Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Mother Had Sex With My Husband”

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cheating

My husband and I have been together for seven years. We have two beautiful boys, a 4-year-old and a 2-month-old, and our relationship has always been a great one. My mother has been living with us for the past year and a half. My husband didn’t love the idea, but I convinced him it was only for a short time.

Back in January when I was 9 months pregnant, I confided in my mother that my OB advised me not to have sex because of some pregnancy complications. A few days later, my husband’s phone went off in the middle of the night, so I reached over to silence it and saw my mother’s name. I woke up my husband and asked him to please show me the message. He unlocked his phone and deleted the message and said, “You’re being ridiculous.” I started losing my cool. I walked swiftly across the house and into my mother’s room and confronted her, asking her if she had something going on with my husband. Her tears started and she began saying, “Nothing! Why would you think such of me?” My husband came in screaming, telling me to return to our bedroom because I’d lost my mind. We talked and I calmed down. The next afternoon, my mother suggested I see a therapist and maybe ask for an antidepressant after my pregnancy because I’m paranoid and anxious.

Six weeks after my pregnancy I did just that, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that there had been something more to their messages. Then during the last week in March, my mother confided in me that she had HSV-2 (genital herpes) and had had it for 10 years. She explained that her current boyfriend was accusing her of passing on the disease and was threatening to take her to court because she had kept it hidden.

That night I told my husband about the disease and we never spoke about it again, until the last week of April. I was on the way home and received a call from my husband’s best friend and his wife concerned that there had been something extremely wrong with my husband when he stopped by a few minutes earlier. I called my husband and asked if parenting a toddler and a newborn had been too much. He began to cry. A loud, horrid sob. He said: “You’re going to leave me. Today is the day you leave me and take the kids. I have something, an STD.” I asked him who he had been with besides me; he said, “You already know who!” I hung up the phone in shock and called my mother who admitted it.

Turns out my mother spent the first week in January texting my husband inappropriate messages. One night after he and I had been at a friend’s house where he got belligerently drunk, and while I was asleep, he was rummaging in the kitchen looking for more whiskey and my mother beckoned him to come to her room. He, completely out of control, followed her inside where she took off her clothes and bent over the bed. Afterwards he cleaned up and sat in bed crying. I remember waking up to his tears, asking him what was wrong, and he just whispered that he loves me so. It never happened again, he completely ignored her, and three days later I accused them. (Quick note: He and I and our newborn have been tested for HSV-2 as well as other STDs and have tested negative).

I’ve now had my mother move out and have ceased all communication with her (even though I work with her) and I’m trying to move on, but I want to stay with my husband. I’ve spent a few weeks without him, focusing on the kids but also getting needed alone time to cry, grieve, and process. I absolutely am miserable without him. I know I don’t need him–I am positive I can raise and support my children on my own–but I’m truly in love with this man. I don’t want to stay with him because of the kids, I want to stay with him because of ME. He’s always been a GREAT husband, father, and best friend, and he says he will spend an eternity apologizing and making it right. Of the few times we’ve spent together alone in the last week or so, I feel great, safe, and confident. When I’m without him and alone, I become angry and begin to just break down under myself. How do I continue this healing process without being a woman scorned and without ruining my marriage? — Betrayed By Mom and Husband

One word: therapy. Get it. Get it regardless of whether you decide to give your marriage another chance. Get it because you have been betrayed in the most hurtful way by the two people you trusted most. In the meantime, you should distance yourself even further from your mother. She’s toxic and awful and, though you may never stop loving her, I would caution against ever having a relationship with her again. Since you work together, I’d start looking for a job elsewhere. I don’t know how you can fully process, grieve, and move on from what happened if you have to see this woman on a regular basis.

Now, onto your husband. I wouldn’t be so fast to discount his responsibility here. He had sex with your mother. Being drunk isn’t an excuse. Furthermore, what was he even doing being “belligerently drunk” when his wife was 9 months pregnant and could go into labor at any minute? Or, was getting you to the hospital safely another thing he didn’t have to be responsible for?

Also, you lied to your husband. You told him your mother living with you would be for a “short time,” but she she was still with you a year and a half later. Clearly, your marriage suffered a lack of communication and respect long before your husband had sex with your mother. I’ll repeat that again: YOUR HUSBAND HAD SEX WITH YOUR MOTHER.

Does that make you angry? It should! It should enrage you. You should be filled with so much fury that the thought of sharing space, let alone emotional and physical intimacy, with this man should be one of the last things on your mind. When you say you feel great, safe, and confident in his company and angry when you’re alone, you sound desperate to aim the fury anywhere other than where it belongs: directed at the two people who betrayed you (including your husband!).

You’ve had only a few weeks to start processing this. It’s going to take a long, long time to truly wrap your head around what’s happened. In the meantime, you have two children who need your attention. Look to them for the sense of security and confidence you’re craving. Find validation in being a good mother to them. And work with a therapist on figuring out your feelings toward your husband. Don’t rush back into his arms and don’t make the mistake of sweeping this under the rug and moving forward like nothing happened because you think that’s easier and less painful and will keep your family intact.

Living in denial won’t really keep your family intact. It won’t heal you. It won’t get rid of the rage inside you that needs some place to go. That rage and the hurt and confusion and all the other stuff you’re feeling will eat away at you until you’re empty, and then not only will you have nothing left to give your marriage, but you’ll have nothing for your children either. Please don’t let that happen. Please go to therapy and deal with this ugliness bravely. Face it head-on. And don’t make any decision about whether to stay with your husband or not until you’ve worked through the stages of grief, including getting angry at him. Really, really angry. Because there is no excuse for what he did. And until you accept that he is just as responsible for having sex with your mother as she is for having sex with him, you aren’t ready to move forward. And the feeling of security and confidence you think you have when you’re with your husband, weeks after learning he screwed your mom while you were asleep in the other room, nine months pregnant with his baby, is false. And that’s not something you can even begin to rebuild trust and a relationship on.

***************

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

174 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Unwanted_Truth May 12, 2015, 8:11 am

    Whoa…I need to really collect my thoughts before I really can have anything of substance to say….What a cluster fuck….I don’t even know…I feel sooooo bad for you all.

    Unfortunately all that comes to mind is a quote from Eddie Murphy back in the day that keeps making me laugh somehow… “Now you got herpes , you carry that shit with you the rest of your life like luggage” that’s all I got…..

    Drunk or not, that marriage should be over. No body, to me, no matter the love or kids, house or whatever, is worth it to me to sleep with anyone ever again that has a lifelong std, especially if it were my spouse. Nope nope and NOPE

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    • avatar

      Anonymous May 12, 2015, 8:45 am

      You do realize LW did say they all tested negative for the disease, right?

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      • avatar

        Unwanted_Truth May 12, 2015, 8:50 am

        Not the husband. I read that the husband does have it, not the mother or the children.

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      • avatar

        running.unaware May 12, 2015, 9:00 am

        Last statement in fifth paragraph:

        “(Quick note: He and I and our newborn have been tested for HSV-2 as well as other STDs and have tested negative).”

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      • avatar

        ktfran May 12, 2015, 9:07 am

        From the LW: (Quick note: He and I and our newborn have been tested for HSV-2 as well as other STDs and have tested negative).
        .
        So, it looks like he has been tested negative, but can’t this flare up sometime in the future? Not sure.

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      • avatar

        Jesica May 12, 2015, 9:14 am

        ktfran,
        If a person has their blood taken for a PCR test, a PCR test looks for all signs/characteristics of the disease and someone can test negative. If you go into your physician and say that you came into contact with someone who as the disease but are not showing any signs, you just want to know first hand, that’s what is done. I’m assuming that is what she did for herself, her newborn, and probably had her husband do. (Or so I hope, for her sake.)

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      • avatar

        ktfran May 12, 2015, 9:25 am

        THANK! Because I really don’t know how it all works. So… the blood test will show that you’re negative for herpes and it’s official? You’re negative and don’t have to worry until you make some stupid mistake again?

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      • avatar

        Jesica May 12, 2015, 9:31 am

        Exactly, once the test is negative it’s official you won’t magically have a flare up and the disease appears unless you make the mistake again. Once you have sex with someone outside of your relationship, then that official negative is once again at risk of being a positive. These tests are done when babies are born so I truly don’t see why she had him tested. I mean maybe she didn’t know, but I would think her pediatrician would’ve have told her such.

        AND for anyone who is interested you have to REQUEST for your doctor to run a PCR test! Don’t be blinded! Be sure you are tested completely with every physical!

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      • avatar

        ktfran May 12, 2015, 9:08 am

        I think he told the LW he had it without getting tested first, like he heard MIL had it so he assumed he had it too, then they all got tested.
        .
        He told the LW about the affair a few days after she told him her mom had herpes. There’s no way we could have gone to the Doc and received the results that fast.

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      • avatar

        Unwanted_Truth May 12, 2015, 9:12 am

        Ok yea, I went back and re-read. I agree with you 100%. Plus even though he tests Negative now, std’s like that, and HPV, may not even show up for months or years. It wouldn’t show up that fast like you said. Regardless there is no way in hell that person would be sleeping with me again.

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      • avatar

        ktfran May 12, 2015, 9:16 am

        Yeah, that’s my understanding of some (most?) std’s. They don’t necessarily materialize of test positively immediately, so he still could be carrying something.
        .
        And totally agree that this entire situation is fucked up and just plain icky.

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      • mrmidtwenties

        mrmidtwenties May 12, 2015, 9:29 am

        That was my understanding, and there are many false positives and negatives for herpes as well.

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      • avatar

        Jesica May 12, 2015, 9:34 am

        PCR tests are when your blood is specifically tested for the characteristics and all variables of the disease, so NO, so long as she had one done it won’t be a false negative/positive. I’m assuming a PCR test was done because that’s the only test that can be administered to detect the disease if you aren’t physically showing signs.

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      • avatar

        Unwanted_Truth May 12, 2015, 9:44 am

        I’m kind of going off course here, but since you seem to know much about this….. I am actually scheduled for a physical this week and wanted to have a full on screening for any and all std’s just for piece of mind, should I mention this “PCR” test also? I assume they will know what I am talking about, I have never heard of it.

