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Portrait of stylish african american man on sportswear cap and glasses sitting on stairs with phone at hand. Black men model street fashion.

My husband and I have been going through a rough patch for the past six months and we’ve come to the point where we’re considering separation and both individual and couple’s counseling. Before coming to a decision, however, my husband went on his annual boys trip with mutual married male friends of his, during which time he wanted to get some insight from the men closest to him about what he should do and how they could support him during this time.

While gone over the course of four days, I took the time to commune with my tribe as well and get clarity on how I wanted to move forward. The morning my husband was to come home I decided I wanted to do individual and couple’s counseling but I didn’t want to separate, legally or physically. And then he dropped a bomb.

As soon as he came through the door, my husband told me he messed up. With tears in his eyes, he said, “I slept with someone.” I could barely comprehend the words coming out of his mouth as he explained staying out late at the bar one night and making casual conversation with a woman who apparently is going through a divorce. Somehow, swapping sob stories turned into sharing a bed and now my husband is “so sorry” and “never meant for it to happen.”

My husband made it clear to me none of his friends encouraged his behavior; in fact a couple advised him to call it a night. But there was a freedom in being able to bare his soul to a woman without judgement that he couldn’t let go of. Nevertheless, he told me crossing the line and sleeping with her made him feel nothing short of disgusting and assured him of just how bad he wants our marriage to work and that he’s willing to do “anything” to make sure it does.

I don’t know how to feel about this. My husband has never cheated before and, odd as it sounds, I understand how the issues we’ve been having and the situation he found himself in occurred. But I’m furious, not just because he cheated but because he’s added another issue on top of the many we already needed to work through. We were supposed to be in a place to move forward toward moving forward and this, to me, is a huge step back. Trust was one thing I never lacked when it came to my husband and now he’s shattered one of the few reasons I felt our marriage was worth fighting for. And I hate now that, should we work things out, every time he goes away — especially on this annual trip — I’m going to be reminded of what he did and likely always harbor fear he could do it again. I don’t want to live like that. But I also don’t want to live without my husband. What do I do?

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