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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 messed up drunk in a stripclub and cheated on my wife. i

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I messed up drunk in a stripclub and cheated on my wife. i love her more than anything and I feel extreme guilt by what happened, the question I have is should i tell her and hurt her by something that will never happen again. This was a screw up in what has been a 12 year fantastic marriage. I am also thinking about never drinking again only bad things happen
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 2 years ago.
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue.

Do not tell her. If you had unprotected sex or even partially-unprotected sex e.g., you don't know if your condom covered you completely, you should quietly get tested for STDs. Tell your wife only if you contracted an STD and you now believe she might have contracted it from you----what an awful scenario that would be, eh?

Then, what you CAN do to allay your guilt is make a commitment to do some additional, thoughtful, kind things for your wife---help her with a work task regularly, or give her a back massage regularly---pick something you can do permanently that in the back of your mind, will permanently remind you of what you did and cause you to periodically recall the fact that you could have lost your wife if she found out you cheated, and then decided to file for a divorce. So I'd like you to engage in a kindly, 'reminder' activity whose purpose you keep to yourself.

The other thing you need to do is figure out why you cheated and what you can do to prevent this from happening again. Now, you need to be completely honest with yourself about this. First, even before you became drunk, you of course, decided to go to a strip club. What for? That is, what did you really want to have happen? What gratification were you seeking? There was a purpose to it and you need to honestly assess your motivation for going there or agreeing to go there if you went with friends. Strip clubs are of course, DESIGNED to encourage drinking, spending money on the women, and in most cases, setting up contacts with prostitutes. It is also a setting in which female acquaintances go with male friends and end up sleeping together---it is all a sexual primer for having intercourse or cheating. I don't know of course, what the situation was that lead you to go to the strip club.

I have to also ask whether you tend to binge drink, have trouble actually controlling how much you drink once you start, or whether you are more strongly affected by alcohol than other people your age, height, body weight etc. THERE ARE RULES for drinking socially that I'm sure you know about and must follow if getting drunk has occurred before and you end up regretting it. Things like eating a significant amount while drinking; pacing your drinking e.g. no more than one drink per hour; drinking beer instead of hard liquor. Ordering a drink and then, just a Coke or Sprite, then a drink again---alternative alcohol with nonalcohol. All of this is perfectly o.k. in all social drinking contexts--no one thinks anything of it among males in a group where everyone is drinking. I'm going to pause here and solicit your feedback about this post. My point is---don't tell your wife----get tested PLEASE (you owe it to your wife to find out if you have an STD---this would be the only reason to talk to her about your infidelity---if you contracted something); and either give up drinking or make absolutely certain you adopt some much better 'rules' for your drinking and change your drinking behavior. And, you would do well to do some real soul-searching regarding WHY and for WHAT REASON you went to the strip club, drank as you did, etc. What do you think?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your response. I will go to my doctor and get checker for STD's to make sure there is nothing wrong. I agree that would not be a good thing at all. It has been 2 weeks since the act and so far nothing has appeared to be wrong but I will get checked.

I really need to ask myself about my drinking I was on a 12 hour drinking spree and it clouded my judgement for sure. I need to give up the drinking or as you say place rules around my drinking. Nothing good comes from alcohol and it seems to get me nowhere but in a bad place. I only really drink in social settings but lately have not ben able to control it. I find myself drinking more then I need to in a very short amount of time Should I talk to my wife about making a commitment to give up alcohol?

I also have three children with my wife and i can't imagine not being around to be their father and helping her on a day to day basis with raising the children. I am not going to lie I am having an extreme difficulty in sleeping and getting this out of my mind. My wife is out of town on a trip.

One other complication is at the strip club there was 5-6 other guys with us and they know of the indiscretion. My fear is there could be talking amongst them as well and a year or two don the road she finds out. I feel that would be worse

What are your thoughts about that.
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 2 years ago.
I'd talk to my wife about giving up alcohol and get her thoughts on it. It is always very, very helpful to know you have loved one's supporting you when you proceed to make a big change in behavior.

