Not-So-Sunny Marriage

By Annie Lane

August 27, 2019 4 min read

Dear Annie: I'm a 30-year-old male in my first year of marriage to a charming, beautiful woman, "Sonny." I am madly in love with this woman, and she says the same to me. This is a second marriage for both of us.

Unfortunately, I'm finding out that she has lied to me about a number of things, and my love for her is being weakened by these revelations. We met shortly after she had broken up with another man. She told me that it was over. However, during our dating prior to marriage I learned that she was still seeing him, and sleeping with him on nights we were not together. At one point, she even suggested that we three should live together, and she would alternate nights with each of us. I wasn't about to accept that. We're married now, but I know she still has at least a phone relationship with him.

Her mother has recently moved in with us because I was told that circumstances in her life created that need. I've since learned that those dire straits were untrue. Most nights I go to bed alone because Sonny is chatting with her mother, with whom she's always had a close relationship, and with whom she lived when we first met.

Recently, Sonny has contacted a man she met during her first marriage. She set up a meeting with him. I have no idea what transpired between them, neither initially nor at this time. I do know he has a child named for her.

I've just learned that one of her children, supposedly from her first marriage, was fathered by another man during a period of separation in that marriage.

On a recent romantic long weekend to a tropical destination, Sonny wanted no part of any sexual romance. Of course, this crushed me. Though I always think of "Sonny" as an enthusiastic sexual partner, she never initiates intimacy between us.

We have been to a marriage counselor, whose concluding comment to me was, "Some beautiful women are like that," meaning they need attention from other men, I think. I'm seriously considering divorce, though I'm still in love with her. I'm feeling used, and find myself responding to some situations between us with anger. Can this marriage be saved? — Feeling Torn

Dear Torn: You are not painting a very sunny picture of Sonny. Unless the two of you had a previous understanding that infidelity was part of the deal, her actions would leave anyone feeling used. Your therapist's observation that "some beautiful women are just this way" seems dismissive and flippant. You might consider seeing another therapist.

Unless you are OK with Sonny's infidelity, this marriage will only bring you darkness and hurt. It's time to find a new therapist who helps you better understand what you would like out of a marriage. And then you need to tell Sonny in no uncertain terms what that is, perhaps being faithful. And what's with her mother? Is she enabling or encouraging Sonny to split the two of you apart?

When I read your letter, I couldn't help but wonder why you married her if you knew she was cheating on you when you were dating. With good therapy, you can both decide if you want to stay together and make it work, or go your separate ways. Best of luck to you.

"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]

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