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Love Letters

He cheated, but I want to get past it and have fun again

How do you spice up a marriage during quarantine while the grown kids are home?

Submit your questions for Meredith here.

Q. A few months into this stay-at-home life, I am looking for ways to bring excitement back to my 30-year marriage. Last year I discovered my husband had a liaison with a co-worker. Mostly texts, but they would occasionally sneak off to get physical. I am not sure I have the whole truth from my husband, but I feel assured that he loves me, regrets what he did, and wants to stay in the marriage. They still work together and now have meetings on camera; he does not mind if I see the meetings at a distance, as he wants to reassure me.

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What advice do you have for rebuilding trust? While I believe him when he says I am the love of his life and she meant nothing to him, I still feel insecure eight months later. We are in our 50s, she is 15 years younger. I am not worried that he really loved her, but I want to keep life at home spicy and fun for him. And for myself!

I want to spend our quarantine time together rekindling the fun in our relationship. What are some ideas? Both our kids are home from college, so we can’t do much that is very elaborately staged. It’s a small house and sound carries.

– Rekindling

A. So we can’t do much that is very elaborately staged. Elaborately staged! Sorry, I just needed to repeat that. I love it.

There might be some fun involved in hiding from everyone else in your home. That you’re in a house with too many people could mean having to stay quiet, sneaking around to unusual places, and enjoying each other at weird hours. All of that can be spicy.

But I also want to say it’s not your responsibility to orchestrate ways to keep him interested. I understand why you feel rejected and insecure — why you’d want to show him what he’s got at home — but don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Try to enjoy what you have with him without trying to prove anything. Also, maybe stop taking him up on his offer to see those on-camera meetings. All it does is force you to look at that woman’s face.

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You can build trust over time. So much of this is about him showing up for you every day.

This is a good time to get to know a partner all over again, to assess what’s missing — and to be grateful for having the right person by your side. It’s also a good time to plan for the future. That can be part of the romance, talking about where you might travel together when it’s safe.

Just remember it’s not on you to keep him around. He should be doing some work, too.

— Meredith

READERS RESPOND

The dynamic here seems completely out of whack. He wronged you and you are trying to make it up to him. HEYITHINK

I am really impressed with how you are handling this and that you are fighting for your marriage. I believe that relationships can get back on track and weather a storm like this. MARYORRHODA

Spicing up the marriage is about more than sex. I would suggest you both start looking for ways to focus on each other’s interests. PMCD101

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Go for a drive and park somewhere like a couple of teens. CONCERNEDCITIZENONDUTY

Catch Meredith Goldstein’s Love Letters podcast at loveletters.show or wherever you listen.