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I am behaving badly by responding to the first post and only thread I have read since joining this board like nine seconds ago. Apologies to all, I do know better and will accept any consequences and I have no excuse except that I really wanted to respond quickly and am too tired to read anything else.

First of all, if he is telling you the truth as it occurs to him, he is doing you the greatest favour he can. What I mean is, if he is telling you before acting on or exploring any of these feelings, that is a huge sign of love and respect. He is giving you the gift of setting you free at the same time that he is begining to consider new paths. And that's what you do if you love someone. You let them begin to make choices at the same time as you, not after you've tested things by having an affair or even flirting.

Secondly, if he is telling the truth, he absolutely needs to see a doctor right away for the express purpose of ruling out any physical causes for the bad feelings he can't explain. For all the reasons that brought me to this board in the first place, I am considering some kind of tattoo to this effect. No, Really.

Always always rule out physical causes first. Insist on it for anyone in your care or whose care you can influence.

A checkup for you can't hurt either, and anyway, if you have a good doctor, they will factor psychic stresses into your health care. (If you have a doctor who will use this against you? label you crazy, bad, or difficult? Stay mum and find support where it is safe.)

Thirdly, whether he has behaved completely honourably, has lied and had a dozen affairs, or anything in between, it is important that you consider getting some kind of professional to mediate your split. Whether it is a doctor, therapist, conflict resolution specialist or anyone else, you have the right and responsibility to ask your husband to participate in some kind of process with a fair, objective professional who has both your best interests at heart. Plus, his answer to such a request might help you both to understand things better.

Please also look into getting some individual supportive counselling for each of you. If at all possible, please consider this neither unnecessary nor a luxury. You both deserve all the support you can get to help you find a happy ending.

The best advice I can give you will sound stupid but is an important lesson I have recently learned: the simple key to your happy ending is to forgive everyone, including yourself, for everything that has happened til this moment. Understand that we are all flawed, that our flaws result from our parents' flaws, they got theirs from their parents and no-one is to blame. We are all victims of irrational fears we may not even know about, molded by events we have long forgotten.

Forgiving yourself and everyone else allows you to learn every lesson and grab every opportunity for happiness that comes along and live well and happily. The trick is not to look backward at any damage already done or missed opportunities.

So for example, even if you found out he lied 5 years ago, assume it was because of fears and flaws that go back to your MIL's issues (she has some, right? :jester: ), and that she is a victim herself. You'd be learning about a past event *now*, and he'd be confessing it *now*, and you both have choices about next steps *now*.

If he is honest and fearless, this will be the best thing for both of you. If he isn't, this will be the best thing for you.

Take this advice with a grain of salt, because I am projecting much of my own recent experience here. My husband wanted a divorce, and I smelled depression and denial, and I fought tooth and nail against doctors and therapists who colluded with him. Turns out I was right, and my marriage and family seem to be well on our way to a happy ending. Well, except for my medical crisis and a million other related crises and no safe health care until we can figure out who had obligations not to drop the ball. But I'd rather have him in love with me, and our family intact, than all the happy doctor relationships in the world, and I am throwing the rest over to a qualified objective outsider to sort out.

Good luck and take good care of yourself in every way you can!

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