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Heidi LPC
Heidi LPC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 234
Experience:  Licensed Professional Counselor
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my husband has been having a sexual affair with an employee

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my husband has been having a sexual affair with an employee at work and she has filed sexual harrassment against him. their is an existing video and the company is negotiating a settlement with her at this time. He refuses to tell me when the cheating took place. we were having marital problems a couple of years back but have been fine in past 12 months. for some reason it's important to me to know if it has happened in the last 12 months. he says he can't remember. what should i do? pls help me. im patheitic. we"ve been married 22 years!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Heidi LPC replied 2 years ago.

Heidi LPC :

Hi! I am so sorry that you are struggling with this situation right now... this is not an easy place to be, as the trust has been shattered. Trust is the issue here, and you are not pathetic in the least. You are absolutely and completely entitled to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The relationship will stall completely until he comes clean with all the answers that you need, because in order to regain trust in him, you have to see that he wants to help you to regain the trust. If he holds back and refuses to share the details, trust will continue to remain a problem for you.

Heidi LPC :

All research on overcoming infidelity in a marriage points to a complete disclosure of the facts involved in the situation... if the spouse who was cheated on needs to know. And, you have every right to ask.

Heidi LPC :

If he isn't receptive or forthcoming about the things that you need to know, I would suggest that you let him know that this is a deal-breaker for you... and that the marriage may not be able to make it through. However, there are many, many marriages who not only survive infidelity, but thrive following the disclosure of it. The reasons are simply that the issues that led to it can be resolved, new rules can be established, and the parties can both work harder to communicate and appreciate the relationship at a new level. This can happen for you, but it takes a committment on both parts to come clean on the past, and begin to work towards the future.

Heidi LPC :

Counseling is definitely something that can help you get through this, either for yourself on an individual basis for support, or as a couple, if you both want to save the marriage.

Heidi LPC :

Hi! Do you have any further questions, or information to add to the chat?

Customer:

more details. just tell me if I should just file for divorce (adultery) and dump his lying, cheating butt. I feel like if someone is capable of this level of deceit, they would do it again. It's gross. Pls consider my additional comments below and let me know your professional opinion.

Heidi LPC :

Is this the first time he has cheated?

Customer:

that he's been caught anyway. my teenage kids tell me back a couple of years ago when we were having marital problems and I actually moved into the Marriott for a few weeks just to get some space and gain perspective that they caught him on phone after coming in late on weekend evenings saying things like ... "I like you too. I would like to do something soon ..." When they came in his bedroom and asked who he was talking to ... HE ABRUPTLY HUNG UP and told them nobody". He use to travel extensively and would have had every opportunity to cheat. Don"t know. I trusted him. It's just that I've pretty much been confirmed that this has happened as recently as last 6 months. I'm devastated.

Heidi LPC :

(screen says that you are still typing... )

Customer:

no im done.

Customer:

did you get it?

Heidi LPC :

Ahh.... so it is possible that it isn't the first time. People cheat for different reasons, and if he was never caught and held to the consequences before, this situation may be the eye-opener for him. Without knowing him, it is tough to say... and it sounds as if the marriage has had it's share of difficulties in the past... but only you know whether walking away is the best option. You can take your time to decide this, as you definitely hold the power in the situation right now. I would say that if he refuses to be completely honest with you about this, you won't have any potential to repair the relationship.

Heidi LPC :

You deserve that much... and if he says he doesn't remember when it happened, then that is a clue that he really has a disconnect within himself, because if he can connect with other women that casually, without any recollection, this shows you more of who he is.

Customer:

He is use to having control in every situation and I'm sure he's struggling with having to admit he has lost control. But Heidi, how can I get him to understand why I must know when affair started and ended? The CEO has all but told me as recent as last 6 months, but my husband continues to say he can't remember dates. I've told him it's a dealbreaker and he has to tell me everything 100% so I can process and hopefully deal with situation but he refuses. He bought a motor home and is living in it in some campground at the moment. He wants to come home and start over but doesn't want me to bring anything up about this when he's around - he just leaves when I try to ask him questions.

Customer:

are you still with me? I've never used an online counselor before so this is new to me.

