"While I Was Trying to Get Pregnant, He Was Having an Affair"

Infertility and infidelity push Brent and Anna to test the limits of their union. Can this marriage be saved?
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Her Turn

"This Has Been the Worst Year of My Life"

"Brent has been having an affair with a coworker named Kay," said Anna, 37, a soft-spoken brunette. "He claims he wants to stay married -- and I want to believe him -- but the woman still works as a paralegal in his office. They see each other every day. So how can we possibly move on? 

"This is so unlike Brent. I thought we had a good marriage. We never fought; we never even raised our voices. If he was unhappy, why didn't I know?

"This has been the worst year of my life. Ten months ago I had a miscarriage after finally getting pregnant through in vitro fertilization, which followed three attempts through artificial insemination. The whole process was a nightmare, but it all seemed worth it when I got pregnant. When I miscarried at nine weeks, the heartache was unimaginable. But what shocked me most was Brent's reaction. He didn't even seem all that upset.

Separate Lives

"Brent is a corporate lawyer who just made partner at one of Atlanta's top firms. His hours have always been grueling. Mine aren't much better. I'm a director of stock research at an investment bank. Sometimes we have to check our BlackBerrys to figure out if we can have dinner together. 

"Around the time I got pregnant, we began house hunting. We found one and moved in right before I miscarried. It's perfect -- a half hour from our offices, with a lovely garden out back. But I had the feeling that Brent was pretending to like the house for my sake. When I asked, he said I was being my usual oversensitive self. But it's so hard to know with my husband -- he stuffs his feelings inside.

"Still, I never dreamed he'd be unfaithful. Brent is just so loyal -- ask anyone who knows him. I mean, he's still friends with guys he went to preschool with! But over the past few months, Brent was putting in even longer hours than usual. He was also drinking a lot. Sometimes I didn't know where he was. I'd call his cell, and it would go straight to voice mail. I'd be frantic: What if he was wrapped around a telephone pole somewhere? 

"I've never been the suspicious type, but at his firm's spring picnic, I noticed that Kay gave him a hug that seemed more than colleague-friendly. When I mentioned it to Brent, he said I was being silly. But soon the clues were too blatant to ignore. One weekend I found long dark hairs on his shirt. I froze for a minute, then went upstairs and begged him to tell me the truth. That's when he broke down and confessed. Not only that, he said he wasn't sure he wanted kids after all -- and that he hated our house! 

Continued on page 2:  Her Turn, continued

 

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