The "best" birthday gift my husband ever gave me.

Dear AmoMama,

Six weeks ago I turned 46 years old. My husband and I went out to dinner, and afterward, I wanted to make love. My husband hadn't touched me in three months, and I thought on my birthday I would seduce him, be sexy, get our mojo back. 

The problem was that two years ago my husband's employer - a multinational who builds refineries - offered him a huge six-figure bonus on top of a triple salary if he accepted working for them in a high-risk country setting up a new refinery. It was a one year contract, but once it was over, my husband told me, we could pay off our house, and clear the kids' college loans. I would stay in Houston, but with our cell phones and Skype, we'd be in touch constantly.

He was always very upbeat when he spoke, too much so, but I believed he was most likely in greater danger than he wanted me to know.

The year ended up stretching to 18 months, but he finally came home. I thought everything would be back to normal but it wasn't. We'd always had a very active sex life, but after three months he still hadn't touched me.

So on my birthday when I tried to initiate lovemaking he was short with me, pushed me away when I kissed him and caressed him intimately. I asked him point-blank what was going on, and he confessed that he had had an affair. 

All the time I had been anguished and fearful for his life, lonely and missing him desperately he had been sleeping with some Englishwoman he met there. That was my 'birthday present'. The man I'd been faithful to all my life had had an affair,

My husband and I were married straight out of high school, not because we had to, but because we wanted to. We had loved each other since we were kids, we couldn't imagine life without each other. He was my first and only lover and I was his.

He tells me he didn't stop loving me, and he still does; nor did he stop desiring me - he just couldn't bring himself to make love to me without telling me the truth.

He told me he didn't love HER, it was just that he hadn't ever had sex with anyone but me, and it was crazy and exciting. I demanded he show me a photo, and SHE is not even pretty- I'm better looking and have a better body.

He asked me to forgive him because it will never happen again.  So I told him I would, but I can't stop thinking about it. I see it in my head and it is making me mad. I keep asking him for details, what he did to HER, what he did with HER.

A few days ago we finally made love again and it was awful. All I could think about was how he had touched HER.

I need to let go of this because I am destroying myself. I must truly forgive, or I must divorce him. 

I love my husband and don't want to lose him, but I don't know how to overcome his betrayal. How can I let go of this pain? Please, has anyone out there gone through this? Can we forgive? I need to heal from this, or I must leave him. Please, someone, advise me, help me. 

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