Jane stood watching as Jerry and Sarah drove away. She could not move, or think, or even cry. She just stood still until she was able to get back in her car. When Jerry came home, Jane burst into tears. She couldn't speak. Jerry first asked what was wrong. When she told him, he tried to lie, but there was no way out other than to tell the truth. Or at least some version of the truth. He explained this was just for fun, nothing important. "A midlife crisis," he said. Jerry claimed he loved only Jane, and they went to bed clinging to one another.
Jane waited a week before she looked at Jerry's e-mail, she was looking for reassurance, but that is not what she found. Instead, she found love letters, full of promise and passion, and promises to divorce their partners be together.
Jane's world was falling apart, now what? Life has seemed so good, so full, and their marriage was good she thought. How could Jerry be in love with someone he had only known a few months.
Jane confronted Jerry with the e-mails. Jerry has no choice but to admit to having sex with Sarah but to also being in love with her. He told Jane, "I love you, but I am not in love with you. I didn't know I could feel this much passion. You and I are good friends, but I have never felt that way I do with Sarah."
The weeks that passed seemed like a blur to both Jerry and Jane. Jerry decided he has too much to lose to leave Jane. The kids, their home, their friends. And he did love Jane. He wanted to be a better husband and a better person.
Of course, it wasn't that easy. There is no off switch for being in love. And there is no eraser for the memories of betrayal, but there are answers to "Now What?" Can this relationship be saved?
As always, for more relationship advice, check out the book I wrote with Dr. Pepper Schwartz, Snap Strategies for Couples: 40 Fast Fixes for Everyday Relationship Pitfalls.