How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Mark Your Own Question

Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5170
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
50444359
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Dr. Mark is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hello Dr. Mark. I have been with my husband for 6 years. We

Customer Question

Hello Dr. Mark. I have been with my husband for 6 years. We got married in May 2010. He was very promiscuos most of his adult life. He cheated on me right before we got engaged in Dec. 2008. He admitted to having an affair with a woman for approx. 4 weeks and he broke it off with her. He said he realized that he wanted to be with only me. I waited a year to make sure he was being faithful to me. I have recently caught him at a strip club with a naked stripper dancing in front of him. What to do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 2 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.


Is your question whether you should continue with the marriage or stick to your plan to have him leave?

It sounds as though you don't trust him (for obvious reasons) and that you don't want the marriage to continue unless you CAN trust him. What does he have to do for you to be able to trust him, do you think?

He's been behaving in this way most of his adult life, you say. So what would make him commit to changing something he's been doing his whole life?

You say he went to therapy. Is he getting any treatment right now? If so, what type? How is it going?

If not, when was the last treatment? What type of treatment was it? Was it helpful?

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


Dr. Mark

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Dr. Mark, I would like to know if I should stay with him. I do not know if it is worth putting in the work and effort for something that will never be. I am 51 years old and do not want to spend the rest of my healthy life being suspicious, afraid of what he might do, and wasting away in a "not the best" relationship when I could find the a man that will respect me.

 

I really do not know what he would need to do for me to trust him. I waited a year after he cheated on me, just to make sure he was going to be faithful. That still did not stop him from going on the porn sites and to strip clubs (although he promised me he would not do any of that before we got married).

 

He went to several sex addiction sessions in 2009 before we got married. He improved after the session and did not go on porn sites for a good while. He did not go out to places like clubs. He did not continue the sessions or complete the steps because he did not like the sessions. He said they consisted of people who were rapist, pedophiles and similar, of which he said he is nothing like that. He did have a deep assessment of himself and realized that he did not want the old lifestyle that he once had.

 

I was suspcious for the past year and never really got to the point of trusting him 100%. We had our first anniversary in May of last year. We did not argue or have any problems in the bedroom or otherwise, which he also admitted to. So why would someone risk a new marriage by going to strip clubs, watching porn, etc after being married only one year. I have a feeling that he went to strip clubs during the day before our first anniversary because I was working out of town. I caught him at a strip club last month during the day. He bought a sweat shirt and took his wedding band off. He had done this several times last year too.

 

I sat down the other day and asked that he and I spend time ready the bible, praying and communicating more instead of wasting so much time watching television, etc. I believe we need to be on the same spiritual plane and invest in studying and fulfilling our roles. He spends so much time watching sports, politics, talking to his friends. He has not made an attempt to do what I recommended.

 

This is his 3rd marriage. He was married for approx. 6 years, and then approx. 2 years. I was married one time before for 25 years. My ex-husband never cheated on me and vice versa.

 

We recently went to one couseling session at a church and had an appointment to go back a couple of weeks ago, but was a little late and the couselor had left.

 

So, after saying all of this, what should I do?

 

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 2 years ago.

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

First, let me say your added information was very eloquently stated and gave an even greater sense of the anguish and pain you have been undergoing. It is clearly getting to unbearable levels in order to bear the strain of your husband's addiction problems.

And this is the key to my answer to you. I am going to say what I think you know within yourself, but need to hear it from a professional:

Your husband is not committed to getting better. And if he WERE committed to getting better, that wouldn't be a guarantee that he would succeed any better than when he was committed the first time you threatened to leave and waited a year. Why?

Well, first because addictions are not so easy and sex addiction is one of the toughest given that our society sells sex everywhere all the time. And second, because as soon as he has some success, you relax. And as soon as you relax, he goes "off the wagon", or back to the clubs in his case.

And that is untenable. You can't live your life in a constant state of alert, like you're the FBI watching over his virtue to make sure he doesn't do something wrong. That's not a life for you.

Let us say that instead of chasing the women, instead of the thrill of the chase, that your husband used alcohol to numb himself from himself and his inner spiritual, psychological anxiety about being himself alive in the world. Because that is what alcohol achieves: it numbs all that. And that is what the chase does for him, it numbs all that. Just like alcohol is not for the pleasure of the taste of the whiskey for the alcoholic, the infidelity is not for the pleasure of the orgasm for the sex addict. It is for the numbing.

That's why 2 wives later, he still is behaving the same way with you, wife number 3.

I wish I could tell you that the alternative is easy. That once you see that sex is just like an alcohol bottle for him, or given his past, drugs, that I could show you a quick fix for everything and you aren't going to have difficult choices to make. But it isn't so and life doesn't work like that. Your husband was an addict, was clean for quite a long time with you, and relapsed. He has not faced this reality AT ALL. He thinks that just because sex is all over this society it is somehow more socially accepted and so it is not a relapse of his addictions. Well he's bringing himself down with this illusion and you are sinking as well.


I know I'm being very open and honest but your pain is so intense and you are such a nice and good person and I want to help you and illusions have been a problem here for too long. So I have to tell you how it is in reality: your husband is fooling himself. He has had a relapse of his addictive behavior and he is giving himself into the cycle of addiction: use, get caught, repent, repeat.

And so you have to decide if you can live with an addict. So is it better to stay or to leave? I cannot tell you. You love him. You have a lot invested in the marriage. But you are a human being and you have a right to not be enabling addiction and to not have his addiction take over your life.

Okay, I don't know whether to tell you to leave or to stay. But I want to help you by giving you the real view of what's going on and the parameters for your decision making. I wish you the very best!

Please remember to click the green accept button because: even though you have made a deposit, I do not get paid for my time unless you press ACCEPT. You are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing ACCEPT. Feel free to continue the discussion even after pressing ACCEPT as my goal is to get you the best answer possible. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, 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

Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5170
Experience: Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
Dr. Mark and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Dr. Mark,

 

Thank you so much for your answer. You have hit the nail on the head. I would like to add that my husband married the second wife because she was pretty and he was looking for a step-mother for his children, who are living with his first wife. The second wife was kind of ditsy, young and had no clue how to be a mother. He is now looking to get custody of his youngest son, 16 years old. I am a mother of 4 beautiful children and a grandma of 2 children.

 

I asked him if he was just trying to make a good family setting by marrying me. He is very intelligent and probably had been planning this, as well. He saw my motherly, good, caring, heart and has been taking advantage of me.

 

I would like to add that I to have great looks (not bosting), but am a very faithful, intelligent and loving. My husband said he went to the strip clubs because he was being egotistical. He was upset that I did not change my bank account name to my marital name. He says that is disrespectful to a man because I am not 100% in the marriage. I told him had one foot out because I was not sure what he might do. He said this is what has been driving him to do that in addition to me taking a excellent paying job out of town not long after we got married. How does that sound?

 

Thanks,

 

S.

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 2 years ago.
Hi. Well, it seems I answered you with your new question before opening this up. That was the order it all came to me in my in box. All the best, Dr. Mark

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Mental Health Professional
Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark
4757 Satisfied Customers
Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice