“TED” AND “Janice” Sorreta were chaste fiancées back in college. For years they were always sweet and faithful to each other, even as they tied the knot. Janice could only be so sure, and Ted so confident, of their loyalty.

But with a successful career, philandering peers, a willing office mate, a lackluster marriage, and a desire for a second child, Ted turned 360 degrees, giving cheating a try.

Should Janice keep the marriage, learning of Ted’s mistress and the affair that bore fruit? Could Ted still leave his partner whom he learned to love?

This and the other rues of infidelity were the highlight of the 13th Asia Pacific Pre-Congress Conference at Sacred Heart Center in Cebu City. The conference on “Infidelities and Other Serious Stories” sponsored by Thomasian physicians and spouses Orestes Monzon and Edna Garayblas-Monzon of Human Life International boldly discussed issues on philandering often kept under the rug.

Ted himself, now a marriage counselor, was a speaker in the talk titled “How Not to End an Affair.”

“After an infidelity, you must end that marriage,” Ted said. “End it to start together all over again.”

Ted confessed of the agony of his wife who eventually separated from him. Struggling with a support group of marriage counselors and a Catholic community saved an almost impossible marriage.

“I was even the one who was bitter. But we both wanted to save our family, and the love we knew we always had,” he said. “We forgave each other because we didn’t forget each other’s goodness.”

Breaking up with his “significant other” was top priority, and Ted had to try it twice, sharing his lessons to an international audience of about 500.

Number of UST's martyrs, clarified

“Never end an affair ceremoniously. It would only romanticize the ‘sweet times,” he said. “Burn your bridge. Don’t even break up as friends. Because if you are still friends, you would return to each other when you are down. But if there’s an emotional barrier, you would keep each other at bay.”

Ted said that it is wise to totally change one’s lifestyle, workplace, contacts, and possible access to the third party. One should resolve not to see one’s partner while finding ways to secure one’s illegitimate child—if there’s any—at least financially.

“You may have developed strong feelings for a partner, especially one who bore you a child. But you must choose, and you must not again decide based on passions but on convictions.” Nicolo F. Bernardo


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