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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5556
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 38 YRS AND FOR THE PAST 8 MTHS MY HUSBAND

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I HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 38 YRS AND FOR THE PAST 8 MTHS MY HUSBAND HAS BEEN HAVING AN AFFAIR WITH A PREVIOUS GIRLFRIEND FROM HIS DISTANT PAST. THEY WERE TEENAGERS AT THE TIME AND SHE DUMPED HIM. SHE GOT IN TOUCH WITH HIM VIA FACEBOOK AND HAVE SINCE HAD A PASSIONATE AFFAIR. TO BEGIN WITH HE TOLD ME HE DIDNT WANT O LOSE ME OR THE FAMILY, BUT HE WAS HELPLESS, TOTALY BOWLED OVER AS HE TERMED IT . THIS SUMMER AGAINST MY BETTER JUDGEMENT I CONCENDED TO HIM MEETING HER FOR 2 WEEKS IN ORDER FOR THEM TO BREAK UP "WITH DIGNITY" AS HE CALLED IT. A WEEK AFTER HE CAME BACK I DISCOVERED EMAILS ON A SECRET EMAIL ACCOUNT WHERE THEY ARE STILL PROCLAIMIMG EVERLASTING LOVE. I CLICKED AND THREW HIM OUT. HE SENDS ME EMAILS WHERE HE PROCLAIMS HOW SAD HE IS AT HURTING ME AND HE STILL HAS INTENT ON COMING BACK IF I WILL HAVE HIM, HOWEVER HE FEELS HE NEEDS A BREAK AND IS ASKING FOR A 6 MTH SEPARATION IN ORDER TO LIVE OUT HIS DREAM WITH HER TO SEE IF ITWORKS. AS HE SAYS , I DONT WANT HALF A HUSBAND BACK, I NEED A WHOLE ONE. WHAT SHOULD I DO?? IM SO CONFUSED, I LOVE HIM AND WANT HIM BACK, BUT MY DIGNITY IS SAYING OTHER THINGS.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 1 year ago.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am very sorry to know about this overwhelming and painful reality you have been facing for the past 8 months.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

What you describe here is truly serious and sad, it shows how much you care for your marriage and want this to work, but it also shows how dishonest, neglectful and abusive your husband has been for this long.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

His behaviors do show he cares about his ego needs, his lover but not truly about you. he has been living like a single person life, having total freedom to come and go, and I am afraid this has just enable further abuse and neglect instead of helping. The initial plan of having 2 weeks to "end the affair with dignity" had anything but dignity, it shows how abusive and insensitive, manipulative and uncaring he could get. To make things worse, you finding out he was lying the whole time, and him using words of apology and asking for your forgiveness while stating he needs 6 months to live his dream with his lover, are just overwhelmingly shocking and painful realities, confirming he cares about anything but about you.

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

What your husband is doing is putting himself first in this situation. He wants to "live out his dream" with this woman and if it doesn't work out, he wants to be able to come back to you. That is, as they say, "having your cake and eating it too". He wins either way and you end up with a husband that thinks of himself first. That is not fair to you.

At this point, your husband has made it clear that he is only concerned with what he feels. He has a choice in how he responds to this woman he is with. He could stop what he is doing and end the relationship to work on your marriage. He suggests he has lost control of himself but in reality, he is just using the situation to get out of it whatever is best for himself and not for you. And he does not need two weeks alone with her to end this relationship and commit to you again. He only needs one short email, text or phone call. But since he is not doing that, you can only assume he is lying to you and wants your permission to cheat on you so he does not need to feel guilty about it.

If you do decide to accept your husband back, he would need to make amends to you. He would need to see what he did was wrong, work on gaining your trust again and never cheat again. However, if he cannot do those things, the chances he would fall in love again with someone else is very strong. You would never be able to trust in your marriage or get your needs met.

You can try two options in order to deal with this situation. One, you can tell your husband to end the relationship now and force him into a choice. If he still wants you around, he would need to come to counseling with you and be willing to rebuild your marriage. Or two, you can go to counseling on your own and decide from there if you feel the marriage is worth trying to save. Putting yourself first helps you decide what is good for you and not what is good for him.

