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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5430
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I just found out my husband has been dining and going for drinks

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I just found out my husband has been dining and going for drinks with a lady for 6 years. I don't know her and when I found out he swears it was nothing sexual....this is an affair in my mind (regardless of sex) he says not and will not be seeing her anymore. Is it possible for a relationship between male and female for 6 years be purely void of intimacy
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

 

It sounds like your suspicions are correct. There is no reason for your husband to be going out with another woman for any reason. If this was a legitimate relationship, he would not need to hide it. And two, there is no reason for a married man to be having drinks with any woman. It is only appropriate if you know the woman and you are there as well. He should not be seeing her alone.

 

Anytime a spouse strays outside the marriage it can cause strain to the marriage and undermine trust, which is essential to a good marriage.

 

Talk to your husband about this relationship. Tell him that you want him to end the relationship and go with you to counseling.

When the two of you begin to work on this issue, be sure that all of the points below are being addressed:

One, is your husband sorry for what he did? This is important, because if he does not take responsibility, recovering your marriage will be difficult.

Two, has your husband stopped all contact with this other person? This means texts, phone calls and seeing the other person. He must do so as a first step to regaining your trust.

Three, has he done anything to start repairing the marriage?

Four, are the two of you talking about what happened? Your husband needs to be open and honest about what he did and let you ask any questions you need to. He broke the marriage vows and dragged you into another relationship. He needs to own up to it.

These are some of the most important issues you both need to be working on. Talk with your doctor about a referral to a therapist or look on line at http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/.

 

If you attend church, talk with your pastor. Pastors are often very good marriage counselors.

The main issue is to rebuild trust. It can take a while and a lot of work, but you can do it as long as you both are motivated.

There are some books that may help you:

 

Infidelity: A Survival Guide by Don-David Lusterman.

 

Not "Just Friends": Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity by Shirley P. Glass and Jean Coppock Staeheli.

 

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/infidelity/MH00110

 

You can find the books on Amazon.com or your local library may have them.

 

I hope this has helped you,
Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5430
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi,

 

Your advise was very helpful. I've spoke to my husband (of 14 years) to understand why he needed to go outside our marriage to make a friend. He expained when our youngest son was born (now 8 years old) I let our son sleep in the bed with us and this did go on till he was 2 and then off and on until he was 3 years old. He explained that he felt neglected and unloved. He also stated he never wanted to be selfish so he never said anything. His friend was someone he felt he could talk to and he paid attention too. (he never had a physical relationship with her) Now he says the IN LOVE spark he had for me has been gone since that time. He felt so lonily and isolated that he learned to manage on his own and he and is not sure how to get it back. We both definetely agree we are not at the seperation stage and both want to work on our marriage, but he is very scared that he won't be able to fall in love with me again. Also he is 45 years old (I am 35) and he thinks he is going through a mid life crisis because he never seems focused or happy (in his words). He is scared that we will try to make in work and in a few years nothing has changed and we become bitter with each other. Could you please advice us if this situation is common and possible solutions.

Thanks

Sherry

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Hi Sherry, it's good to hear from you!

 

I'm glad you and your husband have talked and both of you want to work on your marriage.

 

Although I can understand that your husband might be upset about your son being in the bed with you, he had other options about how to handle it. He could have come to you and talked about how he felt. Or he could have suggested therapy. But the fact that he chose to go outside of your marriage says that he is thinking of himself. By turning to someone else, he has added problems to your marriage instead of solving the original issue. Many people go through problems in their marriages and do not turn to other people.

 

Because of that, it sounds like a lot of this issue is about your husband more than it is about the marriage. If he feels as if he is having a mid life crisis, that could mean many things. But most men experience feeling of insecurity either from past issues like childhood abuse or it could be that he feels his life is half over and he has not accomplished what he wanted to by now.


It sounds like your husband is having a difficult time with knowing what he feels. Men often have affairs for a variety of reasons. Sex, power and narcissism are often reasons along with unresolved emotional issues. But they also do it because they can. Women are more likely to stay in a relationship where the husband is cheating because they are more emotionally invested in the marriage. And men sometimes can take advantage of this.

If your husband is willing to work on the marriage and has given up the other relationship, then the first step is to rebuild trust. If you can trust him again, it makes rebuilding your relationship a lot easier.

 

Also, he needs to start making you the center of his life. There is no way to regain a spark in the relationship if your husband is focused on himself. He needs to start refocusing on making you happy. That will help him feel happy.

 

You can also do the same. Put your husband first in your life. By doing this, he gets the attention he needs to feel he belongs.

