She’s made all the mistakes, so you don’t have to… Ask Erin is a weekly advice column, in which Erin answers your burning questions about anything at all.
I have been stuck in this nightmare for a year and I can’t take another day. I am desperate for help! I have been married eight years and I have three children. My husband is not the father of my two adult girls. I am financially dependent on my husband.
I found out in December 2015 that my oldest daughter and my husband were messing around behind my back. I confronted them and their response was all lies.
Since then, I keep catching text messages they send each other, talking about how much they love each other. I also found love cards they’ve given each other.
I cannot take it anymore. They won’t stop and I’m completely depressed, lost, broken, disgusted, and hurt.
I need advice. I don’t know what to do anymore. If I kick him out, I lose the house and everything. I can’t stay stuck anymore like this, though.
We don’t have sex or anything anymore either!
Please help me!
— Lost and broken
I am so sorry that you are in this situation. It truly sounds like a nightmare. What makes it a nightmare is that your daughter is involved in the betrayal.
I don’t know how you’ve lasted over a year in this. OMG, I would not be able to do the same. I know that you are scared because of your financial dependency, but your sanity is WORTH more than any house or dollar amount in the bank.
You need to approach this problem in steps.
First, get your ducks in a row. I want you to do two things next week. First, make an appointment with a therapist and make an appointment with a lawyer. If you need help finding resources in your area, email me back, and I can help.
Next, get your personal and financial affairs in order. Organize your finances, keep a record of everything that has transpired.
I believe your third child is his. At the very least, he is financially responsible for the child. I know you expressed concern that you would lose the house if you get divorced. I don’t think that is necessarily true, especially with a minor child. Please contact an attorney ASAP and get those questions answered.
Now is the time to take care of business and take care of yourself.
You can worry about your relationship with the daughter who is having the affair later on. Right now, worry about getting out of this very toxic situation, setting up a new stable environment for you and your child, getting some much-needed counseling, and looking forward, not back.
YOU CAN DO THIS. It all seems very overwhelming, understandably so, but you do have options, and you can make your way out of this mess. Please reach out to me again if you need resources or anything else.
And lean on trustworthy friends and family. I know you may feel humiliated by the situation, but you have done nothing wrong. Don’t keep this secret for them any longer. Allow your loved ones to help keep you up and afloat.
* editorial note: This affair was between two adults. Clearly there is more to be said about what may be going on with her adult daughter. My advice here was meant to help this woman through the actute portion of the crisis.