The 5-6 guys who went to the bar with you---do you know if they go often, and are they too married? The odds of their saying anything are very low; sort of the like the Las Vegas rule among most men---what you do there stays there; so there is sort of an unwritten code of silence among men regarding activity in strip clubs. Everyone knows what they are there for and what the risks are, and that there is prostitution going on. How well do you know the other 5-6 guys? The odds are that if they are married as well, and go to strip clubs regularly, they have or will, probably do something that their wives would be very, very hurt by, whether it is interactions with a dancer or paying for a lap dance, etc. hence, the code of silence about strip clubs among guys. What goes around could come around, so to speak, so no one typically, talks or gossips. Furthermore, guys almost never talk to their wives about what other guys do at strip clubs, because this in turn, alarms their wives about the risk their own husbands face in going to strip clubs. Their immediate response to hearing what their husband tells them another married guy did is----"o.k., YOU are DONE going to strip clubs (they figure their own husband will act out, given enough alcohol and the right stripper). So guys don't want their wives telling them they can never go to a strip club, nor do they even want to put themselves in a position of having an argument over it; they tend to quietly, sneakily go and never even tell their wives. Now, I'd make sure you don't create an enemy relationship with one of the 5-6 guys.

Your guilt, anxiety and sleeplessness about this is actually a healthy thing because it shows you know you did wrong and you really should find a way of quietly, privately making it up to your wife as I suggested in the last post.

And, what if is she hears a story? 'm not sure whether it would be worse if your wife heard a story about your behavior about the strip club from someone versus telling her yourself. Certainly, if you want to confess to her, go ahead, but I wouldn't recommend it. Now, consider exactly what she might hear from someone? What details exactly would she hear? If she heard any distressing story, I would tell her that you got drunk, perhaps acted inappropriately with one of the dancers, but were too intoxicated to remember anything about that outing. But because you know you shouldn't have been in the strip bar anyway, you've given up drinking altogether. Now, if you have a track record of having given up drinking AND she then hears a story in say, 1-2 years, she will almost certainly believe you feel badly or embarrassed about what you did----having not consumed alcohol for the 1-2 years proves it and likely shows you don't intend to do that scenario again! You can also simply tell her that you were too ashamed to even mention the event to her and given the fact that you had no details to recall, you decided to not bring it up---but to stop drinking and going to strip clubs.

But again, you DO need to get tested to eliminate this worry and risk. I hope you haven't had sex with your wife since you went to the strip club, if you had poorly protected sex (?)

What do you think?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
In regards XXXXX XXXXX guys I went to the club with I have known them all for over 20 years and are considered good friends of mine. We were in Miami for the Orange Bowl on a guys weekend to watch the football game and going to a strip club is a rare occurrence for all of us. So there are no enemies there.

I really just need to make the commitment to stop drinking and have that talk with my wife that it is becoming a growing problem for me. I use to drink in social settings for a good time but over the past few years it has gotten to the point I drink and get really drunk.

My one friend also had a similar situation and he texted me tonight that he told his wife about being unfaithful to her. He has never ever done anything like this but I feel the need to talk with him if he said anything about me to his wife. I am worried about that. Any suggestions on how I should handle the conversation with my friend

I will get tested tomorrow and yes I did have sex with my wife before she left for her trip. I do remember wearing a condom and I hope that for her sake nothing was sexually transmitted.
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 2 years ago.
You can simply invite him to lunch and tell him you felt concerned about how things were with him and his wife and if there was anything you could do to support him. Then, just listen, listen listen and let him talk or vent or perhaps, not. Confide in him that you certainly feel embarrassed about what you did in that situation. Ask him if mentioned your actions in telling his story to his wife.

Let me know if I have overlooked any aspect of your question. Please click on the green Accept button at the bottom of the screen. Thanks.
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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