 

Listen to each other. When you talk, each person gets 5 minutes to say what they need to. The other person's job is to listen then say back what they heard. Use "I" statements when you talk to each other. For example, when you talk with him say "I feel sad when you...". That way, you own the feeling and are not blaming each other, which can cause resentment.

 

Most of all, it is important that you both go to therapy. If that is not possible, your husband should go on his own. To find a therapist ask your doctor for a referral. Or if you attend church, your pastor may be able to help. Pastors are often good counselors. This will help you both learn to communicate your needs better to each other and have a safe place to air out your concerns with each other.

 

If you had spark in the beginning of your relationship, it will come back.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5430
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks Kate,

 

He feels for so many years I put our children first, particularily our youngest child. I did allow our son to sleep in our bed for many years. I unknowingly created a distance between us. In those years sex was not my priority, but clearily it is an important part of a relationship, he feels like I abondoned him and began feeling like we were room mates. Honestly I never felt this until recently when I felt the need for him to show more affection and spend more time with me, now that our children our a older. How do i change his perception of his room mate view, if now it is difficult for him to be intimate with me. He is physically not capable the majority of the time.

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

You're welcome, Sherry. I'm glad to help.

 

One of the best ways for the two of you to show affection and be intimate is to talk. It may not seem like that would work. But the more the two of you communicate, the more you draw closer. You create intimacy by sharing your thoughts, feelings and ideas. Get to know what the other person thinks and feels. To get the two of you talking, try some question and answer books. Here are some you may want to try:

 

The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock PhD

 

Real Love: The Ultimate Dating, Marriage and Sex Question Book by Mary Beth Bonacci

 

How to Love Me: The Lovers' Book of Questions by Ali Davis

 

By sharing your wants and desires, both of you can grow closer sexually and create a feeling of intimacy when you are with each other.

 

Also, be sure to address any personal issues either of you have. You cannot grow close if you are angry at each other, or one of you feels intimidated by the other (in the case of a dependent/abusive relationship) for example. By taking care of your own personal issues, you remove the walls and defensiveness that can prevent closeness.

 

No matter if you have common interests or completely different interests, make sure both of you develop interests outside of the relationship. Nothing can shut down communication and spark faster than two people who do everything together. If you each have different interests, however, you can come together at the end of the day and have plenty to share with each other. By keeping yourself informed and interested in things outside of your marriage, you keep the spark and interest inside of it as well.

 

When you want intimacy, try staying away from the same things you usually do. Passion comes from the new and the different. Try teasing and flirting first. You can best do this by going on a date with each other. When you are in public, it makes any kind of sexual overtures feel more dangerous. Also, think of how you communicate your attraction to one another when your clothes are on. How you touch each other, look at each other and just pass each other in the hallway can all communicate intimacy or just every day ho hum.

 

You can also feel close by just the act of exploring how to draw closer. Talking about it and searching for books, DVDs and other resource materials to spice up your relationship can bring the two of you together. Agree to split up and search on your own. Then make dinner for just the two of you and share what you found. Talk about how you feel about what your husband found and have him tell you what he thinks about what you found. This can not only bring you closer but it can give you an idea of what your husband likes, which can spark new ideas for you to try.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5430
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Kate,

I appreciate all the help and guidance you have given my relationship with my husband. I am in need of your help again.
After my husband released the burden he has been carrying around - the I'm not in love with you anymore statement, he seems to feel that will now give him the opportunity to focus on our relationship and get back the love we used to have.
My issues are: while he may be working on a relationship, I will always be in doubt wondering is he in love with me now, what about now.... clearily I didn't see this coming so how will I accurately be able to identify what his version of in love is.
Also while he is working on loving, I'm afraid my natural instinct will be to try to fall out of love to protect myself in the event of a seperation - probably doesn't make any sense, but who wants to be hurt, is my mentality.
I really need you help to sort out all the thoughts in my head, so I can start to get a clear picture of the future and really what I'm suppose to do next.
I'd also like to know about our children. We have two sons (11 and 8) the 11 year old knows something is up, and has asked me if Dad cheated on me. I told him no, but sometimes best friends have fights that are bigger than others and they need time to sort that out, anything you can advice me to do or say to help them during this time would be helpful.

Thanks,
Sherry
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Hi Sherry, it's good to hear from you.

 

I just wanted to say sorry for the delay in my response but I am at an all day seminar today. If it is ok, I will be able to write you back tonight, east coast time. I hope that is alright.

