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Mark Manley
Mark Manley, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 402
Experience:  Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Over 15 years exp. Married 30 years and happy.
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If your spouse has what you think was an in appropriate friendship

Resolved Question:

If your spouse has what you think was an in appropriate friendship (with the opposite sex) and lies about it for 10 years and finally confesses that it was more than just a friendship - first it was a one night stand and then it was a "few" times. He also claims that it has not happened since? He will not discuss it because he is embarrassed (screw my feelings). Is he just a self centered jerk that will never own his actions or is there hope for him? All he will say is that he is sorry but will not make any committed to me or the children (that he allowed us to have during his 10 years of lies). I feel like he allowed our children to be born under a cloud of lies - now he knows that I have reservations about leaving because I do not want our children (ages 12 and 7) to know what he did. Any advise?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Mark Manley replied 4 years ago.
I am so sorry you find yourself and your children in this very painful and insecure situation.

I want to be as helpful as possible so I am asking you for some additional information. After I have enough information I will be able to give you my best answer.

What was the motivation for him admitting to what he has admitted so far? As much information as you can provide on the process of his ongoing admissions will help.

Does he admit or deny continuing contact with the other individual?

If he says he is not in contact with her any more, do you believe him, why or why not?

If you push the issue, and demand that he come to a marriage counselor with you to discuss the issue and it's implications will he comply or will he leave the marriage? Your best guess and reasons for your guess will be fine here.

Finally would you describe him as the type of person who thinks he is above the rules and a little better than most?

Again, I am sorry for your pain, and thank you for the additional information.

Mark Manley
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
It was he secretary at the time, so I knew he talked more than he should have (he's never been able to keep his mouth shut), but never expected a multiple night affair.

He only confessed because I kept pushing the issue until he realized that I needed the truth or our marriage would never survive (Just never expected what I heard). We have since left the area and he has not contact with her. But, after we left he had other jobs where he would travel for days at a time - I'm left with alot of questions. He gets defensive, all marriage counciling would accomplish would make me out to the be the bad guy. Trust me - this was me second marriage and was determined to make it work - I made sure that "ALL" his needs were meet. He had the opportunitiy and took it. I think he doesn't feel as intitled as he did, but I still wonder. Just not sure about much.
Expert:  Mark Manley replied 4 years ago.
Even if you are "the bad guy" he needs to learn to be faithful. These are related issues but separate issues. As you work through this situation I suggest you keep the two issues separated. In other words: It is not your fault he was unfaithful (no matter what he thinks), and you need to remember that.

"Is he just a self centered jerk that will never own his actions or is there hope for him?"
If you have the whole picture at this point, I would guess that he is not a hopeless case. I would guess an emotionally untrained, and sexually undisciplined male. You are the emotional trainer and my guess is you could use some assistance both to train him and to become a better trainer. As far as his sexual discipline is concerned, he will need to take responsibility for most of that and you demanding that he does will be helpful.

Trust is everything in a relationship and the wife is in a better place to understand and appreciate that fact than is the husband. The two of you need to be able to communicate about the situation and all if it's implications for trust to be established. Working through issues of infidelity (not just trying to forget about them) usually requires assistance from a trained professional (a marriage counselor with experience and skill in this area). I suggest you both overcome what ever resistance you may have to getting some good help. With help you may make a new and better marriage for your selves and your children.

If one or both of you are not willing to do a relationship overhaul as suggested above, but you are willing to stay together, you may just want to let the dust clear, try to forget about the infidelity and move on the best you can.

Let me know if I have answered your question or if I can be of any further assistance.

Thank you and best of success to you and your family.

Sincerely, XXXXX

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