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      • avatar

        Jesica May 12, 2015, 9:59 am

        Absolutely. They may even ask what specific disease you want to be tested for. It’s as simple as them putting in a Lab Req with the additional test code.

        I wanted to add that when I state “visual” signs of herpes, you can be tested by having the sores, bumps, blisters or whatever you see, swabbed. The bacteria is then tested. So ktfran, that is one way you can be tested for the disease and it come back as a false negative/positive.

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      • avatar

        Lyka January 17, 2017, 8:03 pm

        I don’t know why you are obsessing about the husband not contracting the disease, when the real issue is that the husband had sex with the mother! Oh, I said obsessing because you commented that twice (or maybe more than twice).

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  • mrmidtwenties

    mrmidtwenties May 12, 2015, 8:12 am

    This is all kinds of messed up. Your husband banged your mom and got herpes from her. Just no, kick him out, right to the curb and worry about your kids and getting as much child support as you can from him because there is something seriously wrong with the both of them, this sounds like it is right out of Jerry Springer.

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    • avatar

      running.unaware May 12, 2015, 8:46 am

      You all do realize LW did say they all tested negative for the disease, right?

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray May 12, 2015, 8:53 am

        I think by we “all” tested negative, she means the kids and herself. The husband has an STD; that’s what prompted him to tell the LW. Query if he would have ever said anything but for the disease. He sounds like scum.

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      • mrmidtwenties

        mrmidtwenties May 12, 2015, 8:55 am

        That’s how I understood it too AP.

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      • avatar

        running.unaware May 12, 2015, 9:01 am

        Last statement in fifth paragraph:

        “(Quick note: He and I and our newborn have been tested for HSV-2 as well as other STDs and have tested negative).”

        She does state “He and I” that would include the husband. No?

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray May 12, 2015, 9:12 am

        Hmm, so he lied when he said he had an STD? Maybe he thought he had an STD and that’s why he told her, but ultimately tested negative? Maybe she meant they tested negative for OTHER STDs but he does have herpes from his mother-in-law? (Eww.) These facts, whatever they may be, do not change any of my advice here, which is listen to Wendy.

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      • avatar

        running.unaware May 12, 2015, 9:16 am

        No, she specifically states that they were tested for HSV-2 which is genital herpes and results were negative.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray May 12, 2015, 9:22 am

        So then he lied when he said he an STD (read the sentence proceeding the one you keep copying). Or he was mistaken, because he ultimately tested negative. In any event, he clearly THOUGHT he had an STD when he told her – and I’d be he wouldn’t have said a damn thing if he didn’t think he had an STD. But “irregardless” (cue Mean Girls), what does it matter? Nada. She’s ignoring her husband’s own fault in this fiasco. No way to heal or come to terms with anything until she can admit that.

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh May 12, 2015, 9:34 am

        Agree AP it doesn’t matter that he doesn’t have a disease, he still slept with her mother. She has to deal with what he did before she can even begin to forgive him. Maybe that was important in her head because if he had passed on herpes to her or their child there would be no possible way to forgive him for her? Which I could understand, especially with the child.

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      • avatar

        Anonymous May 12, 2015, 9:43 am

        Yeah the STD is so secondary to the real issue…which HE SLEPT WITH YOUR MOTHER.

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh May 12, 2015, 9:21 am

        The letter is very confusing in that respect, especially since the fact that he didn’t have it is such a side note but the build up of the story is so great. I think he probably assumed (which come on we all know what happens when you assume!) that he had an STD, but hadn’t actually been tested.

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      • avatar

        running.unaware May 12, 2015, 9:22 am

        Maybe he was so paranoid and stressed and was seeing things? There is such thing as “stress rash”. Can you imagine if for two weeks straight after finding out his MIL had the disease and he just kept checking and irritating it causing a rash?

        Listen, I’m no dog, but I think I would have gotten tested, waited for the results and THEN maybe come clean. I just can’t wrap my head around this one. This is just stuff people can’t make up.

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      • avatar

        Unwanted_Truth May 12, 2015, 9:46 am

        All could have been avoided if …you know, DON”T HAVE SEX WITH YOUR MIL. I don’t feel once single ounce of pity for HIM or Grandma’

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      • avatar

        running.unaware May 12, 2015, 10:01 am

        Not defending him in anyway. My MIL drives me up a wall as most MIL’s do, I can’t stand the idea of her staying a night in my house, much less her living or sleeping with her.

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  • veritek33

    veritek33 May 12, 2015, 8:18 am

    I can’t today. I just can’t.

    Enjoy Sweden.

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  • muchachaenlaventana

    muchachaenlaventana May 12, 2015, 8:20 am

    yeah the main thing I can say right now is, I know its easier to just blame your mom because well, she had sex with your husband-but your husband didn’t just get drunk and then fall into her vagina, like he was an active participant in this and absolving him of that culpability probably won’t help you heal or move on. This just sucks really bad, and I am sorry.

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    • avatar

      tbrucemom May 12, 2015, 8:41 am

      I think the same thing. Why does the LW seem to be so quick to want to reconcile with the husband and has kicked her mother out of her life? She should drop kick both of them and move on with her kids. Not to mention that if he DID stay with him she’d have to worry about getting herpes the rest of her life, which would be a constant reminder of what happened. This really is some Jerry Springer shit.

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      • avatar

        running.unaware May 12, 2015, 8:45 am

        You all do realize LW did say they all tested negative for the disease, right?

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      • avatar

        Unwanted_Truth May 12, 2015, 8:53 am

        you keep re posting…. you’re the LW ?

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      • avatar

        running.unaware May 12, 2015, 8:58 am

        Nope. Just one of those readers that insists that people read the whole article. Remember the LW is probably reading these and probably would prefer people comment and give criticism/advice while taking into consideration all the facts.

        Honestly, reading it. I do feel horrible for the woman, having just had a baby and have this happen can’t be good for her mental state. I really would like to ask why she is so adamant about removing her mother but so accepting to forgiving her husband. I can’t help but think there may be much more to this story. If there is, I can’t imagine it being any better than what she’s already shared.

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      • avatar

        MissDre May 12, 2015, 9:17 am

        “He said: “You’re going to leave me. Today is the day you leave me and take the kids. I have something, an STD.”
        .
        Just sayin…

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      • avatar

        ktfran May 12, 2015, 9:22 am

        Read my reply to unwanted truth. Since she put that line, I’m guessing that this is the timeline of events:
        Mom and husband do the nasty.
        Sometime later, mom tells LW she has herpes.
        LW tells husband.
        A few days later, husband fesses up the doing the nasty with mom and assumes he has said std too.
        They all get tested, and test negative.
        BUT…. that does not mean they’re in the clear, because I think (if I remember health class correctly) that this could materialize or flare up months or years after contact. But I’m not a health professional, so I don’t want to give false info. about std’s.

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      • avatar

        ktfran May 12, 2015, 9:23 am

        Regardless, WWS all the way.

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      • avatar

        Jesica May 12, 2015, 9:39 am

        ktfran, you are right in the sense that herpes can flare up months/years later. That is if you don’t ever get tested and one day have a flare up and had NO idea you’ve had it for YEARS. Doctors usually test for herpes by just looking and on your test results it will say “No visible signs of this, that or the other.” That’s why you have your annual physicals. If you have a husband, wife or partner and you are BOTH monogamous, once you have a PCR test done, then you’re in the clear.

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      • avatar

        running.unaware May 12, 2015, 9:25 am

        Last statement in fifth paragraph:

        “(Quick note: He and I and our newborn have been tested for HSV-2 as well as other STDs and have tested negative).”

        She does state “He and I” that would include the husband. No?

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      • muchachaenlaventana

        muchachaenlaventana May 12, 2015, 9:27 am

        I mean its great he doesn’t have the STD but its hardly relevant overall to this shitty awful situation. If he hadn’t “thought” he had the STD would he have even told his wife? Like, okay he doesn’t have the STD- whatever, good for him!

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      • avatar

        ashlyn May 12, 2015, 9:10 am

        “(Quick note: He and I and our newborn have been tested for HSV-2 as well as other STDs and have tested negative).” I would take that as he does not have any STDs

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  • Lianne

    Lianne May 12, 2015, 8:26 am

    I am trying to keep the vomit down. This is just all shades of gross. LW, I am so so sorry for the betrayal you received from two people whom you trusted. This behavior is inexcusable. I don’t care how drunk your husband was, he still had sex with your mother – your f-ing MOTHER. And maybe someday you can forgive him…maybe there is enough of a strong foundation there to move past this. But please heed Wendy’s advice. You really need to process this with the help of a professional. And it’s better to do this with some distance from him. He will just cloud what you need to do to heal.

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  • avatar

    Kate May 12, 2015, 8:27 am

    Is this letter coming to us from Florida? My 2nd guess is NH. Anyway, I’m terribly sorry that this shit happened in your life. However, you are NOT safe and secure with this man and I doubt you ever will be. Please see a good therapist and stop spending couple time with your husband. Take the time to figure this out.

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    • avatar

      tbrucemom May 12, 2015, 8:44 am

      And I’m sure wherever you’re from nothing crazy ever happens. I hate when people generalize entire populations. What does being from Florida or New Hampshire have to do with any of this? What if I said something disparaging about particular groups of people? Not that I would but if I did I would be called every name in the book.

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      • avatar

        Kate May 12, 2015, 8:48 am

        I’ll apologize to Florida and my home state of NH and Fox News if you apologize to Jerry Springer.

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      • mrmidtwenties

        mrmidtwenties May 12, 2015, 8:54 am

        Sorry Kate, it was I who mentioned Jerry Springer. My apologies to the great man who reminds us to “take care of yourselves and each other”

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      • avatar

        tbrucemom May 12, 2015, 10:33 am

        Um, Jerry Springer made a living out of putting people on his show that had stories just like the letter writer so using him as an example is obvious. Disparaging an entire state or states or region that you don’t even know if this LW is from is very different. I also don’t remember seeing anything about Fox News. Why Fox News? Why not MSNBC?

