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Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience:  Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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I found my fiancee searching through craigslist casual sex

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I found my fiancee searching through craigslist casual sex ads.This isn't the first time. It's the third. We've been in couples counseling for the past year and it seemed to help, but she came back to her old ways again. Our therapist think she has a sex addiction. Our wedding is only a couple months away and obviously I'm having second thoughts. I want to stay because I love her but I feel like I'll only get hurt again. Should I stay with her and see if sex addicts anonymous turns things around or make a clean break?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 5 years ago.
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue.

I'd bring the wedding plans to a screeching halt if I were you. I know that this isn't what you want to hear. I realize you love her but if you listen to your objective, rational and wise train of thought----the part of your head that wrote this post to me----it is screaming at you to knock this off until this woman has proven herself to you---which IMO, could take a year or two at this point. She has done this sort of thing three times and you assume that once married, she will stop the behavior? Frankly, unless there is a track record of evidence that this is 'fixed' as a problem she will be MORE likely to cheat on you AFTER marriage---during periods when you have serious episodes of struggle, conflict, rough spots, etc. and ALL marriages have them.

At best, XXXXX XXXXX 'stay' with her but I'd break off the engagement and tell her that when she can demonstrate that she has internalized the same values of trust, fidelity and monogamy as you hold, you might consider wedding plans again. What she would have to do without prompting from you, in my opinion, is offer to show you all of her email sites, passwords, facebook, telephone bills, etc., to demonstrate that this is ONLY the third time she has been flirting around. Now, you could ask for this information as an acid test regarding whether you stay or go; and if she even bleats a note of resistance, I'd walk because she doesn't want to be transparent, she isn't prepared to be totally open and forthcoming with you. If she goes into a routine that you want to invade her privacy or externalizes blame on you, says you are acting far too, jealous, etc., then this is all a phony defense against her unresolved belief that she can run a parallel life with you on the side.

Realize that this is only the third time you are aware of. I'd bet you a great deal of money she has flirted with cheating or has cheated many more times; you've simply not caught her at it. I'm sorry this is such a bleak feedback note to you but this woman has some serious emotional maturity issues to work through and this can take quite a while to remedy, if it ever is remedied.

What do you think you want to do, actually, honestly?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I'm all over the place. Sometimes I want to leave, sometimes I want to stay. I do love her and want to believe that all the work I've put into this relationship will pay off at some point. But thats not looking good at the moment. My thought was the same tho at the moment. Call of the wedding and if she can make a change then maybe eventually get married. I have a feeling that she'll hold that against me, because that's how she's been in the past and that will ultimately doom our relationship. I feel like its very lose lose. Plus her parents are going to be out several thousands of dollars that they put down as deposits for our wedding. Just another thing weighing on my mind.
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 5 years ago.
Here again is another serious red flag reflected in your fiance's behavior. Your fiance has at least emotionally cheated on you (at least this is all you know) by seeking out other men on Craigslist and when you raise legitimate, reasonable alarm about how serious this is, SHE 'holds it against you' when you want to call off the engagement. I don't think she 'gets it', perhaps? If this level of unwise and immature judgment dooms your relationship eventually, you are probably count myself fortunate that you have a good sense of her. Also, I wouldn't blink an eye about her parents getting upset about spending several thousand dollars on deposits. I hope your fiance has the courage and maturity to come clean with them and explain that you called off the wedding because for the third time, she was messing around with other guys on Craigslist, and was emotionally cheating on you. Were I her parent, I'd count you as a wise man and her, as an immature, foolish woman who isn't ready for a real marriage yet. I would be glad to have not spent even more money on a wedding, for a marriage that wouldn't last unless my daughter got some quality help and 'grew up' quite a bit. So if they become angry or put out by this, it means their daughter hasn't told them the truth about what happened, or if she did, and they are still mad at you, it could be that you don't want to marry into this quality of in-laws.

I hope your wise, objective and rational thinking rules your decisions regarding this relationship. As I suggested, you can test where her head is at regarding her desire to be fully transparent, open and honest with you anytime---now, in 2-3 months, etc., by asking her for full sharing and disclosure of internet accounts, passwords, bills, etc. If she passes the test, great; it means she is maturing and you are probably getting on the same page regarding the true meaning of loyalty and monogamy. I hope this information is helpful to you. Please let me know if I have overlooked any aspect of your original question. Please click on the green Accept button at the bottom of the screen. Thanks.
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