 

Talk to you then,

Kate

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Sherry,

 

It is very understandable that you would want to protect yourself when your husband has told you that he doesn't love you anymore. You don't want to put yourself out there and feel vulnerable while he may not reciprocate your feelings.

 

However, it is unlikely that your husband has fallen out of love with you. He may not feel love towards you, but that is most likely for other reasons. Since he did stray in your marriage, then it is more likely that he has been focused on his own feelings rather than you or your marriage. Marriage is much like a neglected plant, it may survive for a while but without attention, it becomes withered and starts to die off. Your husband felt hurt by what he saw in your relationship and decided for himself to get what he needed elsewhere. This behavior says that he stopped thinking of the marriage and you and began to focus on himself. By doing that, he also stopped thinking about being in love with you and doing the things that come with keeping that love going.

 

It is ok if you protect yourself while your husband works on his part of the marriage. If he has admitted to what he did and wants to make amends, he needs to work on wooing you back. He broke the trust you had for him so it's up to him to repair it. Telling you that he is not sure he loves you is a step in the wrong direction. He needs to try to do the things that are important to repairing your marriage. Once he does the actions, the feelings will follow.

 

In the meanwhile, take a step back and see what he does. It is his actions that will tell you whether or not you can trust him again. If he does what he says and goes out of his way to focus on your marriage, you may begin to regain your feelings of trust towards him. Also, let him know how you feel. If his comment about not loving you hurts you, let him know. It provides him with input about how you feel and the ways he can take care of you and make you feel better.

 

What you told your older son is appropriate. He seems very intelligent and quick to pick up on what is going on in your marriage. Since not knowing will might make him anxious, you may want to reassure him that although this is an adult issue, you and his father are working on it and intend on settling it. Let him know that it is nothing he or his brother did but that it is only about you and his father. Leave it open for him to come back to you for reassurance. You may also want to have your husband talk to him as well so he feels he has heard from both of you, making him feel more secure.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5430
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Kate,

Well my husband and I are committed to making our marriage work. We have been spending more time together and talking more. I do recognize that he is making an effort. However, I am struggling. I have days that are really great, and others that all I want to do is cry all day. I feel like the person that I trusted the most in, has left me with the inablity to trust him again. I`m trying to trust him. I am trying to forgive him, but when I think I`m making progress my mind starts replaying the past events and I become so angry and hurt all over again. I don`t know if that should be my indicator to leave my marriage or not, I just know that I am, for the most part, very unhappy. I have spoke to him. He told me it will take time, but that makes my even madder that he can simplily say that, considering he is the cause for my feelings. He also says because his relationship was sexual he was just friends, he doesn`t feel like he crossed a line. My thinking is that this will happen again. Although he says he will not do that again--I can`t help but not believe him. I feel like I`ve spent half my life with him in a lie. Although I was happy all those years I am feeling so miserable now. Like a fool, that I didn`t know I was being lied too. I notice now, I don`t really speak to him about my feeling or thoughts, just general conversation. This can`t be health and I don`t know if in time that will change. I am constantly replaying the events of the time I found out in my mind and wonder what would have happen if I......, this is not health. I do realize this, but I don`t know how to stop thinking about it. I`m driving myself crazy. Can you please help me find a solution to manage my emotions.

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.
Hi Sherry,

Part of the issue here is that your husband is minimizing what he did. When he says that he doesn't feel like he crossed a line, that is basically saying he did nothing wrong. That not only puts him in the clear (in his mind) but it makes what you feel seem wrong. You are never going to be able to get beyond this if he holds onto that point of view.

To deal with this, your husband has to be willing to admit that he not only did something wrong, but that he is sorry for it and is willing to work to be sure that he never does this again. Otherwise, you will never be able to trust him. When someone doesn't think they crossed the line, then the chances of him doing it again (since he thinks he did nothing wrong) are good. And that is what you are responding to when you are having trouble trusting him. Your instinct is good. You know in your heart that he is truly not sorry and therefore he may repeat the same behavior.

You can try telling your husband that you do not feel he is accepting responsibility for what he did. Point out what we talked about, that without seeing he has done anything wrong, he is not only putting your marriage at risk because he may do this again, he is also not allowing you to trust him and heal. He must show that he is sorry and that he means to fix this. Otherwise, your marriage will not work.

Also, he must put you first. No more thinking of himself ahead of you. It is a priority that he pay attention to how you feel, consider what you say and make changes to his behavior. If he leaves it all on you to forgive him and trust him, that is essentially saying that it is up to you to fix the marriage, when the opposite is true.

Kate
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5430
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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