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      • avatar

        Kate May 12, 2015, 10:39 am

        Ok, I don’t care about this topic enough to comment on it further. Not the LW’s predicament, but your taking offense to my generalizations about certain US regions, as well as your offense on Friday to generalizations about Fox News.

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      • avatar

        booknerd May 12, 2015, 11:32 am

        I’ve never heard anyone ever standing behind Fox News. I thought this was a joke. It is, right?!?!?

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      • avatar

        Kate May 12, 2015, 11:36 am

        No, look at her comment in Friday links.

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      • avatar

        booknerd May 12, 2015, 11:43 am

        Ahahahahahaha! Solid gold. That article is fucking insane. WTH. I’m swearing a lot today. Must be why it took me so long to force my husband to marry me. Poor guy.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray May 12, 2015, 8:56 am

        Sometimes making generalizations about groups of people (and news channels) is just funny! See this 50 state stereotypes in 2 minutes link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h68UJaHvG_c. (My favorite is Kentucky, “farming from the future, textbooks from 1925.”) There is a line when making generalizations about groups of people. States are exempt. The line is hard to describe. It’s like the legal definition of obscenity; you just know it when you see it.

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      • mrmidtwenties

        mrmidtwenties May 12, 2015, 9:01 am

        I personally don’t mind a good regional stereotype joke myself, but I am a Canadian and as such the brunt of many jokes. Particularly the many I receive from my American co-workers through e-mail.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray May 12, 2015, 9:13 am

        Oh Canada…

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      • Cleopatra_30

        Cleopatra_30 May 12, 2015, 9:22 am

        Our home and native land!! True patriot love in all thy sons command….Oh wait, we aren’t doing a whole finishing the sentence thing here are we… haha

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      • mrmidtwenties

        mrmidtwenties May 12, 2015, 9:24 am

        AP, tell us a joke about Canada. I haven’t heard one in a few days.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray May 12, 2015, 9:55 am

        I’m blanking. Ok, here’s one. (But disclaimer it’s better told than written). It goes something like this: “So, I walked into a bar, and I met a Canadian, a vegan, and a cross-fitter. Know how I knew? They each told me within 2 fucking minutes.”
        *
        Funny? Yes? I think I’ve even told it here before. I should add that when I was told this joke, Canadian wasn’t in the list; it was “a vegan, cross-fitter, and atheist.” But I thought “atheist” was dumb because in my experience atheists are quiet about being atheist. Most people I know are just mum on religion in general. So, I swapped in Canadian. Because, you know, when you travel or whatnot, Canadians seem quick to point out they are from Canada and not the USA; I think because they get tired of people lumping them in with Americans? Anyway, I guess if you have to explain it, it’s not so funny…. But totally true in re vegans and cross-fitters, riiiight???

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      • avatar

        Taylor May 12, 2015, 11:51 am

        Thanks for the laugh AP =)

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      • mrmidtwenties

        mrmidtwenties May 12, 2015, 2:41 pm

        Bahahaha, I love you AP.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray May 12, 2015, 4:48 pm

        Sheesh, took you long enough. I thought, oh crap, I’ve offended a Canadian. When the truth is, I love Canada! I love your healthcare, your poutines, and your bacon. I even love your Quebecois!

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      • avatar

        tbrucemom May 12, 2015, 10:42 am

        I disagree, it really is no different than generalizing groups of people. It’s the people of that state that you’re making assumptions about. For the record I don’t get easily offended I just don’t like when people assume things that they know nothing about but they don’t have a problem with calling someone out when it’s contrary to THEIR beliefs.

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      • avatar

        booknerd May 12, 2015, 11:33 am

        Right, like Fox News. Contrary to common sense and decency.

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    • Addie Pray

      Addie Pray May 12, 2015, 8:58 am

      Really? NH? I am not from the area so I don’t know; I would have not thought NH. Yes to Florida, West Virginia, Arkansas… and a lot of other fly-over states. And I’m from a fly-over state so I’m totally allowed to say that. I’ll be OK if a coaster says it too, though.

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      • avatar

        Kate May 12, 2015, 9:10 am

        Yes, definitely New Hampshire and certain pockets of Massachusetts as well, but I think you’re right, it’s more likely somewhere more southerly.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray May 12, 2015, 9:14 am

        Oh I’ve driven through those “certain pockets of Massachusetts”… I had no idea! I thought everyone was ivy league.

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  • avatar

    jlyfsh May 12, 2015, 8:56 am

    I agree with Wendy that you need to go to a therapist. It’s fine to go in to therapy telling your therapist, I’m here because x happened and I don’t want my marriage to end but I need help dealing with all of this . Eventually when you’ve dealt with your own feelings about this I think it would be smart to get couples counseling. And I agree that rather than not blaming him, you need to blame him for his part and what he chose to do. If you don’t make him culpable for his part in this how will you actually forgive him? Eventually you may be able to feel safe and confident with him, but he has to earn it and show you that he deserves it. And I’m sure that him saying he wants to spend an eternity apologizing is what he thinks you need to hear, but what he needs to be saying and DOING is showing you that he realizes what he did was awful and giving you reasons to trust him again. Starting with giving you the space and time to deal with this betrayal and not pushing you to accept him back before you are ready.
    .
    I think you’re feeling the way you do when you’re alone because that’s when your mind wanders and you actually start to think about what happened and what he did. You don’t want to feel that you want to feel the happiness and ‘normalcy’ of being with him. Which is understandable, but it’s not sustainable.

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  • avatar

    Kate May 12, 2015, 8:57 am

    Tbm also made the insensitive move of generalizing the population of people who go on Jerry Springer.

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    • avatar

      tbrucemom May 12, 2015, 10:45 am

      So it’s insensitve to the people that willingly go on Jerry Springer and have the same sick stories as this LW but it’s not insensitive to generalize people of an entire state? Wow. I’m really hoping this is sarcastic.

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh May 12, 2015, 10:56 am

        Your comments make it seem like your standing up for some poor disrespected and mistreated group of people. But, NH and FL aren’t going to be affected by Kate’s (funny and dare I say always sarcastic) comments. They don’t need anyone to stand up for them. They aren’t a disadvantaged people who are being generalized in the comments.

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  • avatar

    TheRascal May 12, 2015, 8:59 am

    “When I’m without him and alone, I become angry.”
    *
    YOU SHOULD be angry. Why are you not allowing yourself to be? What he (and your mother!!) did is horrific. But when you are with him, you are in denial; you are suppressing the anger that you need to feel in order to process this betrayal. Quit fooling yourself.
    *
    NOTHING was out of his control. You need to face that fact. HE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR PAIN.

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  • kmtthat

    kmentothat May 12, 2015, 9:22 am

    I know you just want to forget. That you want to believe him when he said it was only once. It would be so much easier, and you WANT to love him. Love isn’t enough, especially if you are the one doing all of it and he’s giving you some screwed up version of “I fell into her vagina drunk justonetimethoughIswear.” Some things happening just one time should be deal breakers. Like, I don’t know…murder. Or robbing a bank. Or sleeping WITH YOUR MOTHER. I worry for you that your self-respect is so low that you will literally accept someone who proved to you beyond a shadow of a doubt that he has NO respect for you, your family, your relationship with your family, or your health. I feel incredibly sorry for you, but I will also tell you that it deeply saddens me that anyone could every be so pathetic to stay with a man who would cheat… while you are 9 months pregnant…without protection…while “apparently” drunk…while you are in the next room sleeping…with you fucking mom. Your. Mom. The vagina YOU came out of. Please let that fully sink in.
    .
    How old is he? Seriously, I think when you aheva toddler in the house and a 9 month pregnant wife, him getting belligerently drunk would be THE HUGEST RED FLAG EVER for me. Is he an alcoholic? Like really honestly ask yourself if you trust the safety of your children with a man that (says) he drinks to excess for no goddamn reason and then makes choices (he did not fall into her and accidentally have sex, please stop thinking this) that would devastate everyone he cares about the most?
    .
    I know you aren’t mad for yourself yet. BUT I WILL BE INFURITATED FOR YOU. BE FUCKING MAD, LW. Aim so, so, so , so much higher. BETTER MEN EXIST. I don’t know if you can ever fully trust him again, and damn honey you should not. A marriage must have love, respect, and trust. Yours is now lacking a lot of those things. You owe it to your children to be with a good, trustworthy man. THERAPY FOR YOU. It will get better.

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    • avatar

      snoopy128 May 12, 2015, 12:10 pm

      Actually, what makes this worse and shows me the husband was more complicit than the LW wants to believe- the fact that he and Ma were exchanging dirty texts. Even if it was only one sided (which I have a hard time believing), HE SHOULD HAVE SHUT DOWN.

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover May 12, 2015, 1:45 pm

        That’s a really good point. This “one-time thing” had a lot of lead-up, apparently. Was he drunk the entire week she was sending him dirty texts? I’m assuming no. Which means he soberly received those messages and chose not to shut her down. He knew she was being inappropriate and he went into her room late at night. He knew exactly what was going to happen. He could have stopped it when he was sober.

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  • avatar

    TheTruth May 12, 2015, 9:25 am

    One of the best letters EVER… this is why I love advice columns.

    Now on to the truth.

    LW… screw all these other women telling you to leave him. Your letter states you want to be with him… so do it. Men are idiots… we are… the fact that he slept with your mom is no different to him that if he slept with your sister, or a stranger. Now it’s pretty weird, and you should most definitely cease relationships with your mom, but if you can forgive your husband… do it.

    Dirty secret… (not so secret)… your husband sleeping with someone else has no bearing on whether he loves you or not. Men aren’t wired like that. From the sounds of it, he probably feels like a total turd and is racked with guilt.

    Seriously great story though. Good stuff.

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    • mrmidtwenties

      mrmidtwenties May 12, 2015, 9:32 am

      You do a terrible job of speaking on behalf of the entire gender.

