I cheated on my wife, but she won’t let me divorce her

Cheating is a social taboo, getting a divorce is a bigger one - families are brought in and threats are exchanged.

Anonymous Husband April 03, 2015
While you may find many sympathisers for women, who everyone thinks are the only silent prisoners in the Alcatraz of a nuptial knot, there is hardly anyone who ever wants to understand a man’s perspective in a failing relationship.

I fail to understand why women are often portrayed as ‘the victim’ in a failing relationship and the men as ‘unjust’. Why are women projected as the weaker link when there is much ado about women’s rights and freedom?

Don’t get me wrong here; I am an avid supporter of feminism and women’s empowerment, which I truly believe are two different things. I have always supported good education for women and encouraged career development. But where is that self-confidence, empowerment and the ‘can do’ attitude when you need it for your personal matters?

got married as early as 25 to a woman I thought I loved at the time. I gave her my best for a few years and we have three beautiful daughters together. My job’s lucrative demands required extensive travelling.

What could possibly go wrong one must be thinking?

Here is where the plot gets a twist.

Love is not self-invigorating and this had already become clear in our case. After being in an honest relationship with my wife, I realised I was not getting the attention that was due. I felt my wife was closer to her family – who always lent her a helping hand with our children – than to me.

However, I have decided not to take that as an excuse for me to justify my actions. The simple matter of fact is, I fooled around and fell in love.

I met a woman online and what initially started out as foolish flirtation, turned into very intellectual conversations on different topics. We exchanged views on languages, culture, and faith. She gave me the much needed attention and love that I had been longing for. We came together like the opposite poles of a magnet. We would take holidays abroad every few months to be together. These moments with her turned out to be the happiest moments of my life and a bouquet of memories that I will cherish for long.

To say my wife had no idea on what I had been up to could be equated to me living in a fool’s paradise. Women can sniff these things out even before they happen. There is no shame and excuse required for choosing to love a woman you know you are compatible with.

All hell broke loose when I finally decided to tell my wife that I had decided to call it quits with her. The scene that unearthed following my confession could have been aired for a Pakistani drama and the dialogues could have been used for a Bollywood movie.

My wife used every trick she could pull from the hat. And in the end, she overwhelmed me with her outburst to the point that I gave up.

Just like you cannot sail two boats at one time, you can only ever make one woman happy at one time. My children proved to be the Achilles heels in our case. I unhappily ended my extra-marital affair and sunk rock-bottom into a well of sadness.

While ‘cheating’ is a social taboo, getting a ‘divorce’ is a bigger one. What can be a simple separation with shared responsibility of the kids becomes animosity between two parties.

Families are brought in, threats are exchanged, pep-talks are given.

All the guilt rests on the man’s shoulders and the woman plays the victim in the act. A woman’s fate is thought to be sealed for life if she gains the title of a divorcée. What could very well turn out to be an easy corridor to a happier future relationship for both man and woman, freezes the relationship in its most unstable state.

Marriage is not an obligation you must fulfil at the cost of being unhappy. Yes, marriage is sacred, but only when the foundations are strengthened with the pillars of love and affection. It is like a house of cards that can collapse with the whiff of air, and when it does, there is no resurrecting it.

One can file for separation and start living the life they want to and hopefully find eternal bliss one day. Or you can stay together with clouds of uncertainty looming above your heads and hoping it rains and clears out one day.

For me, I choose to live a pointless life faking a happily ever after.
Anonymous Husband The author is a systems analyst and has been working abroad for over 10 years. He has worked for the world's top consulting firms in the Asia Pacific and MENA regions.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Lara | 6 years ago | Reply I am a woman and I do have empathy for you. Anyone who has been in a marriage, anyone has been in a partnership or a long relationship should understand the complexity of relationships and human beings in general. Marriage needs constant work from both ends. One spouse's actions are not the sole outcome of his/her independent decision, but rather the outcome of an aggregate of years, moments, times you listened and times you did not listen, things you did and things you did not do collectively as a couple. Life is too complex to treat it as a case when algorithm. I am not saying what you did was right, but who says what she did was right either? You both have yourselves to blame for your mistakes. All I see is 3 adult victims: your wife who is unable to accept and understand that the relationship is over, the other woman who fell in love and is not able to live it, and finally you. You went out to fish a small fish, and you ended up fishing more than you could chew. If this is your choice now (to stay with your wife), stay there and try to make the best of it. If you don't like your wife anymore, leave her, but not for another woman. Have the courage to leave her for you, the courage to walk away from a life you don't like, and not the responsibilities you don't like.
Candy Mansion | 6 years ago | Reply A man such as you are having an affair make you feel proud so sad to be your wife pay attention on you lots get pay back for another woman if you plan to leave your wife one day your going to regret noone will love you like your wife the most
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