"Should I Tell My Husband That I Am in Love With Another Man?"
Should this mum of one continue her affair with the man who treats her right, or should she come clean about it to her husband, and stop her extra-marital relationship for the sake of her child and family ties?
Preeti* is a mum of one child -- a 7-year-old girl. She's not in a pretty situation right now, but do take a moment to read her story that she shared with us at theAsianparent, until the end and without judgement:
I married the 'love of my life' Sam* 16 years ago. We had been dating for about six years before that and back then, being so young and immature, I was convinced he was the one for me.
There were warning signals of his extremely jealous and possessive nature, as well as his lack of respect for me, even back then. But I was too inexperienced and naive to see them and was in fact quite flattered that he was so jealous of other men checking me out.
In retrospect, I think my mum knew what kind of a man he was, and what kind of a husband would be -- she tried to break up our relationship. But I was young and headstrong and resisted her attempts, and so here we are today, married, terribly unhappy with each other, and parents to one daughter.
My husband is abusive.
For years, I have been at the receiving end of his emotional and verbal abuse**. I have cried myself to sleep innumerable times after his verbal attacks, feeling rotten about myself, as a person, as a wife and as a mother.
I still remember an incident that happened when our daughter was just three months old. I was struggling to manage to look after her and keep up with the housework (we didn't have a maid) and had stopped work in order to be with my baby and care for her.
I needed to go to the supermarket to get diapers but didn't have cash on me, so I asked him for some.
He yelled at me and called me a useless mother and wife, that all I did was use up the money he earned and why couldn't I get a job and contribute to the expenses. That was the first time his words really hurt me, like a knife through my heart.
From here on, the verbal and emotional abuse continued, year after year. I lost all the self-confidence that I once had and became an empty shell, a shadow of the woman I used to be. I never spoke back to him because that's not in my nature.
You might be wondering why I didn't leave him. But how could I?
We have a child together, and a divorce would have really affected my very traditional parents. I didn't want to do that to them. Plus, he is a good father and I didn't want to deny my child of his presence in her life.
Soon, my daughter started school. I would head to the public library while she was there and read until it was time to pick her up. This daily outing soon became my escape from the harsh reality that I faced every day.
School, library, home, face more insults, cry, sleep -- this was the sad story of my life.
Then one day, something happened that was to turn my whole life around. I met *Ray.
We first met at the library. I was sitting by myself, and he came and sat near me. We got talking. He was there the next day too, and the next and the next.
Soon, we started going out for coffee. We had so many common interests and couldn't get enough of talking to each other.
For the first time in my life, I was with a man who was genuinely interested in me and what I had to say. He was kind, sweet and respectful. And he was also in an unhappy marriage and had a young child too. But he told me he was willing to leave his wife for me.
We found ourselves getting drawn closer and closer to each other and soon, our relationship turned physical. Now, there was no going back. The sex was incredible -- tender and intense -- and everything I had never experienced with Sam.
But every day that passed with Ray in my life, I felt guilt along with happiness.
My happiness often was greater than my guilt, though, and this reflected on my mood, my appearance, my being. And soon my husband picked up on these changes.
He was always possessive, always suspicious and even though I was very careful in deleting emails and text messages between myself and Ray, I was so scared that I would get caught out.
He started questioning my choice of clothes and makeup in the morning. I even caught him once going through my text messages and rifling through my underwear drawer.
Then one day my daughter asked me, with worry written all over her sweet face, if her dad and I were going to divorce. My heart shattered into a million pieces at her innocence and anxiety, and immediately all those feeling of self-doubt and worthlessness came flooding back.
I was a horrible mother and wife -- Sam was right all along -- or was he? A tiny voice in my head told me I deserved to be happy, for once in my life.
Being with Ray taught me that everyone deserves happiness and love. But at the same time, wasn't my daughter giving me happiness and love? Shouldn't that be enough for me?
Should I stop my relationship with Ray and focus on my family, my child, even though I'll be caught in this trap of verbal and emotional abuse forever?
Or should I come clean with Sam and then leave him forever? But will this affect my darling girl? And I know Sam won't let me go that easily and even if he does, he will still find a way to make my life miserable.
Please don't judge me. I feel like I am going crazy with the guilt, with the anxiety and with this burden I carry on my shoulders, and this is punishment enough.
What would you do -- as a mother, a wife, a woman?
*All names have been changed to protect privacy.
**Abuse is abuse -- verbal, physical or emotional -- and often is experienced by women as one or all of these forms. If you, or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse/violence of any sort, please get help as soon as you can.