      Reply Link
    • kmtthat

      kmentothat May 12, 2015, 9:35 am

      “Men are idiots” and “Your husband sleeping with someone else has no bearing on whether he loves you or not. Men aren’t wired like that”
      .
      SERIOUSLY?
      .
      Oh, we’re back to boys will be boys, it’s just sex, we can’t help our libido …yadda yadda yadda. TheTruth, this is so absolutely NOT the truth. “Men” don’t do this thing for this reason, a specific person with their own feelings, history, motivations, flaws, etc. does. Generalizations hurt men AND women alike.

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      • avatar

        Unwanted_Truth May 12, 2015, 9:52 am

        uh yea….”The Truth” that is bullshit through and through. What MrMid and Kmen said. Damn near pushing troll territory as far as i’m concerned.

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    • avatar

      joanna May 12, 2015, 9:46 am

      Can no one else see that this response is satire?

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray May 12, 2015, 9:49 am

        I thought so. But I do have a kind of serious question. Because there aren’t a lot of men out there who can compare what it’s like having sex with a mom and her daughter, I am kind of wondering what it was like. Was it eerily similar? As different (or as similar) as any two (unrelated) women would be? LW, ask your husband that, before you kick him out.

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      • kmtthat

        kmentothat May 12, 2015, 9:52 am

        Gee I hope it was. But LW is not in a good state of mind, so I don’t want her reading that crap and being like…ok, someone said to stay with him!

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover May 12, 2015, 1:48 pm

        I’m not so sure if it is. There actually are men who believe this. And they do tend to have handles with the word “truth” in them, for some reason.

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    • avatar

      Aubrey Ray May 12, 2015, 9:50 am

      No. Just no. I’ve talked about this with my boyfriend, brothers, and all my guy friends. And it’s come from a place of “biologically it doesn’t make sense to be monogamous, what do you think?” so it was pretty unbiased. The unanimous response I got was that it’s not always easy, but if you love someone you will say no. Being faithful doesn’t mean you’re never tempted. It wouldn’t be cheating if he was aroused by the mother’s offer but walked away because he was committed to his wife. If anyone feels that being a male gives you the right to sleep with whomever, whenever, I fully and honestly support you. But don’t get married to someone who believes you are going to be faithful if that is the case.

      End rant.

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      • avatar

        TheTruth May 12, 2015, 12:18 pm

        1. The guys are telling you want to hear… we aren’t stupid.

        2. Don’t get me wrong. Cheating is wrong. I will not cheat in my relationship, but then again I am totally pussy whipped in love with the most awesome girl in the world.

        3. but… a guy can still cheat and it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love the person he cheat on. It may mean he has poor morals. It may mean he had a moment of weakness. It may mean he was drunk… but it does not mean he doesn’t love his partner.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom May 12, 2015, 2:25 pm

        He might be able to cheat and still love his wife, that much is true. It is also true that if he is cheating on a wife he loves he is more self-absorbed than empathetic. The empathetic person finds it impossible to cheat on their spouse because they feel the pain that they know their spouse and kids would feel and that stops them. The person who cheats is willing to gamble the entire marriage for the pleasure of the moment. They are a person who lives in the moment and lacks delayed gratification and doesn’t bother to enforce boundaries that protect the marriage and family. All in all, they are immature and not worth a marriage.

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      • something random

        something random May 12, 2015, 4:20 pm

        I agree with sky blossom. I think it is possible to cheat and still love a partner. I also think cheating can be indicative of someone who has a limited capacity for true intimacy and maybe even love.

        People who are high on self-absorption/low on empathy might have the ability to feel affection but how fully can they really connect with someone else? If love is something you have, feel, and do for a life partner (not just the chemical experience of a pussy whipping) how severed can a connection be before one considers the disregard a dampening or even absence of love?

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    • avatar

      Drewser May 12, 2015, 9:54 am

      The truth of the matter of is, some men cheat. How beautiful or intelligent their wife or girlfriend is has nothing to do with the “WHY” they do it. Some men, especially ones with huge egos feel a sense of entitlement to cheat. They derive a feeling a power and status when they are able to “conquer” someone. I don`t believe there is much thinking going on; most of the time, it`s purely physical. If these men actually sat back and thought about the consequences of having their lives and their family`s lives destroyed, most would not do it. Unfortunately, as previously mentioned, there really isn`t any thinking going on, just action.

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      • avatar

        ktfran May 12, 2015, 10:42 am

        So, it’s ok for a man to cheat because hey, he’s a man and he wasn’t thinking and he needs to prove something or conquer something… I would like to know what you think of a woman who cheated. I bet not favorably.

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      • avatar

        Drewser May 12, 2015, 10:55 am

        There are some women who can cheat and not feel any attachment. There are women who see sex as “sex”, women who believe sex has different levels. Sex can be intimate, passionate, or just another activity. If she`s cheating and she claims to have no emotional attachment, no rhyme or reason, just because then so be it. If she is having an AFFAIR, just as if a man is having an AFFAIR, a life outside of the marriage, a hidden agenda, then in that point is it “more” wrong. I`m not saying either is right. Infidelity is NOT OKAY on any level, but it’s not always an emotional attachment, it’s not always a personal attack, it`s not always “my wife doesn’t do this” or “my husband can`t do this” it`s a conquering thing as I mentioned before people find the need to KNOW that they are still considered attractive and use sex as a power or a tool to fill that need for confidence.

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      • avatar

        booknerd May 12, 2015, 11:40 am

        What is the point of this? Who cares why you think people cheat? It has nothing to do with this topic. People cheat because they want to and they can. Fuck all the “reasons” you came up with. Those are excuses. None of us are children or animals. People make their own decisions.

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      • something random

        something random May 12, 2015, 10:44 am

        The truth is some men and some mothers are too damaged or defective to love and/or attach to others and some are simply terrible human beings. While sexual fidelity may not be the definitive test one’s aptitude for love, a husband’s premeditated choice to be make himself available to the advances of his spouse’s mother while his very pregnant wife slept perhaps feet away DOES speak towards it.

        I don’t think anybody is saying this level of betrayal DOES have anything to do with the beauty or intelligence of a wife. I also reject the idea that this situation came to be thoughtlessly. Perhaps willfully ignorantly but hardly thoughtless unless of course this man and the mother are both severely mentally disabled.

        Someone’s need to put power and status before the health needs of their dependents and children speaks of EXTREME selfishness and dysfunction. I have known a great many men who are not so characterized or broken. It is sad that you apparently have known so many people with so little integrity.

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    • avatar

      booknerd May 12, 2015, 10:00 am

      Maybe you are an idiot, or even lots of people are idiots but, I’m pretty sure not many people are going to fuck their MIL. Or any family in law.
      LW, obviously this person is not someone to listen to.

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  • niki

    niki May 12, 2015, 9:49 am

    LW, I think this marriage is broken beyond repair, for all the reasons others have mentioned. In addition, your mother had been sending him inappropriate texts for a month previous to this and he didn’t tell you? And tried to make you feel like you were crazy for thinking that something was off? Good grief. Him and your mom deserve each other. You deserve better.

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    • Lianne

      Lianne May 12, 2015, 9:51 am

      Great points…I am so angry for this LW.

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    • kmtthat

      kmentothat May 12, 2015, 9:54 am

      Yes, I totally forgot about the gaslighting. LW, please look that term up if you do not know it.

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      • avatar

        Stillrunning May 12, 2015, 8:14 pm

        The gaslighting got to me too. Guess those pregnancy hormones make a woman all crazy-like.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy May 12, 2015, 9:58 am

      Splitting hairs, but just for clarification: the mom was sending the husband inappropriate texts for a week, not a month, before they had sex. I completely agree that the husband should have shared those texts with his wife IMMEDIATELY, and demanded the mother be kicked out. Instead, he went out and got belligerently drunk when he not only had a wife who could go into labor at any moment, but a live-in MIL who was putting the moves on him.
      .
      I also found it odd that when the husband’s phone went off in the middle of the night and the wife saw that it was a text from her mother, she immediately thought something was going on between them. If my husband got a random text from my mom in the middle of the night, my first thought wouldn’t be that there was an inappropriate relationship between them. I’d probably think she meant to text me and hit his number instead. Or maybe she was working on some surprise for me and was texting Drew about the details while she was awake and thinking of them. That the LW immediately jumped to suspicious thoughts suggests that either her husband or her mother (or, likely, both) had given her reason in the past to be suspicious of them.

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      • avatar

        Jesica May 12, 2015, 10:06 am

        Wendy, I agree, it’s eerily odd that she jumped to conclusion. There surely has to be more to this story. Crossing fingers that LW is reading this and provides an update or at least address some of our questions.

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      • avatar

        Cleopatra Jones May 12, 2015, 12:59 pm

        But that kind of leads me to believe that Mom may have been putting the moves on her husband in front of her Or mom may have a history of putting the moves on the daughter’s boyfriends.
        Whatever the context, this is all kinds of crazy.

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover May 12, 2015, 1:53 pm

        I could understand not sharing the texts immediately… she was 9 months pregnant and it would be totally reasonable to wait till after the baby was born to bring this up, in my opinion. If that had been all that had happened, plus he had told the MIL to stop it, I would be defending him right now. But obviously his reactions to the texts are indefensible, and clearly the reason he didn’t tell her was that he liked it and wanted to see where it would go. WHILE SOBER, I might add. He was only drunk for the actual sex, not the sexting.

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  • kare

    kare May 12, 2015, 9:50 am

    Things should have never gotten to this point. Whenever your husband started receiving inappropriate texts from your mom back in January, he should have put a stop to her behavior then by telling you and asking her to move out. Obviously she texted him something and he deleted it, probably knowing what it said. Who knows what he sent back to her. He’s just as responsible as she is for their indiscretion. I don’t think I could forgive either person in this scenario. There are many points at which your husband could have ended things before it got to the point that he had sex with your mom. Ugh. I definitely agree that you should go to therapy. Individual therapy for yourself and couples therapy if you really think this is worth saving. I’d also look for a support group or something. (Is there a support group for children of selfish, horrible parents? If not there should be.)

