Monday, August 27, 2007

He left us for another woman

26 Aug 2007, ST

In this fortnightly series, relationship gurus Allan and Barbara Pease offer advice for you and your better half. The married couple from Australia are the authors of Why Men Lie And Women Cry. Send your questions to

By RELATIONSHIPS MATTER Allan and Barbara Pease

My husband has abandoned me and our two children for his lover. Times are difficult and once I saw my son punching a photograph of his father. I told him to pray.

The pain is great and is still there, especially when I am alone. I feel betrayed and humiliated. I have lost all my self-confidence over the incident.

Barbara says: I feel for you. Being left for another woman is very difficult to bear. It destroys trust and damages self-esteem.

You have been very brave and showed strength when you advised your son to pray. It is okay to feel and acknowledge anger, but not to show hatred or wish for revenge. Those feelings harden the heart and soul.

But it is time to look ahead and your children should rightly be your first priority. They need a healthy and emotionally balanced Mum and stable environment.

I know it will be difficult, but you need to collect all the strength that you have already shown you have, and provide them with as happy and loving a home as possible.

Allan says: To raise emotionally stable children, you have to explain to them what has happened. Talk to them about their father having a different life away from them now, but that he still loves them.

Children tend to take the blame themselves for the loss of the relationship and feel a good deal of guilt. It is important to assure them that they are not to blame.

Tell them that things in their life will change, but that it will be okay. Tell your husband that you still want him involved in the children's lives and happiness.

Sit down as a family and get your husband to explain his new situation, and that he is still their father and loves them.

What you should do: If your emotions will let you, try to see the positive side of this situation. There is a reason for what happened, and you never know what the future has in store for you.

Spend a lot of quality time with your children as it will lighten your spirit and strengthen your family bond.

Although your soul will cry out for a different behaviour, try to think friendly thoughts about your husband, and speak well of him to the children. They will pick up on your positive emotions and act accordingly.

Your children love you and want to protect you, but it is important to keep your negative emotions to yourself.

Try to be as rational as you possibly can when you ask your husband to come and talk to the children. He may not agree to your request if you express negative emotions or accuse him of wrongdoing.

Show him that you accept his decision about starting a new life. This will be emotionally demanding and it may be good to seek professional help to guide you through this difficult time.


I was in a relationship for seven years. Although we never spoke about breaking up, it feels like it's over now and I have difficulty letting go.

For seven years, I supported him emotionally and financially. I felt that whenever there was something wrong, I got blamed.

He misinterpreted my friendships with other men and made me suffer.

For the past three years, I have been in Singapore earning money for our future. He says our long-distance relationship does not work and admits to having four girlfriends now.

Barbara says:
I understand that you are feeling lost and lonely and trying to hang on to your love. Long-distance relationships are very hard to maintain, and the bond may need to be very strong for it to last.

You seem to be the stronger person and leader in your relationship. He appears to be an insecure man who relies on you for support, both emotionally and financially. As such, he has lost his path without you there.

This could be a good time for both of you to have an honest talk about what you each want in life, from your relationship and from each other.

Allan says: Traditionally, it was the man's 'job' to earn the family's living. He may feel threatened that you took the initiative to go overseas to earn money while he stayed at home without a job. He may feel the need to exert his power and keep his pride and dignity by dominating you.

You appear to have rewarded this behaviour by being devoted and submissive to him. Perhaps this is why you are now letting him control the future of your relationship by being the one who decides if he wants you or not.

What you should do: It is very important that you sort out your feelings. Reflect on your relationship.

How do you feel about the way he treats you at the moment, and how would you like to be treated? Ask yourself how you would like the relationship to be in the future. If you want it to change, then you need to communicate your feelings to your partner.

He needs to understand and accept that you will not tolerate his past behaviour any longer. He needs to understand that his actions hurt you, and you want that to change. Be firm and confident, without condemning him.

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