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I spent a decade faithful to my wife just to find she has affairs

DEAR ABBY: After 10 years of being with my wife, including eight years of marriage, I accidentally discovered she was having affairs online. She put me through weeks of lies, denial, minimizing and obfuscating before finally giving me full disclosure. At this point, I’ll never know if I can believe her after her seven years of off-and-on cheating with one main partner and two others. Even if I were to believe she’s remorseful and has changed, it’s hard to live with what’s already happened.

It’s been 15 months. I can’t get past the pain of the betrayal and the feeling that she didn’t love or respect me for most of our relationship. In addition, there are images I can’t get out of my head. I want to leave, but finances and young children make it complicated. Also, my wife will cry, get dramatic and make me feel bad, telling me she will just go to a homeless shelter. I don’t know if she’s purposely trying to make me feel guilty or what. Please help. — LIVING IN PAIN IN OREGON

DEAR LIVING: Of course your wife is trying to make you feel guilty! The best defense is a strong offense. She didn’t lie to you once — your entire marriage has been a continuous lie. Are you even sure the children are yours and not one of her lovers’?

Talk to a lawyer now. (While you’re at it, make an appointment to be tested for STDs.) If you are the father of any of those children, file for full custody. Where your wife lives after that is up to her. (Perhaps one of her lovers will take her in, which will spare you your feelings of undeserved guilt for protecting yourself.)

DEAR ABBY: I have been independent from my family for 25 years. I have always lived a few hours’ drive from them. (I now live an hour away from my mother and three hours from my sister and her family.) For every occasion over those 25 years, I have always visited them — spending time, money on gas, putting thousands of miles on my car and sometimes taking time off from work. Never has anyone visited me, other than once when my sister was passing through and wanted to have lunch.

I have invited my family countless times, but there’s always an excuse. Often, it’s that my place is too small to accommodate them or that I have a roommate. I’m expected to spend my resources visiting them or go broke to have a place that can accommodate them. I am reminded of this lopsided situation every time my roommate’s family visits multiple times per year. They stay in hotels.

I’m not confrontational. I love my family, but I feel some boundaries need to be established. Am I unreasonable? If not, do you have any suggestions? — ALL ON ME IN FLORIDA

DEAR ALL: If it is not practical to continue traveling to visit your relatives, stop doing it. Do not stop inviting them to visit you, however, and when you do, tell them you know they would be more comfortable staying in a nearby hotel or motel, which is what your roommate’s family has been doing for years.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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