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  • avatar

    Anon May 12, 2015, 9:58 am

    Sigh, I’ll bite. When I was 17, I am in my 30’s now, I was dating a 16 yo, and her Mom was actually quite hot, and a big wine drinker. Long story short, was waiting for the girl I was dating to come home to her Moms after a weekend with her dad, her mom was a bit typsy, she asked me to join her in hot tub, I didn’t think twice and knew exactly what I was doing , so yes, I “banged” the Mom,, was it like having sex with the daughter? No. It was better, which probably is why I have always enjoyed being with older women sexually. Remember it like it was yesterday 😉 oh to be young again.

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    • Addie Pray

      Addie Pray May 12, 2015, 10:11 am

      Wow. Were you sexually active with your girlfriend (the daughter) too? Did you hook up with the mom more than once? How old was the mom at the time? Tell us more…

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      • avatar

        Anon May 12, 2015, 10:36 am

        Was sexually active with the daughter about two years later, she had been a virgin at that previous time and we had only dated a few months. We saw each other again a couple years later at a party and hooked up throughout that weekend, that was the end of that. Yes more than once with the Mom, less than five times however. I am not sure of her age at the time, I believe Mid to late 30’s. She has since passed away from what I hear. She had 6 kids from 5 different people come to find out. Bad story behind all that too but is for another day/time. Did I cure your curiosity ? 🙂

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray May 12, 2015, 10:39 am

        You did. Many thanks! But one more question – did the daughter ever find out about you and her mom?

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      • avatar

        Anon May 12, 2015, 10:46 am

        I’m not sure. If she did, it never came from me. That was years ago, and after the one weekend hookup back in my party times we haven’t seen or talked to one another, BUT i do know just from other people we knew mutually, that she is now a mother and married, however, i believe that if she did know i would have heard about it from someone by now. So i’ll go with no.

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      • avatar

        Sunshine Brite May 12, 2015, 11:27 am

        I still feel like this is different though because of the teenageness, no kids, and no marriage in place.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray May 12, 2015, 11:35 am

        But plus statutory rape.

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover May 12, 2015, 1:56 pm

        Depends where he lives. 16 is legal in a bunch of states. Legal in Canada too, BTW, and a lot of other countries.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray May 12, 2015, 11:35 am

        Thanks for curing my curiosity!

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    • avatar

      Margo May 12, 2015, 5:18 pm

      Did you catch the herpes and did she blame it on the hot tub?

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        Anon May 13, 2015, 6:45 am

        ^^^^huh? uhh no, nice attempt at a joke though.

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  • FireStar

    FireStar May 12, 2015, 9:59 am

    I’m so sorry. It really is the worst thing someone can do to you short of physically harming you – to betray you so thoroughly. And then to lie to you when you confronted them, both of them making you think the problem rested with you and your crazy paranoid pregnancy brain…all the while they KNEW you were right. I’m sorry. It must feel like a bomb went off in your life. You have to stop acting like your mother raped your husband though. She didn’t lure him. He wasn’t completely out of control – he clearly knew it was his mother-in-law. Why else was he in tears after? Why didn’t he tell you the second he got the first appropriate text from her? He was part of this – a willing part…even if a subsequently regretful part. And since he was a part in it – you have to accept the part your husband played in this – the active willing part he played – otherwise there is no moving on from this – with or without him. A decent husband (hell a mediocre husband) would have told you the instant your mother made a pass at him…you would have known from that first text. Why didn’t that happen? What made your husband hide that from you? And hide all subsequent text? It isn’t like he didn’t tell you because he didn’t want you hurt and he shut your mother down so fast her head spun. The texts continued. He had sex with her. So see your husband for who he actually is. Not who you want him to be or who you thought he was. That is the place to start. And the venue is a therapist’s office. You need to work through what happened to you. It was traumatic…. meaning you suffered a trauma… and like any trauma you need time to recover from the hurt before you can concentrate on moving forward. If you move before you are well you will hurt yourself again. You are just delaying the process of getting better by moving too fast with your husband. And your kids need you to be well – for their future as well as for yours. I understand your husband is where you feel comfortable and safe. But you can’t rely on what you used to know about him to be true now. He isn’t the same person. You have a new reality now and you have to adjust to that. Marriages recover from some terrible things – and maybe yours can too. I don’t know. I do know that it can’t unless everyone is being honest and that includes you being honest with yourself about your husband’s role in the betrayal. Book an appointment with a therapist now. I wish you the very best for you and your little ones.

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    • avatar

      booknerd May 12, 2015, 11:54 am

      Yes. All of this!

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    • avatar

      snoopy128 May 12, 2015, 12:39 pm

      Agreed. This.

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    • Eljay

      Eljay May 12, 2015, 3:36 pm

      Holy crap, this is perfection.

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    • Addie Pray

      Addie Pray May 12, 2015, 4:45 pm

      Yeah, all of this!!

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  • avatar

    for_cutie May 12, 2015, 10:11 am

    Wow this is awful. I sympathize with the LW, living with a toddler and a newborn is tough and it could be scary considering doing it own your own – especially when you expected to have 2 other adults (your mother and spouse) to help out. I say move out the traitors and move in a friend. Find a nanny, au pair, college student or someone to live with you and help you through this time. I can see rationalizing staying with your husband because you need the extra hands, but please find the help somewhere else. Do you have another family member or close friend to move in? Can you make the husband pay for the support? Can you quit your job and make your husband support the family while you get your life together? Having a toddler and a new born (my kids are 22 months apart and we have no family nearby) was always going to be a hectic, sleepless, trying – and exciting! – time. LW you didn’t need this added stress, but if you focus on the kids and get some help from outside, you will come out better for it.

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  • something random

    something random May 12, 2015, 10:15 am

    WWS. I’m so sorry letter writer. Your mother sounds like a sociopath. Her suggesting medication to control your “paranoia” is just heinous. You say you work with her. I know she just lost her free lodging and you aren’t speaking but I would seriously consider sending an email requesting her resignation. If you work in a large enough place that you really don’t want to leave (when you are obviously going to be in need of financial self-support) I might consider explaining the situation to HR and requesting a transfer.

    Of course you are finding moments of comfort from your agonizing heartbreak in the presence of the man you love. But that comfort isn’t enough, love. I’m so sorry but you need to find safer support right now, even though it hurts. Your husband didn’t just make one horrific mistake. He thought he had an STD for an entire month. He thought he had exposed both you and his own child. He did not have the sense of remorse to find the courage to tell you. How to interpret this and what it means is going to take time. Sadly, there is no way around it. Not if you are looking for stability in life. I’m so sorry. This letter is so agonizing to read about that I’m amazed you could write it. You sound far more functional than I think I would be. At times like these people learn things about themselves. Some discover strength they didn’t know existed nor would ever choose to discover but must by necessity. I’m sorry you are hurting. I’m sorry your world is spinning. I’m sorry your most inner people betrayed you. I hope you will find solace in others, in therapy, in your babies. I hope in time you will rebuild, though the vision of what is not yet in view. Best of luck.

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  • mylaray

    mylaray May 12, 2015, 10:24 am

    I can see why you are not placing enough blame on your husband, but you are being deluded. You may love him, but he’s not the person you thought he was. If I were in this situation I would be far angrier at my mother, because of all people, your own parent should never do anything remotely like that with your spouse. Also, when someone uses an excuse of being belligerently drunk for cheating, I suspect there are other issues there with alcohol. Especially given that you were 9 months pregnant. There’s probably a lot more that hasn’t reached the surface yet. Therapy will help, but I don’t see how you could learn to trust someone like that again.

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  • avatar

    bostonpupgal May 12, 2015, 10:33 am

    Reading this made me physically sick. Not only did your husband smash your wedding vows to the ground, he did it in your own home, with you there, with you about to deliver his child, WITH YOUR OWN MOTHER, and then lied through his teeth about it, gaslit you to high heaven, and actually told you you needed therapy because you were “paranoid”. Your husband is a monster. Seriously. It is totally understandable that you are reeling from this, but you have to let go of that denial and desperation and get both of these people out of your life permanently.
    Wendy’s therapy suggestion is a great one, and you need to do it asap. While you’re in counseling you need to stay separately from your husband, as in he needs to move out asap and you can set up a help/visitation schedule with him for the kids. That you’re even entertaining the idea of staying with him is heartbreaking. I am so, so sorry that this happened to you, that the two people who were supposed to love you the most betrayed you so completely, utterly, deeply, and irreparably. I strongly, strongly suggest you initiate divorce proceedings and get into therapy asap

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  • avatar

    Laura Hope May 12, 2015, 10:37 am

    I didn’t think I could be shocked like this but wow. My first thought was you haven’t even started to process this betrayal but then you did immediately jump to this conclusion after the text. So you kind of knew. Ultimately, I don’t know how you could ever stay married to this man. He got “beligerently drunk”, went looking for more whiskey, slept with your mother, denied, lied cheated. betrayed and almost gave you and your newborn an STD…..I don’t even know if I’d feel comfortable leaving him with the kids. Not a great role model.

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  • avatar

    Unwanted_Truth May 12, 2015, 10:42 am

    If this is what we had served up on a Tuesday morning, I simply can’t wait until Friday.

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  • Dear Wendy

    Dear Wendy May 12, 2015, 10:45 am

    From the LW:
    .

    “I have read and followed along with all of the readers comments. I would like you to know that there is much more to the story and I am very well aware of the situation. I have started therapy and will continue to see my therapist for a long while. My husband has not returned to our home as of yet, I will not allow it. I’m focusing on the little ones and keeping my head up as high as possible. I have also requested that my husband see a therapist on his own if there ever is going to be a chance for reconciliation.

