Hello Dr. Laura,
I want to tell your followers to take your advice very seriously. I wish I knew you when I was dating my now husband.
You often say if there are red flags, don't walk, run the other way. I saw red flags and my mother saw them, too. Instead of accepting them for all they were worth, I was so in love with the idea of being in love, I was DELUSIONAL, thinking that I could make everything better for him.
Fast forward to getting married, having children, dealing with all his issues over the years, getting counseling for him and for us as a couple, trying to make things work because of the family we created, and then to him having an affair.
Today I sit devastated by uncovering this affair. (He claims it was not physical, they were 'just friends.') He told her it wouldn't work because of their age difference, not because he was married with children and didn't want to derail his marriage and family. I stayed by this man for 24 years in spite of his failings, pulled him up when he was at his lowest, recognized the good in him (I KNEW this man would NEVER cheat on me and I could always TRUST him), have often times felt very neglected as a wife, but still, never considered cheating in any manner. He states she gave him the ego boost he needed and liked that she thought he was so much younger.
Yes, our marriage was not perfect, but I was again delusional that we could always work it out together. Instead, he chose the weakest, lowest way to get his fulfillment, by going outside our vows.
I cannot un-ring this bell. I can, however, forewarn others to take your advice and acknowledge the red flags and don't make the immature and wrong choices that I did.