"He Cheated But He Won't Admit It"

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Alberto's Turn

When Kate and I got married, her travel schedule didn't bother me. We were young and committed to building our careers. Even after our daughter, Alisa, was born it was pretty manageable. But when we had Miguel, things got much harder. I was working 50 to 60 hours a week and taking care of two kids. I was alone and lonely a lot of the time -- Kate doesn't call much when she's away and when she's home it seems like she's either focused on the kids or answering e-mails from her boss. I was holding down the fort and doing most of the parenting. Whenever someone needed to come home early for the kids, it was always me.

When I met Nina through the kids' school I definitely wasn't looking for a relationship. She just seemed like a good person, plus she was Mexican like me and I liked being able to talk in Spanish. Our kids got along great, so it was easy to hang out with her. We'd have lunch or dinner and the kids would play. Our friendship grew and we began to share more intimate things about our lives. Nina was married, too, but she made it clear she was unhappy in her relationship. I noticed she began dressing sexy and acting flirty. I wasn't looking for someone, but she was there and it was easy and, well, it just happened -- we started having sex. And once we'd crossed that line, I told myself I'd already made the mistake, so what was the harm of doing it again?

I knew that what I was doing was wrong in a lot of ways. I wasn't just cheating on my wife, the mother of my kids, but I was leading Nina on, too. She would talk about us both leaving our spouses to be together and I let her believe that might happen, when in my mind it was never even a remote possibility. I was never in love with Nina, but it was nice to get some attention and be with someone who wanted to have sex with me, since it seemed like Kate never did anymore. I felt guilty about all of it, but I justified it because Kate was never around. And Nina was an adult who could make her own choices. I figured it wasn't my responsibility to take care of her.

When Kate found that e-mail from Nina I panicked. I didn't have the courage to tell my wife the truth. I was afraid I might lose her, so I lied to her. My family is the most important thing in the world to me. It's not like I was looking for a way out -- I was just lonely. After we started counseling, I completely cut off contact with Nina, but I think that's making Kate even more suspicious. I feel guilty about the relationship and guilty about lying but I don't know how to get out of the mess I've made. Seeing a counselor has helped a lot, but I'm still scared to tell Kate the truth. I don't want to get divorced.

Continued on page 3:  The Counselor's Turn


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