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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10643
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I just found out my husband of 32 years has been having an

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I just found out my husband of 32 years has been having an affair with his former secretary. He no longer works for the same company as her & he also does not live in the same state as me, so he has bee flying to see her at least twice a month & to see me the other weekends! He didn't tell me - I had to do some digging & finally confront him with the evidence I had. He claims he went to see her last weekend to find out where there relationship stood & she wants him to work it out with me. He agreed. I don't know whether to believe him. First of all, I don't know if I'll ever be able to get the visions of him & her out of my head. She was younger than me & I'm sure much more spontaneous & endowed than myself. We've been together since we were 18. Both our grown children know what he has done & he apologized to both(they are 25 & 28). I'm still in shock but I don't know whether or not to know how sincere he is about keeping the family together. I'm only a four hour drive away from the mistress, I feel like I need to know what her real intentions are toward my husband. What did she really say to him? Did she reject him & is that why he wants me all of a sudden or is the affair not over? Keep in mind that she had been his secretary for five years so she knew me and the kids very well. Please advice.

Dr. Z :

Hello

Dr. Z :

I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

Give me a few minutes to carefully read over your entire question, so that I can better help you.

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that your husband had this affair with his former secretary, I can imagine how hurt this must have made you and still does

Dr. Z :

May I ask, I realize that you both reside in different states but do you both go to couple's therapy at all?

Dr. Z :

Also for how long was he having this affair?

Dr. Z :

And for what reason did he give for seeking and continuing the affair (e.g. was he unhappy, bored, etc...)?

Customer:

This just happened this weekend so we haven't started anything. He works in CT during the week & I live in FL. The therapy would have to be in FL on weekends. He has agreed to talk to someone. I think we both need to, whether this works out or not. She also lives in FL - four hours away.

Dr. Z :

Okay, so this definitely recent and your mistrust that you have is natural, understandable, and truthfully the right thing to have given your situation. I would strongly advise you both to go to couples therapy together, I can even recommend some couples therapists in your area if you like. The trust issues you have may get better in time or they may not. One thing your husband will have to do though is be more transparent with you, which means he will have to be more open with his emotions (e.g. when he feels sad or angry he has to vocalize it) also he will have to be more transparent with his privacy and allow you to see his phone, computer accounts, etc... whenever you want.

Dr. Z :

He will need to earn the trust back, which is will take a lot of effort on his part, but not impossible.

Dr. Z :

Now obviously you want to get information about her and what her real intentions were with your husband, but in my experience that will not help you and I think that if you just focus on you and your husband will be best.

Dr. Z :

Also because he lives in another state most of the time, this will increase your mistrust and anxiety, so he will have to make a strong effort to reassure you that he is not continuing his infidelity with someone else.

Customer:

Are you still there?

Dr. Z :

Yes I am still here, did you not see what I wrote earlier?

Customer:

He was having the affair for 6 months. My mom passed away in Fed. & I had been commuting from Clearwater to JAX to look after my Dad. He always travels so he was fine with that. He worked in St. Pete. He said we argued & that we had grown apart. He was very unhappy at work & would come home distracted (now I know why). In June he took a new job as Pres. Of a company in CT that would have a big financial payout for us down the road. We have done the commuting thing before so this was not new to Us. He wanted to keep a residence in FL for tax purposes, so he suggested buying a house near my Dad so I wouldn't have to commute to JAX. I thought that was the sweetest thing ever. Now I think he just wanted me busy & out of the Tampa area so he could come and go without worrying about running into me.

Dr. Z :

I agree, I think he was definitely orchestrating in a way to continue the affair that would be convenient for him, but also that is a long commute (I have family in Clearwater, so I know ti well), and he may have wanted to be sweet about the suggestion of buying a house near your father. So even though he was unhappy and felt you grew apart, it does not give him the right to have an affair. And if he was feeling this, then he must communicate with you to repair the relationship instead of having an affair that is only self-serving to him. Here are some good books that both you and your husband (more so him) should read to help foster communication better between you two to avoid this in the future

Dr. Z :

He should also not push you for reconciliation because this will take time for you and it will take time for that trust to be restored, if it will be restored because like I said this can only be determined with time.

Dr. Z :

So you do not have to make a decision about him or the relationship at this point, but I would strongly suggest couple's counseling and then later you can make a decision about whether to continue the marriage or not.

Dr. Z :

I think couple's therapy will also help you gauge how serious he is about repairing the relationship and keeping the family together too

Customer:

Thanks so much! If you can recommend any counselors in the JAX, Ponte Vedra Beach area please let me know. I don't know what I will do. Can't get the visions out of my head!! The kids are destroyed! They are extremely supportive of my decision. Their relationship with their father will never be the same. Thanks again!

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry about your children, I can imagine how heart broken they are over this. Give me a few minutes to compile a good list of couple's therapists for you

Dr. Z :

I think these therapists would be best for you and your husband as they specialize in relationship issues and provide couples counseling

Customer:

Thank you for your time and suggestions!

Dr. Z :

Anytime, I am always happy to help. Is there anything else I can assist you with today?

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