    As some have mentioned in the comments section, there’s more to the story. My mother and father divorced in 2008, prior to divorce they were in an “open relationship” and were heavy into the swinging lifestyle. They seemed fine, until my mother began going after my father’s cousin, work partner (my father’s a police officer), and my father’s brother. My mother has always done the same thing; “Let’s have a glass of wine, a glass of whiskey. I don’t want to drink alone.” For the past two years my mother was dating a man who is 33. Within their first week of dating he asked her to have a threesome with me. Instead of being a mother and leaving him seeing that the man was interested in her daugther, she just ignored it and continued to see him. He then went to my aunt and requested that she join them. My aunt felt disrespected and freaked out, suggesting my mother stop seeing the man, but my mother didn’t take her advice. I’m quick to send her into exile because I know how she is, how she has been, and what she likes to do. She has seen me break and shatter during my first marriage, she’s been there through it all. She at 22 was in an sexually and physically abusive relationship and allowed that man to stay around. My mother was also molested as a child by her father. I truly believe that my mother has under lying issues that has made her into the attention seeking person she is. My mother has never been without a sexual partner to my knowledge, though none of this makes her any less responsible.

    Please know that I am not discrediting my husband’s responsibility in what has happened. I’ve asked my husband to not call or text unless I have questions and reach out to him first. He has complied and answers each one of my questions, no matter how embarrassing the answer may be. He does get an earful and is completely aware that there’s a good chance that we will not be continuing our relationship. We were in the process of buying a house and I put a stop on it and have canceled the contract, I don’t know where our lives will be in a years time and do not see the any safety in making such a commitment. We have not been intimate nor have I been sweet. The first few days I did lean on his shoulder and cry, I felt I had no one, I didn’t have my mother who I usually turn to. I have since realized that I can grieve, weep, and be angry without showing him an ounce of affection even if it means I have to do it alone.

    I do want to fix it with him but I know it’s not going to be an immediate thing and I will not sweep it under the rug. I know I have to heal and come to terms with the situation on my own not by having him cloud my judgment. I am mad, I do feel disrespected, he doesn’t deserve me or the woman that I am. I very well have much self worth but unfortunately I love and love hard. He and I have been through a lot and have carried each other through the toughest of times. The love isn’t something that goes away over night. But I can tell you that the more reality sets in, the less I see a need to love such a person or having such a person “claim” they love me.

    As for the disease, I believe I was so focused on my health and the baby’s health that it clouded my thoughts and kept me from seeing the full situation. I was desperate for results and the good health of my son. The three of us (Myself, my child, and my husband) have been tested for Genital Herpes and the results came back negative. Since there was know physical sign or side affect to take samples of to test, our blood was tested for the disease. We all are healthy and have no string of the disease in our bodies. As for the reason my Husband thought that he the STD, a few weeks after I confided in him about my mother carrying the disease, he saw 5 unrecognizable bumps and freaked out. They were tested and his general physician has confirmed it was a yeast infection.

    Aside from all of the above, my main focus is myself and the boys. The boys need a loving, happy mother, and I can’t do that if I bottle this situation up or sweep it under the rug. It’s not the first thing I think about in the morning, I refuse to let it consume me, but just because it’s not the focus of my attention doesn’t mean I’ve forgiven anyone.

    Thank you for your advice and guidance.”

    Reply Link
    • FireStar

      FireStar May 12, 2015, 11:00 am

      You sound like you are doing everything right. Your boys are lucky to have you. Best of luck to you.

      Reply Link
    • avatar

      Sunshine Brite May 12, 2015, 11:31 am

      Let it set in, keep doing what you’ve been doing. Hopefully you’ll see what you need to leave him.

      Reply Link
    • avatar

      snoopy128 May 12, 2015, 12:46 pm

      You sound so strong. I hope you continue to go to therapy and work on your issues. I also hope that some of the comments here will be taken to heart and help give you strength and clarity.

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  • avatar

    Unwanted_Truth May 12, 2015, 10:57 am

    Not for nothing, but gotta hand it to you LW, you do not seem naive , stupid or weak. Matter of fact you come off as extremely strong to be honest. I still stand by my comments though. I know what it is to love hard, but personally, this could not be something a marriage could survive in my book. I hope therapy does very well for both you and your husband ,and that you two can co-parent and get a long good, even maybe be good friends down the road. Good luck. All the best

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  • avatar

    bostonpupgal May 12, 2015, 11:11 am

    LW, thank you for the update and clarification. Again, I am so very sorry this has happened to you. Your mother’s compulsive sexual behavior, along with her history, may point to a personality disorder (narcissistic and borderline come to mind), or another deep psychological issue. You are wise to have cut her from your life. I just don’t see how you could ever trust your husband again. He had sex with your mother, willingly and happily at the slightest invitation, why would you believe, for a single second, that he won’t betray you again in the future? How will you sleep next to him at night, knowing every time he gets up or every time his phone beeps it may very well be the next betrayal? He only told you because he thought you’d find out anyway once the SYD symptoms started to show, before that he was willing to gaslight, lie, and scream at you to prevent you from knowing the truth. He is NOT a good man, as others have said I would be hesitant to leave him alone with your children, let alone into your home and your bed. This must be so much to deal with, keep up therapy, meet with a few lawyers, even if you aren’t ready they can help you make a plan and clarify your options, and do everything you can to take care of yourself and your children. Your therapist can most likely also point you to support groups for divorcing parents, that may be another place to get some of the emotional support you need

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark May 12, 2015, 11:17 am

    I don’t know what’s more depressing… This story? Or the fact that almost nobody here can apparently read with any sort of even the vaguest semblance of comprehension… (HE DOES NOT HAVE AN STD!) He rather stupidly just ASSUMED that he had an STD because he had been exposed…) Something apparently MOST of you would all do as well… because many of you (apparently) are so mindblowingly clueless about even the MOST BASIC facts about STDs.
    .
    Yikes! Just yikes… Are — those of you in question — truly all this naive about sex in general? No wonder nearly every other LW accidently gets knocked up. Go by a basic book on human sexuality or at least visit planned parenthood. The lack of true knowledge displayed here while so many spout off pure b.s. is staggering to me…
    .

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    • avatar

      bostonpupgal May 12, 2015, 12:42 pm

      Mark, I am fully aware that the husband, luckily, tested negating for herpes. That’s why I said he *thought* she’d find out anyway once the signs showed up. I read it as the husband came clean about the affair because the LW told him about her mother’s herpes, he freaked out believing he had contracted it, and he confessed because he believed he’d passed it on to her and their child. I was pointing out that he didn’t confess out of guilt or a desire to be honest, but only because at that time he believed he’d contracted the STD and passed it on. Luckily the LW does not have to worry about the virus on top of everything else.

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    g May 12, 2015, 11:24 am

    LW, your husband should have told you when your mother sent the FIRST inappropriate text. Then you all should have made an informed decision together about kicking her out of your dxmn house. He kept secrets from you, he cheated on you, he risked your health & his health, & he ruined any chance of your having a healthy relationship with your mother ever again. In my opinion, the most precious gift your partner can give you is to help foster a healthy relationship with your family; he did the absolute polar opposite. Also, ew.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    2_J May 12, 2015, 11:25 am

    Reply Link
  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark May 12, 2015, 11:35 am

    And the LW is at least partially responsible for this fucking mess. How? Easy… The simple fact that she was so INSTANTLY suspicious after one late night text from Mom shines a blinding spotlight on the fact that her mother’s ongoing efforts to seduce the husband didn’t seem to surprise or confuse the LW in the least…
    .
    Instead, the INSTANT (and justified) PARANOIA here shows us quite clearly that the LW was pretty much EXPECTING this… Its almost like deep down she was just WAITING (allbeit in dread) for this to happen on some level… And yet she STILL brought this toxic women into their home for a year and a half? Eh… Sometimes when you make your own bed in such a recklass way… Surprise, surprise… Other people WILL fuck in it.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      Anna May 12, 2015, 12:16 pm

      Usually I find your comments to be unapologetically hilarious. But just for today, at least try for a bit of empathy and compassion in that small dark heart of yours.

      Reply Link
      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom May 12, 2015, 4:15 pm

        This letter writer welcomed her mom into her home knowing that she would likely make inappropriate sexual advances on her husband. That doesn’t justify him accepting the advance but it does show how willing she was to subject him to that type of behavior. You don’t do that to a person you love and value. You protect them from people who behave like that around them. If she can’t figure out why she was willing to do this then she will continue to have problems like this in the future whether with this husband or in a new relationship. She wasn’t acting in a way that had her husband’s back.

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      • avatar

        Anna May 12, 2015, 4:33 pm

        Really? I find that hard to believe. I think the LW knew that her mom was promiscuous and had trouble with boundaries, but she’s her daughter. MOST daughters give their mother some benefit of the doubt, at most it makes her naive for not setting boundaries. I also seriously doubt she thought her husband would screw her mother. You realize this entire situation is ABSURD though right? Like this doesn’t happen to normal people, why should the LW conjure a LUDICROUS scenario in her head.

        It’s not her fault. Hind sight shows that yes she could’ve prevented it, but to say she didn’t have her husband’s back is concern trolling at best. Did the husband ever say the mother made him feel uncomfortable? I think the LW thought she had a husband she can trust, and a mother that wouldn’t behave like a ‘whore’ with her SIL. I mean, is that TOO much to ask for?

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom May 12, 2015, 7:41 pm

        If she hadn’t expected something like this to happen she wouldn’t have jumped to the conclusion that they were having an affair based on a single call to her husband. She would only jump to that conclusion if she expected it. It is a bad situation but her mom had routinely subjected people to inappropriate sexual advances. It is very much a part of who her mom is and she has known that about her mom for years. She probably assumed that her husband would turn down the advances but she was still willing to subject him to them. It’s not too much to ask of the average person that they not make advances on your husband but you also don’t invite people who are known to repeatedly do this to people that they shouldn’t into your home. In her update she explained her mom’s past. She very much knew what her mother was like.

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    • Stonegypsy

      Stonegypsy May 12, 2015, 4:03 pm

      Yeah, let’s not tell the woman whose husband slept with her mother that she brought it on herself. Hindsight is 20/20.

      Do other people talk to you this way when you’re having a crisis? Do you find it helpful?

