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You Asked: We Both Cheated


Dear Sugar,

After dealing with serious strain in our marriage, my husband and I decided that a separation was the best thing. During that time I met someone new, and shortly after meeting "PJ," my husband found out he was very sick. I knew that I couldn't divorce a dying man and chose to stay and take care of him, while seeing PJ at the same time.

By the time I had fallen in love with PJ and him with me, my husband was getting worse by the day and ended up passing away at the age of 34. It was obviously very devastating. After leaving where my husband and I had lived, I moved in with PJ and we attempted to put my broken pieces back together — on the rocks or not, I deeply cared about my husband.

During this time, I found out that PJ had cheated on me with his ex, and it completely broke my heart. A lot of time has passed, and I've since forgiven him and we've made it work. I know that I essentially did the same thing when I decided to stay with my husband and still continue my relationship with PJ, yet I still can't get over the pain of him cheating on me. How can I feel so upset about something that I myself have done to someone else? I'm ready to let this go, but I don't know how.

— Devastated Deb

To see DearSugar's answer, read more.

Dear Devastated Deb,

Let me start off by saying that while I never condone the act of cheating, I also believe the elementary school saying that two wrongs don't make a right. Meaning that just because you had an admittedly inappropriate affair with PJ before divorcing your husband, it doesn't make it OK for PJ to cheat on you with another woman. You obviously have a lot of sadness and guilt surrounding your relationship with PJ as well as the death of your husband, which seems to be manifesting itself in your inability to move past this.

Because there are so many complex layers here, I think it might be a good idea to consider talking to a therapist. Not only could it help you get through issues with PJ, but it's also a good opportunity to dig into some of the issues that came with your husband's death. It sounds like your problems with PJ's infidelity are less about trust, and more about your own fears. By working through your own guilt, it's likely that you'll be able to move past this pain.

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