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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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My husband went with a friend of ours to our friends bar about

Customer Question

My husband went with a friend of ours to our friends bar about 4 to 5 months ago to catch up with one another. While at the bar, my husband me a woman who is a local film producer/actress. He tells me all about it and he friends her on facebook, he does this with everyone he meets. She contacts my husband and asks him if he wants to invest in her films and she guarantees that he will make money on investment. He tells me he is meeting her for drinks one evening to discuss and I say sure. Drinks turn into dinner and then 3 1/2 hours later he comes home and apologizes and thanks me for letting him do this, it's all business. Then she offers to have my 16 year old twins come intern at the movie set, which they did. My daughter thought it interesting, my son hated it. Moving forward a couple of months, she has another film coming up. She comes to my husbands office to meet, I happen to call, he tells me she is there, and I say hello to her on speaker phone. They ask me to come and meet them for drinks, I am busy with the kids so say no. They have some drinks at the office instead and my husband is home within an hour.
Almost forgot, she says she wants to meet me and my husband has told me several times he wants me to meet her, that I would like her. My husband invests in film number 2 and
he now makes plans for the three of us to go out for dinner. We go to a very nice restaurant. I was uncomfortable the whole night and I let my husband know that when we get home. My husband did not try to hold my hand, in fact he seemed to be more attentive towards her. I realized that he had shared quite a few stories with her, we even talked about my husbands brother and he mentioned that she will meet him one day. I gave my husband a taste of my food she then followed suit, he gave her a taste of his, I did not taste his because I do not eat meat. I have left out a few minor points since this is so lengthy. I sit down with my husband and we discuss my feelings. He tells me that I reading into things and this is just a "business deal" like any of his other investments. Funny that when he does other business deals, he meets in the office during the day or meets for lunch. While I am talking to my husband, I pick up a piece of paper on the floor, I look at it and it is the restaurant receipt. Well, the dinner was $300. I say why did we take her to such a nice restaurant when we don't even know that this investment is going to make us money. He acts a little startled and says you don't need to look at that, give it to me. He again says, this is all for business. Then he dutifully writes on the receipt the name of the film, like that will make me feel better. I need some advice on how to get through to my husband and what I should do now. Thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like your husband is not listening to your concerns. You are right, he is going a bit further with this woman than is something you can be comfortable with. And the fact that you have noticed is important. What he is doing can lead to an emotional affair or even a physical one.

You were supportive of his business with this woman but now it has gone beyond business and you are noticing the signs of the behavior. He is having longer meetings than is necessary, he is spending a lot of money on her, and she is starting to cross over into your personal life, meeting your kids, relatives and even taking food off your husband's plate. Those things are not needed for your husband and her to make a business deal.

It would help to explain to your husband the reasons why you feel that his relationship with her has crossed over from business to personal. Let him know that while you support him having business dealings with anyone, you do not support anything personal. Make sure he is aware that you have noticed that he treats her differently than his other business contacts. And also say that there are less boundaries with this particular person, which can lead to misunderstandings about his intentions. Mention that although he may see this relationship as innocent, she may not.

Ask your husband to set boundaries with this woman. Even if he would lose her business, it is better than causing problems in your marriage. He must pick what is more important to him and what to make a priority.

If he is resistant to what you say and feel, then you might want to suggest seeing a therapist together. Sometimes a spouse who will not listen to concerns from their partner will listen when someone else points it out. If he will not go with you to therapy, go on your own. You need the support and a chance to talk out how you want to handle the situation.

Also, look into resources that can help you gain back your marriage, from your perspective and for your husband. Here are some to get you started:

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/04/11/12-ways-to-recover-from-an-emotional-affair/

http://suite101.com/article/how-emotional-cheating-starts-a32008

Chatting or Cheating: How to Detect Infidelity, Rebuild Love, and Affair-Proof Your Relationship by Sheri Meyers

Eyes Wide Open: Avoiding the Heartbreak of Emotional Promiscuity by Brienne Murk and Dr. Gary Chapman

I hope this has helped you,
Kate
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It was not helpful because it's basically what I said just worded differently.

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

I am sorry that you were unhappy with your answer. I was offering support and confirmation of what you were feeling.

I will opt out so another expert can help you.

Kate

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 2 years ago.
Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Dear friend,

I will do my best to answer your question as I see it. You may not agree, but I will give not give you poor service. If you wish to speak to another therapist, simply click RELIST. I am hoping to shed some light on this for you.

Your husband is an investor and puts up money for a living. In such a relationship, both sides have to pander to each other since the deal is supposed to be advantageous to both sides.

I feel, from the way he acts, that he is somewhat starstruck and also sees the possibility of him moving into the exciting (for him and interesting for your daughter). He wants to impress her and feels that he must impress her that he is a man of taste and means by going to the expensive restaurant.

He also has made an effort to include you so you would understand that this is a business deal and not a romance. If he is taking her out to dinner and you are accompanying him as his partner (and that includes business partner because this is family money), then he is there to pay her more attention and you need to realize that this is the correct way to do it. The assumption is made that you and he are solid in your relationship and he does not have to publicly demonstrate that.

He doesn't have complete confidence in his ability, and may be moving in new territory and he is trying to do his best.

I see no emotional affair here. I see a man working with a high-powered and probably attractive woman and he includes you to show you all is on the up-and-up. She also understands that he might have a wife that could resent her presence and so encourages him to bring his wife.

If he is successful at what he does, and is not going out with other women in a romantic manner, then you must trust him and not make him feel torn between fear of causing his wife to feel jealous or upset and from actually making the deal.

A big part of making such deals involves schmoozing and establishing a good and friendly rapport, and I believe that he is a good guy and doesn't want to mess things up.

If you have trouble with this point of view, or have trouble accepting what he has to do, then it is very important for you and your husband to establish better communication and mutual understanding of your needs. You might find a good family therapist to help you two work this out and not damage your marriage, which seems like a good one.

If you don't know a reputable therapist, you can "shop" for one at www.psychologytoday.com and click FIND A THERAPIST and then enter your state and city. You will get a list of pictures, with biographies, background, education, and sometimes websites It is actually a great way to find a person who you feel you can trust and will help you. Furthermore, many of these therapists allow a free initial phone consultation.

I know how much you want your husband to understand how YOU feel, and you also have to reconcile your feelings with the nature of his business. I know he could do better at protecting your feelings, and the best way to start is to communicate with each other. Intervention by a highly trained and neutral professional will help, for the focus will be on positive communication of ideas and needs, and this intervention will make it so much easier for you both.

I am sure that you can work this through and can both grow in stature and grow closer to one another.

Please get back to me for additional clarifications and comments. I only want to help you.. If you seriously disagree, just RELIST your question I have given you my time and best thoughts, in what I believe is your interest, as requested.

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC

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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
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35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.