and brushing their true feelings aside, and it’s tough to save marriages like theirs because the anger and blame runs deep. Since Carl’s affair had flourished via email, the counselor recommended he and Sue communicate that way, too, so they could speak honestly and really hear each other. He also had to vow not to talk to Jill for at least 6 months while he and Sue worked on the marriage. They had to slowly work their way back into sex after he violated her trust so badly. They started to go on dates, just the two of them, to restore their intimacy. After 6 months of counseling and steady progress, Carl told Jill that he and Sue were a team and planned to stay that way.
What do you think? Is it too easy for old flames to reconnect on Facebook? Have you ever gotten back in touch with a past love?
Don’t forget to pick up our February 2011 issue for the full story, on newsstands now!
November 4, 2010 at 5:34 pm , by Jennifer Castoro
To be sure, infidelity in a marriage is a particularly sensitive subject. There are your high-profile celeb cheaters (the list seems to grow every day . . .) who really just seem like scummy jerks, and there are your egregious cheaters who get it on right and left and seem to believe that marriage vows expire (a la the entire cast of Mad Men). But far more often there are couples for which cheating is the result of some denied unhappiness, or a reaction to a tragedy, or a myriad of other reasons that are a little more complex than an obvious right-versus-wrong situation. Clearly, cheating on your partner is never right, but whether it’s forgivable is another question entirely.
In this week’s judgment session, we have Kelly, a 32-year-old stay-at-home mom, and her husband, James, an accountant of the same age. They’ve been married for 10 years and James has cheated three separate times: once with a temp from his accounting firm, once with a receptionist at his gym, and finally with a fellow guest on a cruise ship while on a trip with his wife. Read their stories and decide for yourself if you think Kelly should forgive James’s cheatin’ heart.
November 30, 2009 at 12:10 pm , by Jennifer Castoro
In case you haven’t already heard, we at LHJ deliver fun, interesting, useful newsletters to lots of inboxes each week, with beauty tips, dinner ideas, weight-loss strategies and tons more info for your everyday life. This week’s hot topic is a timely one for the stress-filled holiday season: how to handle the most common issues you have with your hubby. (Probably something to think about before that massive Christmas credit card bill arrives.) And, on a lighter note, this week’s issue also has cute holiday crafts and delish cupcake recipes. Yummmm. Sign on up!