      Reply Link
  • Mar1985

    Mar1985 May 12, 2015, 11:39 am

    Besides all the really obvious effed up things, I find it mind blowing she was willing to expose her daughter and grandchild to a disease!!! I mean really the entire thing is mind blowing…

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    • coconot

      coconot May 12, 2015, 5:07 pm

      Yes! This mother is pure evil. I don’t know why more people are not fixated on this. I mean the husband is a cad, but he didn’t try to risk 3 family members lives like the mother did! I totally understand the LW being more pissed at her mom than the husband.

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      • LadyinPurpleNotRed

        LadyinPurpleNotRed May 12, 2015, 5:12 pm

        Except she knew that her mother was like that before she let her move in. And her husband did try to risk 3 family members lives. He didn’t know what the mother had. By choosing to sleep with someone else, he risked getting and passing along diseases.

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  • sobriquet

    sobriquet May 12, 2015, 11:42 am

    Oh, LW. I can understand the situation you are in regarding wanting to forgive your husband and move on, because I dealt with something similar several years ago when my ex-boyfriend of 4 years assaulted me. He didn’t punch me or physically attack me, but the physical harm I received was a product of his belligerent rage. It wasn’t a black and white situation at first. We had a life together and I did not want to break up. There were moments when I thought I could forgive him and that we could move on from it, but in the end, I had to accept that I was not emotionally safe in the relationship anymore. I did not want to break up, but he took that choice away from me whenever he completely shattered the trust in our relationship. Realizing that helped me move on.
    .
    1] The fact that your husband lied and gaslighted you when you first confronted him is a HUGE HUGE HUGE red flag. Would he have ever told you? What else has he lied about? What will he lie about in the future? You know that he is capable of lying to you and then making YOU feel crazy in order to cover his own ass.
    .
    2] He knew what he was doing that night. You may think of the tears he shed that night as a positive sign- that he knew he screwed up and didn’t want to hurt you. I see them as a negative sign. He knew what he did and he was crying tears of shame. He was fully aware of what he had done and yet he covered it up for months.
    .
    3] The STD is irrelevant, other than the fact that that is the ONLY REASON HE CONFESSED! He thought he had herpes, so he confessed. You have to consider the very real possibility that he may never have told you otherwise.
    .
    4] Just because you were unable to have sex with your husband (while you were pregnant!) does not give him any kind of excuse or justification for stepping outside your marriage. The fact that you mention it in your letter leads me to believe that deep down, you’re trying to find a reason for your husband’s behavior. It’s also not your fault that your crazy mom tried to seduce him, even though you knew she was capable of it. None of this is your fault in any way. For the record, I’m pregnant right now and my husband is completely understanding that my sex drive is much different right now.
    .
    5] I understand, from the bottom of my heart, that you want to save your marriage and be happy with your husband again. You don’t want a divorce- you want your happy family back! But your husband took that choice away from you. It’s not up to you.
    .
    I’ll end by saying that although it was difficult for me to break up with my ex despite the terrible thing he did to me, it was the best thing I possibly could have done. Even if I had been able to forgive him and even if he never hurt me again, I think it would have always been in the back of my mind. Will you ever be able to trust your husband again? What will it take? Stop thinking about all the good times you’ve had together in the past and start thinking about the reality. Think about how you felt the night you confronted your husband and your mother. Think about how you felt when your husband finally confessed. Harness THOSE feelings right now, even though they suck. Whatever you felt in those moments is how you ultimately feel about your marriage. THAT is the reality. Can you accept that?

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    • avatar

      SasLinna May 12, 2015, 2:14 pm

      All of this. I really think this is a case where she has to ignore what her heart is saying and go with what her mind is telling her – that her husband is simply not trustworthy. The love and attachment she feels will go away with time. The husband’s issues won’t.

      Reply Link
    • Classic

      Classic May 12, 2015, 7:47 pm

      WSS

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  • avatar

    Sojianna May 12, 2015, 1:46 pm

    I’m the minority here, I can tell, as everyone’s having a great time being outraged at the Boyfriend. But it did strike me, as I read this, that if he were a woman, most people here would be screaming about how he was drunk and what the mother in law did amounted to rape. One sober party, one drunk party, but the guy is still a complete asshole? But impaired women, oh god, NOTHING is their fault, there was NO BAD DECISION EVER. This thread feels a little sexist, to be honest.

    Reply Link
    • Stonegypsy

      Stonegypsy May 12, 2015, 4:10 pm

      Nah, I’m pretty sure if a dude wrote in that his wife slept with his dad while she was drunk, and then made him feel crazy and told him he needed therapy when he leveled the accusation, that everyone would be equally outraged. At her. This has fuck all to do with gender.
      The fact is, his MIL didn’t force herself on him, he was getting/hiding inappropriate texts from her for a week before she ‘beckoned him into her room’ and bent over, apparently (honestly, the story itself sounds like it’s trying to lay all of the blame on the MIL and even then, he doesn’t try to pretend that she forced him).

      Reply Link
    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom May 12, 2015, 4:18 pm

      If a person is so drunk that they are passed out and can’t give consent then it is rape. If they are drunk but can give consent then they knowingly took part. He knowingly took part. If he had been passed out drunk she couldn’t have had sex with him although she could have fondled him and touched him in ways that would have been assault. He has to own his part in this.

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      • Moneypenny

        Moneypenny May 12, 2015, 7:24 pm

        It is my understanding that if you are drunk you cannot give consent. Look at all of the articles in the media lately about college campuses and what it means to give consent (asking and saying “yes”). According to what I have read, you don’t have to be passed out to not be able to give consent. If you are *not sober* you cannot as well.
        Please correct me if I am wrong!

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark May 13, 2015, 12:15 pm

        Correct. People here are as clueless about the kaw as they are about STDs…

        “Specifically related to the issues of intoxication, it should be noted that if a person is unconscious … or their judgment is impaired by alcohol or drugs… legally they are unable to give consent. These types of laws are meant to protect people from being taken advantage of when they are intoxicated. A common question is:

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    • avatar

      SasLinna May 12, 2015, 4:28 pm

      I actually do think the mother took advantage of him by approaching him when he was drunk, but it doesn’t sound like he was black out drunk and unable to consent.

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    Married by Elvis May 12, 2015, 2:09 pm

    First, gross all around. So sorry you are dealing with this. I don’t have time to read all 127(!) comments so far, so I apologize if this has been said. You are only 2 months post-partum and hormones are still running amok. Don’t make any decisions (either way) while that’s the case. Focus on your children like you’ve said, but don’t forget to focus on you too. You have to in order to be good for them because they need at least one parent who can be.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom May 12, 2015, 3:17 pm

    Your marriage has had problems for a while. You brought your mother into your home even though you knew that she was a toxic person to have around. You also promised your husband that she wouldn’t stay for long but you didn’t keep that promise. You were failing to protect your family when you brought you mom into your mom. If someone is toxic you keep them out. You also failed to protect your marriage when you allowed your mom to stay more than a short time. You need to ask why you would be willing to bring her into your home. It says a lot about your decision making and your boundary setting that you allowed her to move in, you even pushed your husband to accept her in your home. Not that this gives him an excuse for cheating. I’m just pointing out that you were willing to damage your marriage and you need to ask yourself why you would do that so that you can set better boundaries in the future.
    .
    Then there is your husband being a belligerent drunk. That isn’t acceptable. Him being drunk when you were nine months pregnant was also not acceptable. I assume that you are so used to this behavior you don’t realize that it is a red flag. This incident also shows that your marriage was not in a good place before the cheating. Your husband was endangering your relationship and also his ability to safely take you to the hospital. He was behaving in a way that was harmful to your marriage and family.
    .
    Then we come to the cheating. An already stressed relationship is then hit with an affair. What he did is inexcusable. Somehow you already knew something was going on because you immediately jumped to that conclusion when your mom called his cell phone. I wouldn’t think of that if my mom was calling my husband. It would be the last thing on my mind. Your update helped us to understand why you might think of your mom being able to do this but what made you think that your husband was cheating? You either consciously or subconsciously had picked up on something going on between the two of them or maybe you already suspected him of cheating and were just trying to figure out who the affair was with? The fact that you jumped to the conclusion that they were having an affair based on a single call means that there were serious issues in your marriage.
    .
    If you wish to continue in this marriage you both need individual counseling and you need couples counseling. People can put marriages back together again but it isn’t easy. I think you should take as much time as you need. Don’t worry about how long it takes you to decide whether you can work this out or whether it is over. I think you need time to see how your feelings settle out and if there is any foundation left when your emotions settle at some final point. Before you get back together, if you do, you will need to address all the issues in your marriage because if you don’t you will find yourself repeating this situation. You need to make it a strong marriage and it wasn’t before the cheating happened. You need to figure out why neither of you was protecting the marriage. Why were neither of you acting in the best interest of the marriage. Only when you answer those questions will you be able to put your marriage back together. If you can’t answer them I don’t see any hope for your marriage.

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    • something random

      something random May 12, 2015, 4:39 pm

      I agree that this was a toxic relationship to begin with. There were/are serious boundary issues. Being raised by this woman, the letter writer has probably had to piece together what healthy relating looks and feels like and she may have missed a few steps. But I think going from viewing mom as embracing an alternative sexual lifestyle that didn’t work out with dad, to making questionable dating choices with younger men, to being poor at enforcing safe boundaries with partners possibly stemming from abuse, to being a sexual deviant with relatives would be (excuse me) a mind fuck for anyone, let alone someone who didn’t have a solid emotional foundation.

      Couple that with a tearful manipulator whispering “how could you even think that about me?!” and an angry colluding husband and its difficult to blame this letter writer for lacking confidence in her own judgments right before her own eyes.

      I can’t help but wonder if the husband was so guilt-wracked and remorseful why on earth wouldn’t he have pushed to get his m-i-l out of his house after he was supposedly drunkenly taken advantage of? Surly, his wife’s “crazy” accusation would have lent an easy segue. And obviously this letter writer has no experience enforcing boundaries if she allowed her mother to live in her home, work with her, and stay after having such nauseating suspicions.

