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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3209
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I am currently sepeaated from my wife, I made the mistake of

Resolved Question:

I am currently sepeaated from my wife, I made the mistake of having an online fling with another woman (who happened to be 16), so not only have I lost my job, I've lost basically all of my friends, soon my freedom, but the thing I want most back is my family. I understand how quitting me would be the easiest thing for her to do, but she has been good about letting me see my son. I know I have bigger issues as to worrying about my legal issues and figuring out why I SO needed the attention of a teenager, but I can live with the stigma and problems my trouble has got me into, I don't think I can stand to lose my family forever, I want my wife back and I don't know where to start. We are separated 3 weeks now and she told me she will be divorcing me, though I do not have any paperwork for a divorce to me yet. She is my high school sweetheart and we had a good relationship (I felt needy and greedy) and she was blindsided by my infidelity. What the heck do I do?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 6 months ago.

Dr. Z :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

I am very sorry that you are going through this right now, I can imagine how distressing this must be for you. But it is good and admirable that you want to keep your family together and not lose them

Dr. Z :

So this is definitely a difficult situation that you are in and there are no easy fixes to this. Three weeks is still very soon and your wife is definitely still angry, sad, and upset over this, so it will take a lot of time for her to forgive you if that is what she ends up doing

Customer:

the whole thing is rather horrible, I am afraid to leave my apartment because of the public scrutiny, but through it all I just want my wife and family back and I don't know where to start

Dr. Z :

Now you mentioned that she went to a counseling session with you, but did not like the therapist, what did you she not like about the therapist exactly?

Customer:

he was older, he did not hear real well, and she felt he didn't address the issue very well

Dr. Z :

Okay, would you be willing to go to therapist that she chooses for you and her if she would be willing to go to couples counseling?

Customer:

I would be for sure, but she is past that point now and only wants a divorce. She tells me my only job now is to be a good father

Customer:

she wants nothing to do with our marriage, has taken off of her wedding ring and is very matter of fact/business like with me

Customer:

I realize that this will take time, a miracle even... I just hope there is at least a chance I cn turn this around

Dr. Z :

Well like I said it is still very early for her and 3 weeks is very soon for this type of news, so her being upset is a natural reaction. But so far you are doing the right thing about going to therapy and addressing your issues there

Dr. Z :

You cannot push her for reconciliation, it will take time, but even if you do everything right from this point it may not be enough, which is unfortunate because she may not be able to get past what you did

Customer:

Here is what happened, I told her about it on July 1st of this year, we separated briefly, then tried to work on it. We started having a lot of sex and regular married couple things, but she became very untrusting and was digging through my emails and stuff- then finally went and got the affidavit for my upcoming court case which has the evidence of what I wrote to this girl (which tended to be graphic in nature) she says that I didn't "gve her the whole story" and that I "lied to her for the last time" and has been on the divorce train ever since

Dr. Z :

So she was more upset about the lying then the actual infidelity, is that right?

Customer:

I know that, but we did have a solid friendship before thi and were able to talk our way through things, and I tihnk its possible to possibly get her back because she initially wanted to try

Customer:

mostly that I was trying to "soften the blow"

Customer:

I was just trying to protect myself, I was scared to lose her, and to be honest I had forgotten most of the bad things I had said to this girl anyway

Dr. Z :

That happens, can I ask she seemed pretty upset about the lying part, did you have a habit about lying to her in the relationship besides the infidelity?

Customer:

We have a young son, all of a sudden I was busy all the time doing work and college, and coaching and we were never together, she was with our young son, and we just werent connected which allowed me to get attention and self worth elsewhere

Customer:

No- We had never had problems with lying or cheating before

Customer:

It was stupid and selfish and I am overall disgusted with myself which is a completely whole other thing

Dr. Z :

Well right now she is in an emotional state, understandably so, but eventually she most likely will ask you how your legal case and therapy is going where you can talk about what you are learning in therapy and how you have self-actualized the reasons why you did what you did. This may help her open up to you more.

