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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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If my husband goes to strip clubs often is he addicted to them

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If my husband goes to strip clubs often is he addicted to them? He wants a divorce because he says I am bitchy and did not give him enough sex and that I am controlling. I think he likes a stripper at this club and his reasons for a divorce are just poor excuses to get out of the marriage.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.

Hi! I believe I can 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 sense you are very close to the end of your rope. Is he addicted to strip clubs?

It sounds from what you have written that he is not. It sounds more that he is comfortable with relationships that are casual and shallow. Marriage requires a deeper emotional commitment, not just being charming and entertaining. Marriage means giving emotionally to the other person and that seems to not be his strength. So strip clubs are a way for him to have those shallower relationships that are based on entertainment and money.

And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. I am concerned for your marriage that the two of you are going through this destructive dance. You must be using all your self control to just not blow up. And I sense you want me to help you find some way to try to make it still work. 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 him to a Starbucks or other quiet place and discuss it and commit to the program to try to make your marriage a success. You're going to start with a book. You'll get 2 copies, one for each of you. 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 Starbucks 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. 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 or see if you can get it locally to save time.

If this gets you two to first base but not all the way a home run, then consider some specific types of therapy that will help: 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 are two types of therapies I recommend strongly for you two to consider.

One type of therapy 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.

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.

The other therapy is Gottman therapy. Yes, the same Gottman as the book above. Seek a therapist who is certified by the Gottman Institute. Here's their web address for finding a therapist:


http://www.gottman.com/49824/Find-A-Therapist.html

Why? Because his couples therapy model is the most straightforward model available and you may need that because there isn't much time to see if he will move closer. I hope that therapists working in these types of couples therapies are listed for your area.

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

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

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
For Dr. Mark I should've mentioned that he summoned me with divorce papers two weeks ago and I had 20 days to respond so I had no choice to hire a lawyer myself. He seems to be in a rush to get this divorce over with. What I am so upset about is that he blind sided me with his statement of not being happy and not having feelings for me anymore. We have 4 daughters and he is so disconnected to me and his daughters. He was a wonderful husband and and father. He has let everyone down including his own family. They are on my side. His mother passed away last September and his father is so upset with his behavior. He goes out more often and is full force on this divorce since his mother passed away. He of course denies it. I really believe he likes someone at the strip club. I confronted him about going there because I found out what strip club he goes to and that he spends $1,200 each time he goes. He always told me he goes with clients and I always believed him until I found out he goes alone.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.
I am so sorry this is happening to you.

It is possible that his mother's death has unleashed within him a regressing to a more immature developmental level. Grief can destabilize people in many different ways. And he seems to have changed from a more mature, caring family man to a more adolescent, pleasure seeking guy.


The great parable of our age is that before the plane takes off the stewardess warns us that in case of loss of cabin pressure, first put on your mask and only then put on the mask of loved ones. Why?

Because, the parable is telling us, if we are not healthy and taking care of ourselves, we are not going to be able to help others. So you have to apply this to your situation:

You have to hire a lawyer and take care of yourself so that you can be there for your daughters. And so you are able to move forward in your life. Again, this is very sad that he has destabilized like this.

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

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