Steve and Shirley,

I married my high school sweetheart. We’ve been together 16 years (since high school) but only married for the past 8. We never lived together prior to getting married because I come from a strict family and shacking was not an option. Shortly after we were married I found out he would watch porn on our computer which I assumed was a normal man thing. But then he starting becoming extremely aggressive in bed. He would want me to do things that I felt were somewhat degrading or were downright painful/uncomfortable. I’m open to try new things, but there was no passion or love shown to me at all. I would feel sleezy and filthy after having sex with him. So my confidence in the bedroom declined and he would complain that I was never exciting enough. A year into our marriage we had our first child. I found out prior to delivering that he was involved with an older woman. Initially he told me she was “like a mother” to him and his brothers growing up. This woman even came to visit me in the hospital when I had the baby. After seeing her in person and peeping out how they looked at each other. I kept snooping and found out that their relationship was much more than what he said. After I confronted him and her, they ended it. A few months later I found out he was cheating on me with another girl. This time much younger at the time it began she was 18, he and I were 27. This relationship with her has continued since I found out seven years ago. He’ll tell me its over, then a few months later she is back in the picture. So here we are eight years in with two beautiful children and he continues to see her. I grew up with a single mom and I’ve always been so obsessed with providing my children a “family” with both parents in the home, that I’ve tolerated things I couldn’t even begin to describe. Ultimately he feels that if he provides financially then I should be happy. But I am so lonely. My heart is so heavy from the void I feel. I feel rejected, unwanted, and whenever he feels he’s disappointed me, he buys me something. But all I really want is him to be faithful like I have. For him to give me a strong embrace or a kiss on the forehead would mean the world to me. I am afraid of letting our kids down and I’m even more afraid of starting over. My life has revolved around this man and our family. I just don’t know where to go from here…