Woman Says Family Is Pressuring Her To Cheat After Husband's Accident Leaves Him Paralyzed

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People holding hands from hospital bed
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One woman is having a hard time telling her family to butt out of her business and now she's about to blow. The Letter Writer wrote in to the Dear Prudie advice column and explained that her family is pressuring her to have an affair outside of her marriage because her husband was in an accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. But she thinks their life is perfect. "How do I get them to see I am OK?" she wrote.

  • Although her family thinks she's crazy, she truly believes her husband is the love of her life.

    In her letter she explained that after her husband's accident she couldn't take care of him 24/7, so now he lives in an assisted living facility.

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  • Typically, she visits her husband four times a week and talks to him every night.

    "We go to family events together," she wrote. "I am happy."

  • Her family can't imagine that her marriage would make her happy.

    Seven years after her husband's accident, they're starting to insist that the LW have an affair.

    "They think that I am 'wasting' my life because I am not having sex or children," she explained. "Apparently my family believes I cannot have a fulfilling life as it is now."

  • What's worse is that to her husband, they're all "smiles and sunshine."

    But then behind his back they try to set her up with strangers.

    "Sometimes I miss the physical act of lovemaking or the idea of children, but if I had to choose between those and keeping my husband, it is no contest," she wrote.

    Plus, there are other ways of fulfilling those desires "in other ways than adultery." 

    "This is the life I want. This is the life I choose," she continued.

  • Although it's "slowly killing me" that her loved ones think her marriage is a mistake.

    "I fought with my sister, and I asked if her husband had had an affair after her son was born, would that have been OK? Would she have encouraged it? She told me they hadn't had sex in two years because her sex drive was so out of sync," she recalled.

    "Obviously, it didn't happen and they got over their rough patch, but my sister looked like I slapped her when I brought it up," she added.

  • Since their heated conversation, she hasn't really spoken to her sister.

    She's depressed and alone. And what's worse, she has no one to confide in, so she has nowhere to turn.

    "This would hurt my husband so," she wrote.

    Is there any way to get them to see she's fine?

  • People agreed that her family has said their piece but now they need to butt out.


    "Send an email to all involved," one person told her in the comments. "Simply say you do not appreciate this BS 'advice' and you never want to hear another peep about it. And that if anyone decides to bring it up anyway, you will cut them off. End of discussion."

    "It's been seven years for chrissakes," someone else added. "They're not going to see the light, so don't think there's much point in talking to them about this. Just needs to draw a very bright line in the sand. Hope she has some dear friends close by."

    "Hmmm, you should just tell family to shut up and mind their own business," a third person chimed in. "Therapy might be a good thing at some time as you are facing this into the future. You do not have to spend time with people just because they are related and they sound obnoxious."

  • And columnist Danny M. Lavery agreed -- her family has no business making these assumptions about her life.

    First things first -- find someone in your life who you can talk to, Lavery advised. 

    "You deserve to spend time with people who haven't appointed themselves arbiters of your personal life, if only for a reminder of what normal, appropriate, human interactions look like," he wrote.

    And then he wrote that she should not spend her time trying to convince her family to see that she's OK. 

    "A more achievable goal would be setting a rule like 'I'm not answering calls or getting together with anyone who tries to set me up on unwanted dates because they think my marriage is inadequate,'" he continued. "'If you want to spend time with me, you cannot pry into my sex life or tell me that my life is a waste because I don't have kids.'"

    "I understand why you don't want to bring this to your husband, but I think you need to talk about this with someone who's in your corner and affirms your right to make your own decisions," he added.

    That can be on-site counselors, a therapist, an online support group, or even other people who also have partners in her husband's assisted living facility. 

    "You don’t have to go into detail if the prospect makes you uncomfortable, but I imagine you're not the only visitor with overbearing relatives, and you might find a lot of support and solidarity there," he wrote.

    "Whatever avenue you choose, I think the best thing you can do for yourself is to spend less time and energy on relatives who seem determined to override you, and more time and energy looking after your own needs," he added.

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