Couple is locked together in a fight.

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I have known that my husband has repeatedly had affairs with other women for the last several years. I have confronted him, threw him out, etc. He refuses to admit it and tells me I need to take a long hard look in the mirror. He uses the usual terms that I don’t understand him after 25 years. I have heard him on the phone, found receipts, phone numbers (before he got a secret cell phone), etc. I have practically driven myself into a total emotional breakdown trying to keep our marriage together. I am at the end of my rope.

I want to confront some of the other women (I know where they work). They are all in their thirties and do not seem to care that a man is married. But when he is telling that his wife doesn’t understand him, doesn’t give him sex (not true), is a shrew/bitch, nag, etc. I guess I can’t totally blame them for being gullible. I should have probably divorced him years ago but I can’t seem to totally break away. Any advice??

A: Your issue is with your husband, not the other women. Although I sincerely wish that women wouldn’t cooperate in hurting other women, and ultimately themselves, by participating in affairs, that’s not the issue at hand. Talking to them may keep you busy but it isn’t going to help matters.

The truth is you don’t trust your husband and he doesn’t like you very much. You spend your time playing cop. He spends his time leading a secret life. Yet both of you hang in. That suggests to me that neither one of you is ready or willing to separate. Whether that is from a genuine interest in staying together or from some sort of idea that one of you can win, I don’t know. I do know that no one wins in this type of struggle.

I think it’s long past time to stop the endless game of hide and seek, anger and defensiveness. You only have three choices: Continue as you are and end up old and bitter; cut your losses, get a divorce, and try to learn from the experience; or find a marriage counselor and make an honest effort to make a better marriage.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Photo

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Jan 2008

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2008). Couple is locked together in a fight.. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/01/06/couple-is-locked-together-in-a-fight/