I found out while I was pregnant with our third child that my husband had been to a prostitute. I was devastated. It went against everything I thought he was.
I thought we had similar values and belief systems, but this just floored me.
How could I not know him after all these years together.
He said it was only once, for oral sex.
Even writing this makes me sick to think of him in a cheap hotel room, handing over our hard-earned money.
To be clear, we didn’t have an issue with sex, or so I thought. I actually thought I was the adventurous one, I would have initiated sex far more than he.
But we have small children and were tired a lot so it became less frequent. But that for me is no excuse.
We decided to stay together for the children – I don’t want them to see us living separately.
However, it’s been a year, and it’s my first thought every morning and last going to sleep, and at times I feel like I hate him.
Will this ever change?
Can a relationship survive something like this, or are we delaying the inevitable?
Aunty Lisa replies:
It must have been a huge shock when you found out about the prostitute especially as you would have been feeling particularly vulnerable at the time.
I have heard men say that they thought using a prostitute was preferable to having an affair because there was no emotional involvement and it was purely a financial transaction for sex.
That seems to me to be trying to justify what is in effect a betrayal – and spending both your money for his pleasure makes it even worse.
I believe that your relationship can indeed survive if you both want it to, and from what you say you both do, but some changes will have to be made.
I’m really sorry that you have left it so long to do something about this because it is eating away at you and won’t go away all by itself.
The fact that you are thinking of it every day shows that it is still quite raw for you and as a result you are unable to move on.
Counselling is a very obvious answer although you will probably feel angry that you would have to go for counselling as you did nothing wrong.
But this event has caused a fracture in your relationship and you need help to repair it.
You say you hate him at times, which is quite understandable given how you have suffered, but you have to ask yourself if underneath it all you still love him in spite of what he did.
Because if you do still love him, and it is very likely that you do, then you will have to reach into yourself and work at trying to forgive him.
Your husband, who I feel sure very much regrets his actions, will no doubt have asked you to forgive him.
While you will never forget, it will be possible to forgive, and when that happens you will find that you are moving forward and thinking less and less of the past.
Time will also ease the pain. So seek help via counselling, try to find it in your heart to forgive him, and then draw a line in the sand and move forward.