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I've been married now for seven years. My husband is an amazing father and husband, and always gives his 110 percent in all he does. ...

I'm Cheating on My Husband and Can't Stop

I've been married now for seven years. My husband is an amazing father and husband, and always gives his 110 percent in all he does. But I still seem to feel unhappy and unfulfilled. About two years ago, I began an affair, and my husband found out about 10 months in. Eventually I asked for a divorce, but he wasn't having it. He said he didn't want to give up so easily. Now we're working on our marriage and things are going well aside from the fact that I have continued the affair. I've tried on several occasions to stop but always end up giving in. I don't know how to handle this. We also have four children. I'm so confused. I do love and appreciate him, but still have an emptiness that he can't seem to fill.

It sounds like you were faced with a decision: Break up or make up. And you didn't really choose either. By working on the marriage and cheating on your husband, you haven't really committed either way. Now you've got to decide what you really want. Because if you keep cheating on him, he's not going to take it forever, and soon you're not going to have a choice. If this blows up in your face, adultery could adversely affect the settlement that results from an acrimonious divorce. Legal issues aside, a revealed affair could really shake up your relationship with your kids.

At the very least, you need to stop the affair soon so you can get some perspective on your marriage, even if it's just to remove the cloud of guilt hanging over you, which has got to make it hard to see your marriage clearly.

Maybe you desperately need to divorce, figure out how to co-parent your four children, and move on with your life. Maybe you're just plain unsatisfied with your husband and the difficulty of a divorce will be worth the life you find after marriage. Or maybe there's some other cause for your unhappiness.

I don't know what you should do, but I'll try to help you think through it. You say you're "unhappy and unfulfilled," but I can't tell why. Is it your husband, who you say is "an amazing father and husband" and treats you well? He could be a great guy but wrong for you - even if you have made a family with four children together. Or is it something else?

Remember too that a messy, difficult relationship can eclipse more fundamental, individual problems, and it can be difficult to separate the two. So I'll gently suggest that you think about how much of your unhappiness is due to your husband, how much might be due to some more individual issue - and how much your unhappiness may be exacerbated by the stress of maintaining this affair. The thing is: Your husband is not really why you're cheating, is he? He's not making you cheat. You have to take responsibility for that choice and think about how cheating might be making you less present in your relationship, and how to do the real work repairing your marriage requires.

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