You can also learn more about infidelity and whether or not it is worth ending your marriage over this situation. Here are some resources to help you:

Surviving Infidelity: Making Decisions, Recovering from the Pain, 3rd Edition by Rona B. Subotnik and Gloria Harris

Transcending Post-infidelity Stress Disorder (PISD): The Six Stages of Healing by Dennis C. Ortman

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/coping_divorce_relationship_breakup.htm

Should I stay or should I go? Lundy Bancroft

Either way you choose to go with this, it's important that you do what you can to take care of yourself. You are in pain and the betrayal of infidelity and your husband hurting you like this can feel overwhelming. It's ok to feel sad, angry and even to grieve. Though it is difficult, you need to work through the pain. Be sure to get a lot of support during this time. If you do not have supportive family and friends, talking to a counselor can help you learn ways to cope. And try an on line or in person support group for more support.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

he has been having counceling and describes his relationship as an obsession, almost like a gambling addiction he says. He feels the only way he can get her out of his mind is by letting it go its course.

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Then your husband needs to address his addiction rather than give in to it and hurt you. It is no different than any other addiction. Just because he feels this way does not mean it is ok to give in to it and destroy your marriage over it. Nor should he be asking your permission to do so.

Kate
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

He is so eloquent with words and I melt every time. He says words are his best method of resolvement. I think I know what must be done , but I`m not sure I can stay away from him. I have spent 40 yrs building a life together with him. Our adult children are very angry with him and I am trying to get them to see that they must resolve things with him , if for nothing else than the sake of the grandchildren. I think I need therapy and more than anything a lawyer, but at the moment Im grieving too much to actualy function

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
It is a very good idea to talk to a therapist. Your husband sounds like he might be a manipulator, which is very hard to resist. He is going to use his words (which of course is his best method of resolving situations if it works for him and not you) to try to get you to cooperate with him. But if you can talk to a therapist about why you feel as you do and how to put yourself first, it can help you resist what he says and work through this for yourself. That does not mean you have to be cruel to him or even angry at him, but instead putting a stop to his destructive behavior. He is hurting you and your children, even if he does not believe he is not.

Kate
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5556
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 1 year ago.
Your husband is an adult, has no disability and he has not been forced into this situation, but he willingly engaged into the affair and has perpetuated it to the present. Chose to continue being dishonest, to manipulate you and pretend he cared about you while still with his lover. Words are useless and a manipulatory weapon when used without honesty and consistent action. Whether he tries to justify it stating it's an addiction or a disorder, he aware of his choices and actions, from the very beginning to the present. If he chooses not to take responsibility for what he has been doing and change his ways, believing in his words about caring, affection and remorse would lead you to self-sabotage, and that would be the worst thing that could happen now.

Please look for individual counseling support to work on effectively coping with this loss, you are truly grieving the loss of your husband and marriage, and getting re traumatized by his constant abusive and neglectful actions, and that's why consistent help from your support system -family and close friends, plus professional counseling appear as so important.

Does it make sense?
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 1 year ago.
Right, it truly seems to be an even tougher situation because he knows how much it's been invested here, how much you long for awakening from this nightmare and will continue using and abusing words to manipulate you as much and as long as possible.

But it is necessary for you to understand that his manipulations cannot be successful unless you happen to expose yourself to it enabling them, allowing him to use-abuse you even more, and for you to stop this vicious circle, you need to get close support from your family and healthy friends, and with them from a good attorney and a psychotherapist, otherwise the tendency would be to continue to expose to his manipulation, adding further pain in your life, one you nor your children and grandchildren need or deserve at all.

the worst approach right now would be to isolate yourself, allowing him to get close to you, to come and go as if everything is fine, listening his words and hoping they become reality. PLease work with a psychotherapist and your family support to set and keep healthy and clear boundaries and limits, while you do this, the attorney would work on the legal arena to protect you and prevent further abuse and new potential issues. It is tough but necessary, and no core area should be disregarded right now, otherwise you could find yourself in an even more painful situation.

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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Mental Health Professional
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Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.