He Lied to His Wife, Pretending His Lover Was His Cousin

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

My husband passed off a woman to me as his cousin when in fact she was his lover. Not only am I angry because he did this, of course, but I am so upset that his family helped him lie and helped cover for his lie for two years of our marriage.

I can't believe his family would have such disrespect for me and for the sanctity of marriage!

I found out that my husband would meet up with this woman at his mother's house and at his brother's and sister's homes while I was at home taking care of our children and trying to get his records and files together for his next promotion. I would even take courses for him and pass the classes.

I have done everything possible as a supportive wife while he's been in the Army to help him with his career and his promotions, and now I find out he's been cheating on me! He doesn't know how bad I want to slap or punch him in his face!

Ms. Vicki, should I throw eight years down the tube over this? Should I be worried there are more women? Who knows what else he has been hiding since he was willing to go to this extent to hide this and cheat on me.

His family is trying to act like it's my fault. His mother actually said that he needs an outlet with another woman because I keep him so stressed out. Can you believe that?

Here I am taking care of our children, my husband, working every day doing a job I hate with little time for myself and he's out cheating on me. I don't know how to solve this or what to do from this point. I do love my husband and I know he loves me, but this has destroyed me and our family.

-- Can't Stop Hurting

Dear Hurting,

It's understandable that you feel the way you do. You are experiencing an array of emotions, and all of them are normal.

What your husband and in-laws did was very low down but, as much as I hate to say it, your situation is nothing new. I have heard many times from women and men whose spouse has passed off a lover as a family member. I've heard this scenario so many times that I think a spouse who suspects something might be off should make their spouse prove how they are related to a new relative.

To anyone reading this who suspects they might be in your situation: Ask more questions about this "new cousin" or person who pops up. Ask to see family pictures with that person in them; ask for stories from past times. Ask about their connection to the family.

This betrayal is damaging to your relationship with your husband and with his family. I don't know if these relationships will ever be repaired. Repairing your marriage will take you and your husband both working hard and trying to heal this brokenness.

Children know when their parents are fighting and not getting along, but children can also witness how their parents come together to save their marriage.

I totally understand why you are hurt and angry. I know you want to hit him -- and I don't blame you -- but don't do that. I can't condone violence for any reason.

Hopefully, your husband accepts responsibility for his actions. I think this has more to do with your husband than your in-laws. Don't get me wrong, your in-laws are dirty and low-down too, but your marriage is with your husband.

First things first: Try to start repairing your marriage. You can work on your relationships with the other members of his family later. You don't have to see your in-laws again if you don't want to.

My recommendation is for individual therapy for you and for marriage therapy for you and your husband. Check on post for the availability of therapy services and for someone who specializes in marriages that are in crisis.

If there are no services available, contact Military OneSource and they will connect you with a provider in your local community. Request someone who is experienced in couples and marriage therapy.

Please keep in touch with me and let me know how you are doing.

-- Ms. Vicki

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Family and Spouse