Dear Crystal,

I am a teacher currently residing in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, Schools have been closed, however, I recently returned to work because all students preparing to take the CPEA (Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment), had to return for preparation classes.

I have young children, and I decided to leave them at my mother’s house during the week because my husband and I both have to work.
One afternoon, I returned home from work earlier than anticipated. I had the intention to cook and do a bit of tidying up around the house before the kids and the husband arrived home.

Upon arriving, I saw my husband’s vehicle and was rather surprised to see him at home this early. As I entered the house, I saw strange leather slippers along with my husband’s work shoe, I know they didn’t belong to him, so I thought he probably had a guest, maybe one of his buddy’s were over and they were having a drink.

I walked towards the back porch but the door was locked, I decided to go to the bedroom because it was hot as hell and I just wanted to get out of my work clothes, as I neared the bedroom I heard strange noises coming down the hall from our room.

I hesitated, and all sorts of things flooded my mind. I thought there was NO WAY my husband could be cheating with some woman in our house, in our bed. I placed my hands on the doorknob, took a deep breath and slowly opened the door. What I saw that day, of all the things that could possibly happen, I didn’t think this would have entered my front door, let alone, MY BEDROOM! My husband of eight years, was in bed with another man.

My heart sank, I could not say a word, I just stood there in total shock, completely lost for words. His lover looked up and immediately froze. When my husband saw me, he looked like he had seen a ghost. They both started putting their clothes on, and his lover left without saying a word. My husband was apologizing and fell on his knees begging for forgiveness.

Ms. Crystal, I made vows in the sight of God and man to love honor and cherish, to stay together in sickness and in health, to forsake all others. Truth be told we have not been intimate for a while, whenever it does happen, it feels forced, so I concentrate on taking care of the children, my work and the home. Honestly, I don’t even know if I can start all over again, I don’t want my children growing up without a father. I am so lost, I don’t know where to go from here. Please help.

Double Crossed

Dear Double Crossed,
I can’t imagine this being easy for you, or anyone for that matter. No one wants to find out that they are being cheated on. You are trying to figure out whether or not to remain in your marriage.

While it is not my place to explicitly tell you what to do, the reality is, the both of you will need to sit down and address the elephant in the room, and be honest with yourselves. As a parent, I am aware that you are very concerned about your children and for very obvious reasons. They will play a huge role in your final decision.

I know you want to protect them. keep in mind, whatever your decision is, children are more resilient than we gave them credit for. Be cautious of your words when communicating with your children in anger especially during this period.

You can project certain feelings you harbor about their father unto them. In Psychology this is referred to this as transference. Your happiness and peace of mind is important, but their happiness also counts.

I strongly suggest you both seek counseling, I will not speak on anything or make any recommendations regarding your husband or your marriage at this time, as these are matters that should be addressed in therapy, more details will come to light there.

Whether or not you decide to remain together, you must understand that it can take years to restore trust, which will also affect your dependents who are also a part of this relationship. The road to healing during such a crisis is not going to be a smooth one. Loren .A. Olson, M.D. describes the crucial issues of working through crises such as these as:
The severity of the offense
The degree of wanting to stay committed
The degree to which the offender is sincerely apologizing
Conciliatory behavior (the offender is trying to pacify his/ her actions)
Having the ability to forgive.
The personality of the parties involved.

The most important thing you should work on is self love, always take time to heal and always put your wellbeing and happiness at the forefront. Love yourself, and take it one day at a time. Remember, you are only human. Pray, read, meditate, talk to a friend you trust in order to maintain your sanity and never give up hope.
“If you can’t love yourself, you can’t love someone else.”

Crystal Clear