      This letter writer clearly needs a lot of help. I think she should stick to individual counseling for a good long while before even attempting couple’s counseling. I think she should stick to couple’s counseling a good long while before even CONSIDERING whether this marriage is worth the ATTEMPT of salvaging.

      I don’t think the tone of the letter writer in the original letter or the update sounds irresponsible or like a bad mother. I think she made unfortunate choices for lack of knowing better. I wish her the best in therapy.

      Reply Link
      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom May 12, 2015, 5:14 pm

        I think the LW doesn’t assert appropriate boundaries because she was raised by a woman who respected no boundaries so she had no example of that in her life. It can be hard to learn about things like boundaries when you haven’t experienced them.

        I certainly agree with spending a long time in counseling. Her mom has probably done a lot of damage over the years and a counselor could slowly work through the many ways the mom has skewed the LW’s thinking and behavior in ways that are damaging to herself and her relationships. I do think she has to understand this before she has any hope of any relationship working.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom May 12, 2015, 4:12 pm

    Just to clarify what I was saying in the first paragraph above. You were willing to subject your husband to your mom who you knew was highly likely to make inappropriate sexual advances and you were willing to do that to him for 18 months. Why would you be willing to do that to your husband and your relationship? You didn’t have his back. It is what you were willing to do to your marriage and your relationship. The fact that he accepted the inappropriate advance is another matter, it is what he was willing to do to you and your relationship.

    You also let your mother into your home and be around your oldest son even though she is an inappropriate person to be a role model in his life. Why were you not willing to protect your son from your mother. Knowing your mom’s pattern of behavior you have an obligation to protect your sons from her. She could easily make sexual advances toward them when they are older. It is up to you to make sure they are never alone with her. Not when they are 12 or 14 or 16 or 18. At some point they will need to know that grandma does this kind of thing and that they can and should turn her down and that is why you don’t have a relationship with grandma. You can’t leave them unprotected to advances from her.

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  • avatar

    Kate May 12, 2015, 4:41 pm

    Listen to Firestar. Also please consider the fact that your husband’s story sounds like BS. He was wasted, she opened her door, naked, bent over the bed, and pulled him in like a tractor beam? And this happened one time? I don’t buy that scenario. Even if you do, still, what Firestar and others said about wanting to find reasons not to have to leave him.

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  • avatar

    Laura Hope May 12, 2015, 5:23 pm

    I’m sorry but no matter what my mother did, my husband would not sleep with her. EVER. And I’m sure the same holds true for all of Wendy’s readers.

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    • avatar

      snoopy128 May 12, 2015, 6:29 pm

      Clearly not, as some people who write in are readers. Generalizing like this just tends to ostracize the LW instead of help.

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  • avatar

    cyndi May 12, 2015, 6:24 pm

    does anyone want to say WTF ? This is total insanity. LW you live in crazy town with 2 kids. Get out.
    Stop justifying what happened. save your kids and yourself. On all levels- this is not right.

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    • avatar

      Margo May 12, 2015, 6:55 pm

      I think they live in Ireland

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark May 12, 2015, 7:26 pm

    Hilarious double standard alert.
    .
    Technically — according to every known definition of rape — the husband was raped by the mother. If being drunk means that a woman can’t give consent, then it should be the same with a man. But as 150 comments show here… It so fucking isn’t.

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    • something random

      something random May 12, 2015, 7:51 pm

      True enough. But if a man was standing in his own room and began taking his clothes off and just stood against a bed with an erection, and a woman wandered in and jumped on that pony and rode him down (on her way to get some whiskey presumably because her earlier drunken state was wearing off and she needed to be drunk to sleep and all-cough, cough, bullshit, cough) is it still rape?

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark May 12, 2015, 8:46 pm

        Um. That’s NOT what fucking happened.
        .
        Jesus. Fucking. Christ.
        .

        The seemingly infinite level of cluelessness on here is simply too much for me lately. Its depressing to read post after post of abject stupidity. Nearly everybody is so ignorant about herpes and how its ACTUALLY spread. Its NOT cooties, dimwits. Are you all fucking 11? Lately — I really gotta wonder…

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      • something random

        something random May 13, 2015, 7:52 am

        God help me, you crack me up.

        For the record, look up neonatal herpes. It could have been VERY bad for the baby. I doubt anybody thinks its spread like cooties. I think most of us aren’t giving the husband a lot of honesty points. I’m not taking his word that the last time with mom was the first. He had a whole month to come up with the least incriminating version. If they tested all three people there was genital on genital between husband and wife (after contact with mom) before birth. That’s my guess and I’m sticking to it.

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    • sobriquet

      sobriquet May 12, 2015, 10:16 pm

      I would completely agree with you if the husband had told his wife immediately and claimed that he was raped or unable to give consent. But that’s not what happened. He cried about it right after and then lied about it. Then he gaslighted his wife when she suspected it! In a safe and loving marriage, if sex is forced upon you by someone, you tell your spouse immediately, or at least soon after. Dude kept up the secret for MONTHS and only confessed because he thought his wife would find out.
      .
      I do agree with you about the STD ignorance, though, and think that stigmas greatly contribute to the spread of STD’s. Herpes won’t kill anyone and the baby had zero chance of getting it if the mother wasn’t having sex (and even then, I’m pretty sure she would have had to have a break out during a vaginal birth for the baby to be exposed).

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark May 12, 2015, 11:12 pm

        Right. So EVERY woman that doesn’t come forward right away fucking WANTED it, too, right? Good to know.

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    • avatar

      Margo May 13, 2015, 12:19 am

      Rape by intoxication is a specifically defined criteria to the crime of rape. The fact that someone is self-intoxicated doesn’t establish a sex act as rape, in and of itself. The justifying criteria is that the victim was either unable to render consent, or unable to recognize the nature of the act they were consenting to.

      So unless this guy was black-out drunk and didn’t realize that he was screwing his mother in law, or so far gone that he wasn’t able to realize that he was having sex, there is no rape crime.

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  • avatar

    Kate May 13, 2015, 5:57 am

    Ok, reading the LW’s update above, I have to say — Boundaries!!! Some people, including parents, are so toxic and fucked that you HAVE to keep them at arm’s length, or out of your life completely. I know so many people with toxic parents who keep trying to help them, or have a relationship with them, and get nothing but hurt.

    Here’s the thing, growing up with a wreck of a person like that for a mom, I’m afraid you may unwittingly attract romantic partners who also “can’t help” hurting you, and with whom – probably because of low self esteem – you don’t set appropriate limits or boundaries. Your husband presumably knew all about your mom, and he still betrayed you with her in the most egregious way possible. This whole thing about “when I love, I love hard and can’t let go,” we hear that a lot on here, and it’s usually code for “I’m badly damaged, my self esteem is shot or I never developed any, and I will put my partner’s needs before my own, bend over backwards for him, until he hurts me in unforgivable ways because he knows I’ll never leave him.”

    Despite the admirable steps you’re taking here, LW, I think at the core your husband knows you won’t leave him. He did a horrible thing to you, and I think you could be in a pattern where you’ll keep getting hurt. How could you not be, with a person like that as your maternal figure growing up? I think there’s a lot to be said for making a clean break from both of them and just being you, with your kids, figuring your shit out so you can break this pattern and at some point attract a good man with whom you can set appropriate boundaries and have a healthy nurturing relationship.

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    • something random

      something random May 13, 2015, 7:54 am

      Well said, madam.

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom May 13, 2015, 8:45 am

      I agree completely. She has little or no understanding of boundaries and how to set them to protect herself, her.r relationship and her children. They are essential to a healthy relationship. Inviting her toxic mother to live with them and expecting a good result is no different than inviting a sibling to live with you that you know steals money and prescription drugs and thinking you’ll be safe because you are siblings or inviting your freeloading friend to stay with you and being surprised when they never leave and never manage to keep a job more than a week. One thing I tell my kids is reality is that you can’t always trust the people you should be able to trust. You have to live in the real world and evaluate the people in it based on their real behavior instead of the way they should behave.
      .
      If she doesn’t come to understand how to set boundaries in her life she will have a constant string of bad events happening to herself and her children just because she doesn’t keep toxic people out. That’s why I said this relationship was already unhappy before the husband/mother sex. There was too much happening that would already destroy a relationship.
      .
      LW – if you get nothing else from this thread remember this: Reality is that you can’t always trust the people you should be able to trust.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom May 13, 2015, 9:13 am

    Besides the lack of boundaries the thing that jumped out immediately to me, because it was at the beginning not because it was the worst thing, was that she pushed her husband to let her mom stay with them. She didn’t respect his saying no he didn’t want her mom in their home. No should mean no. I think either partner in a relationship should be able to say no to things that don’t work for them. Whether it is no I don’t want your mom living with us or no I don’t like that name for a baby or no I don’t want to get another pet at this time, or no I don’t want your freeloading friend to move in, no means no. It’s another thing that I’ve stressed with my kids. If someone tells you no you need to respect that no and stop whatever it is that you were doing that the person doesn’t want. I’ve also told my kids they have the right to say no, including to each other. I have stressed that they not accept actions that they don’t want or like. They can say no, don’t come into my room and no, I don’t want you hugging me or no, I don’t want to hug you. They can say no, you can’t borrow my clothes. Most families seem to prevent family members from setting boundaries within the family. Kids aren’t allowed to say no, I don’t want to hug you. Siblings aren’t allowed to say no, you can’t take my clothes out of my closet, even when there is a pattern of the clothes being stained or otherwise damaged. It think that listening to no and respecting it is as critical to a successful relationship as boundaries are, the word no is a boundary of its own. If you and a partner have drastically different ideas about what is acceptable then you aren’t a good fit and should find a different partner but you shouldn’t be pushing someone to do things that they don’t want to do.

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  • chief10

    chief10 May 13, 2015, 3:27 pm

    He should’ve said something with the texts he was receiving. Def should have said something after the sexual incident. When I read the letter i thought wow sounds like rape to me. He holds responsibility but not as much as MIL. He was at the least impaired and made a choice that (hopefully) he wouldn’t have made sober.

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