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Ask E. Jean For DearSugar: How Do I Deal With the Past?

Dear E. Jean,
I’ve been married to my husband for almost five years. We’ve had it pretty rough, and I’m concerned about our future. I was unfaithful to him many times at the beginning of our marriage. Two years ago we got back together to work things out.

But now we fight a lot because he’s still hurt; it’s understandable. However, he’s very vicious to me. He tells me I’m a whore and that he’s never having kids with me. He knows I’m sorry for what I did, and I am not going to run away from this situation.

When I ask him if he’ll ever get over this and why is he still with me, he says, “I’m not leaving because we are married.” That is all I get. No “I love you,” no nothing. He just tells me to “deal with the past.”

My question: How do I deal with the past? And how do I deal with him in a constructive way? I am trying everything to make him comfortable with me. I guess I deserve the verbal abuse, but he makes me feel — well, he makes me feel like crap. He has not worked in two years, and I am supporting us. I am paying for everything and I feel he does not appreciate me at all.

He is 37 and I am 23. I think he’s trying to change who I am, and it hurts the way he speaks to me, saying “I don’t want to have kids with a whore.” It really, really hurts! About a year ago I got pregnant. And I miscarried. I was heartbroken, but I guess it is best not to bring someone into the world until we’re in a better situation.

I’m sorry this is so long, but I wanted you to get a little bit of the picture and the situation of what we are going through. Help! What do I do? — At My Wit’s End

To see E. Jean's answer,


My Dear, My Wit’s End,

Your letter smashed my heart. I wish I could drive to your house in a big red convertible, kick your husband in the shins, and then spin you away with me for a month of celebrations.

I do not wish to add to your pain, Miss Wit's; I’m sure your husband possesses sterling qualities (else you would have loved him less). But I must be frank: The man is a bum. But not simply a bum; he’s a lazy, shoddy, seedy, needy, double-dealing, bottom-feeding, wife-berating bum. As a human being, he is undistinguished. As a husband, he is a disgrace.

Yes, you made one of the biggest mistakes of your life when you were unfaithful (which, the more I hear about the guy, the more I understand); but you have tried for two years to make amends. He will never forgive you. He will not change. Pack your bags and leave. You cannot fix him.

P.S. Because he’s losing his meal ticket, he may become desperate when you inform him that the marriage is over. Therefore, before you make any overt moves, speak to an attorney. Get everything in order. Move all money and titles into your accounts. If you have a joint account, move all money into a new personal account. Secure all your important papers — passport, birth certificate, title to the house, car registration, tax returns, etc. Ask a friend, parent, or pastor to be with you when you tell him. Do not be alone with him — ever — after he’s been told the marriage is over. If he so much as raises his voice, phone the police. You may have to take out a restraining order.

Take care, Miss Wit's! I will be pulling for you! Let us all know at DearSugar how you are doing!

To see more advice from E. Jean, visit Elle magazine and

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