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Dr-A-Greene
Dr-A-Greene, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 309
Experience:  Clinical and Forensic Psychologist
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Follow up question: Yes I am a "nice guy" type. I usually

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Follow up question:
Yes I am a "nice guy" type. I usually have convinced myself this was a good thing. But to have this happen after almost 17 years of marriage makes me wonder if I've been foolish instead of nice. I know this would probably hurt his wife and honestly I'm doing it to hurt him but I get that innocent people will be caught in this. But it just seems so un even that he gets to have sex with my wife and go home unscathed.

I completely get that. While I doubt he will be completely unscathed (unless he's a psychopath!), I understand that he is suffering far fewer consequences in the short run....and at times like this its hard to think of the long run. However, I think for things to balance out, that's what needs to happen. In the long run you will have talked things out with your wife (for better or worse) and you will have a strong foundation built on trust. This man won't. You will have known that you can do everything possible to work on your relationship. This guy won't know the first thing about it.

 

Speaking as a woman, I have faith that in 20 years, you will be a happy, attached guy with family and other great things going on. This guy will be the one 65-year-old at the bar trying to hit on college students. Karma may take a while, but I have a feeling its worth waiting for.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I know I'm being stubborn about this. :-)
If I were giving the advice I would probably say something similar even. Unfortunately it's a bit like "the meek shall inherit the earth" or not being a sore loser. It just feels so wrong. She admittedto the affair about 6 weeks ago even though I had been suspecting since September. I guess I had hoped I would feel ok about not confronting him or telling his wife after awhile but honestly it seems like I just feel more like a wimp than I did in the beginning. Thanks for your insight. I guess I have more thinking to do.

I don't think you're being stubborn. It's natural to feel what you're feeling - and in the end, its your decision, of course.

However, let me share something with you quick (which I generally don't do, but what the heck)

When I was younger I was in a serious live-in relationship with someone I considered the love of my life. It was going in the direction of marriage and we had been together for 7 years. Eventually I found out he was cheating on me with a previous neighbor that we had. She was married. I was so angry that I ended up calling her. We ended up talking for a while and during the discussion I realized that while I had had time to ramp up and prepare for the confrontation, she was caught completely off guard. She didn't have time to think and it was clear that she was terrified. Terrified of what I might do to her physically, emotionally, and otherwise. While I had anticipated feeling powerful, what I actually felt was very different. I felt pity. In that moment she was begging and was utterly pitiful. What I also realized is that I was directing my anger at the "safe" target. While she had wronged me by proxy, I didn't know her. She was a virtual stranger. My real rage stemmed from a relationship much closer to home.

So after the call I had even more feelings to deal with - one of them being remorse for confronting the wrong person. I certainly fantasized about getting revenge, but in the moment it just felt...wrong. While I don't regret many things in my life, that is definitely one of them.

I know you'll make the decision that's right for you, whatever that is. I guess I just wouldn't have felt right if I didn't share.

Thanks and the best of luck to you,

Dr. G.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I appreciate you sharing that. I was asked by our therapist earlier what I would say if I confronted him and at the time I honestly wasn't sure; I think I was just hoping I would be able to justify taking a swing at him. It seems childish ( the irony is that the last fight I was in I think I was about 11.) I have been thinking more at the present time that really what I want is for him to know that I'm not afraid of him. I could tell his wife ,and he would be hurt, I could leave my wife and she would be hurt, but that I am the better person and he (and my wife as well) is the loser. I think that essentially what I am feeling is that while both he and my wife are silently thankful that I'm a nice guy. I want some kind of validation for it. I wish that even though I've explained it to my wife she was smart enough to give this without me asking her for it. I could say " admire me for my niceness" she probably would say the words but I would wonder if she meant it. I guess I don't really care if he says he's sorry because I wouldn't believe him either. I just don't want to ever think that I was afraid of him ( he's kind of an athletic bodybuilder type). So maybe the fact I showed up told him I think he is a sorry individual and that he needs to make sure to stay away from my wife in the future. He and my wife would know that whatever happens I was not afraid. Silly macho posturing I guess. And yes him thinking I'm afraid of him is probably in my head but unfortunately it is indeed there. That is maybe ultimately what I am dealing with how to feel good about doing the right thing if nobody knows I'm doing it.

Isn't that always the way? When nobody knows we're taking the high road, it makes it a lot harder to do, for sure. And, the other thing that hurts so much is that you want some recognition from your wife that you are being supremely nice about this - forgiving and kind. While I'm sure she understands that, there probably isn't much she could say that could rise to the level of what you're doing. You're, quite simply, the better person in all this. While knowing that doesn't quell the emotions, it does make a difference.

By the way, if you do decide to confront this knucklehead - be careful!

Best wishes,

Dr. G.

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