Heidi LPC :

All you can do is to ask, and to suggest counseling where a psychotherapist can confirm your need for disclosure. If he refuses, he is throwing a salvageable family away... which again, shows you who he is.

Heidi LPC :

Yep--- still here!!

Customer:

a 'disconnect within himself' ??? Please help me understand what that means.

Heidi LPC :

Hold firm to your requirements of the truth. What I mean is that sometimes, when people cheat, they are doing it to fill some subconscious need that they themselves are even unaware of. Power, control, the addictive quality and rush of excitement an affair brings, sometimes even using this behavior to "self-medicate" a depression, because the rush is so intense. So, if he is doing this repeatedly, which you suspect is true, he doesn't want to be faced with what is really going on inside himself, and is "disconnected" from himself.

Heidi LPC :

Having to admit everything, confess the whole thing, forces him to accept the fact that there may be other issues inside of him that he has repressed. It requires humility and transparency. Some men just prefer to avoid any self-introspection.

Heidi LPC :

(And women, too, I should add)

Customer:

That sounds like narccisstic (sic), sick person who has never been worth having. I feel like the only way I'm going to get the truth is to file for divorce on adultery and subpeona the video and require depositions from everyone involved. It may just cause me more pain but I do deserve the truth. If I get the vido, then anytime he tries to manipulate me into staying married to the B*******, I can view the disgusting video. What do you think?

Customer:

Heidi, you do realize that it's just not an affair. He is guilty of sexual harrassment and will be released from his 500K per year job of 20 years that is our only means of income and our livlihood.

Heidi LPC :

I think that anything that you can do to regain your power here, to get the answers you need, is going to help you decide what to do. I think that you have to focus on you, taking care of yourself, and yes... narcissism is generally present in these types of situations.

Heidi LPC :

I understand. Completely. These situations usually start as an affair, and when the woman feels she is being tossed aside, she sometimes takes steps to get revenge.

Customer:

im sick too because i want him to be who i thought he was. i love him.

Heidi LPC :

I completely understand. It hurts... it is devastating. You have a family, a life...

Heidi LPC :

He risked it all over something so selfish.

Customer:

HAD a life, now I'm a 51 year old housewife with 2 kids 1 in college the other about to go and no way to support myself.

Heidi LPC :

I am truly so very sorry that you are having to deal with this, and that he isn't making it any easier by being completely honest.

Heidi LPC :

How are you doing in taking care of you right now?

Customer:

I believe if he could do this and continue to lie to me about it, he WILL do it again. I don't even know who he really is. I think it's time to let a good divorce lawyer come in and get control of the house and assets (that we have now) to secure something for myself. He obviously has concern only for his own agenda with no regard or compassion to understand that I do deserve the entire truth. He's adament that he will just stay away because he doesn't "want to be ambused by me."

Customer:

what do you think?

Heidi LPC :

I would have to agree... and if he is acting as if he still has control here over you and the whole situation, and acting that cowardly at the same time, he may just be someone who you don't want to allow in your life anymore. The anger is intense right now, and making impulsive decisions can sometimes backfire, but protecting yourself with an attorney is definitely something I would suggest, considering the fact that you aren't employed at this point.

Customer:

im just crying and being disgusted with myself for loving and promoting this jerk for more than 20 years.

Heidi LPC :

And this is completely to be expected, the tears and pain. However, beating yourself up? No. You trusted him... and trusting is something that is good. You did nothing wrong by trusting him.

Customer:

ok. u have given me sound advice. do you think i will be ok? I do feel I will survive this but I can't move forward in any direction without the complete truth. Sounds like you agree.

Heidi LPC :

You WILL be ok... I know this. You are intelligent, feeling, trusting and did not deserve this treatment, nor should you tolerate being treated as such. What goes around will come around. Don't allow him to manipulate you into accepting anything less than 100% truth. And be sure that you take exceptional care of yourself right now; this stress is serious stress.

Heidi LPC :

Get some exercise, try to eat well, spend time with people who love you. This too shall pass, but until then, just get through each 5 minutes at a time.

Heidi LPC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 234
Experience: Licensed Professional Counselor
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