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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5231
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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I used the internet to chat to a woman 4 years ago, and we

Resolved Question:

I used the internet to chat to a woman 4 years ago, and we have been fighting ever since. Sometimes it seems we have got past the problem, the next day, it blows up again,
Can you suggest some steps we could take?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.

Hi! You know, to give you the best answer, I think I should ask you a few questions first that will help define the problem and the situation.


What is the relationship between the two of you now? Is it still an internet chat relationship or something more?

If the relationship is still only over the internet or texting, why do the two of you not just discontinue chatting?

If you have met and have a personal relationship now, what would you like the relationship to be?

Any extra information that will help, feel free to share.

Let's go forward from the answers to these questions.

Dr. Mark

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Sorry Dr.

I missed a section out.

I am married, and work away from home (oil fields) I went online and chatted to a woman out of boredom (no excuse I know) However, my wife found some messages on my laptop. Then she started to be a PI and contacted the woman...ect ect.

 

We had a big fight, and and it took many months for it to be resolved...because my wife saw it as an affair, where I didnt. I had no intention of meeting the woman, I was just bored and being stupid.

 

However, our relationship has steadily got worse, and we are now at a critical point. the online stuff has never happened again, yet we cant seem to get passed it.

 

and we are both blaming each other...she blames me for what happened, and I blame her for how she has treated me since.

 

Hope this makes it clearer.

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for the added information. It does indeed help a lot! I believe I can now be of help with this issue.

 

First, let me say I can imagine how frustrating and distressing this situation must be for you. I have to say that I am very concerned about this situation for your marriage. Why do I find it of such concern?

Because this is an issue that many couples face but rarely is it taken to this extreme of each person getting more and more entrenched in their own corner. It has now become the defining event in your relationship. That is a worrisome attitude on both your parts.

And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. I am concerned for your relationship that the two of you are going through this destructive phase. You clearly love your wife and you seem to be able to sense in yourself that something about the situation is extreme. And I have a feeling your wife also loves you and is unclear how to get out of this vicious circle the two of you have entered over this hurtful thing you did. You are seeking some other solution than you just giving in and apologizing over and over until she decides it's enough. So, we have to make one good faith effort to see if the ship can be righted. Okay?

Therefore, I want you to print out my answer and take it and her to a quiet pub or other quiet place and discuss it and commit to the program to try to make your relationship a success. You're going to start with a book. You'll get 2 copies, one for each of you. Why?

Because it is clear that this hurtful act, which was a solitary act, is representative of a lot of emotional distancing between the two of you that was simmering under the surface and now has become visible. I think the two of you will need to embark on couples therapy, but first let's try this book and self help work.

It's by an American but it is terrific for what you two need to work on. Each night you're both going to read a few pages or a chapter and do the exercise there if there is one in those pages. Every other night, or at most, every third night sometimes, you will get together, either at home or at the pub and talk about what you read. What you think of it, what it inspired in you. Make notes in the margins. And each one talk about the subject of the pages and what you think. Some sections may not be trouble spots for you, but that's okay. It's good to have some easier discussions where you both agree right away. That's your assignment and dates.

The book: It's by the foremost researcher into relationships in our day, John Gottman. He's famous for being interviewed on TV and being able to tell when a couple will get divorced within 5 minutes and having 90% accuracy. I've studied his therapy and use his therapy in my practice and that's why I'm concerned that you two do this. So the book is the Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. You can get it cheaply online.

The therapy: the two of you MUST work on how emotional connections are made and maintained. The two of you together need help in learning how to make your marriage more emotionally intimate and positive. There is no Gottman therapist in the UK I see in my directory, which is okay because there is a second type of therapy I want to recommend strongly for you two to consider.

It is called Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. Why? Because it focuses on how there have been created emotional barriers and how to get through those barriers. Please consider it before you take other action. I know that there are therapists practicing this therapy in the UK and I very much hope there is one close enough for the two of you.

Here is the web address for their therapist finder:

http://iceeft.com/findtherapist.php

On the website you'll also find excellent books by the founders, Sue Johnson and Leslie Greenberg. They're in Toronto.

Okay, so that is a program to try to save your relationship.

I wish you the very best in this and in the future!

Please remember to click the green accept button. Feel free to continue the discussion; my goal is to get you the best answers possible. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.
Hi. This just came back to me as having a reply to me, but I don't see any reply. I don't know if this is a glitch in the system or if your reply was somehow deleted. If so, please try again.

I wish you the very best!

Please remember to click the green accept button. Feel free to continue the discussion; my goal is to get you the best answers possible. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Sorry, but I cant seem to see the name of the book?

Gary

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.
Gary, the book is The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. It's by John Gottman.

I wish you the very best!

Please remember to click the green accept button. Feel free to continue the discussion; my goal is to get you the best answers possible. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, Dr. Mark

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