Dr. Z :

In fact you want to have to relationship books lying around your apartment or in your car for her to take notice as well, to bring up the conversation of such. Help her realize that you are trying to better yourself

Customer:

I realize this is going to take time, I just hope that it's a possible dream to have

Dr. Z :

I will not lie to you, it is possible, but it not necessarily likely. I am a forensic psychologist and I have counseled couples in these exact situations and on average around 70-80 percent of the couples split up or got divorced from these exact circumstances you are describing, usually always initiated by the female member as well.

Dr. Z :

The couple that do make it, well it take a lot of time and patience for both members. And there are a lot of ups and downs in therapy as well, so it is not an easy ride in the process of therapy

Customer:

I realize the odds are poor, but Ive known her since I was 15 yrs old, I feel like we were unique in that way, where other couples may not have that- I am hoping that our friendship which is what I am trying to regain can lead us back

Customer:

Im willing to go through the fire to get her back

Customer:

Ill do whatever I have to

Customer:

My lifestyle is already completely different, I am trying to show that I am bettering myself

Dr. Z :

Well a big thing that most female members do not realize about these situations is that when they hear the word "sex offender" they automatically think that you are compulsive and will do this again, etc....when in fact that is the farthest from the truth. Most individuals that commit a sex crime are not compulsive sex offenders (may 10-15 percent actually are) and if your wife can understand that this was a "crime of opportunity" then she may be more readily able to forgive you and work on the relationship through couples counseling.

Customer:

She already knows that I am not a threat to our children or anyone elses for that matter, she has been good about letting me have our son unsupervised for hours at a time. It was a crime of oppurtunity as you call it- I was also behind a computer which somehow made it not so gross. It was a mistake, but one that will have me labeled for the rest of my life. My biggest fear is that everyone else will keep her away from me (mostly her single girlfriend down the road) by saying she is better off without me. Luckily, her Mom has been really good to me since. Tho, she is mad, she believes I am a good person

Dr. Z :

Actually most likely you will not be labeled for the rest of your life. I do these type of sex offender evaluations for the state of California and unless I see evidence of a compulsion/addiction from my clinical interview, psychological assessments, and your criminal history background I would not label you as a sex offender for the rest of your life. I understand your fear, but you have to worry about what you can control and that is you. If you fear and worry about things outside of your control, you will lose your mind and lose focus

Customer:

Well, regardless my bad things are in black and white through facebook messenger, and I will probably labled through Megan's Law for 25 years.

Customer:

The last 2 months have been a mess

Customer:

I am basically nocturnal now ( I work third shift) I do everything include get gas, do my banking, and go for walks at weird hours of the night I mean shoot its 354 am here and this is basically my 10pm

Customer:

Im afraid of people now, but my bigger concern is not losing my wife

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry to hear that. I know you feel ostracized for this.

Dr. Z :

Well you can work on yourself for the meantime and hope that your wife has a change of heart and at least will be open to couples counseling again, but give her some time to process everything. Even her mother is sort of on your side which is a good thing.

Customer:

Ya, that's been the plan is to fix pieces of myself... Just hate not knowing if this can ever be fixed, Everytime she leaves with our son I am a mess

Dr. Z :

I cannot tell you 100 percent if this will be fixed or not, I really wish I could. But I can tell you that you are doing the right thing by seeking therapy and trying to better yourself. And hopefully your wife will see a change in you and at least be curious enough to attend a couples therapy session with you

Customer:

thanks doc, youve been an excellent help, even for someone just to talk to for a few minutes. I am not a bad guy, I just made a huge mustake and I have lost literally everything... Im hoping to get the most important part of that back...

Dr. Z :

I understand that you made a mistake, and we all make mistakes. The important thing right now is that you are trying to better yourself and trying to fix this mistake and keep your family together. It will take time and hard work, but it is possible.

Customer:

thanks- Ill let you go now. thanks again I will rate you excellent

Dr. Z :

Thank you very much, and I wish you the best of luck with everything. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime.

Customer:

maybe I will give you an update in a month and maybe you will remember this conversation

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3209
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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