How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Ms Chase Your Own Question

Ms Chase
Ms Chase, Life Coach
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 2897
Experience:  Over 20 yrs experience with Relationships, Sexuality, Friendship, and Family Issues
1042561
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Ms Chase is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Im ready for harsh reality so here goes my question.

Customer Question

I'm ready for harsh reality so here goes my question. I've been married to a guy for 19 years, I was 20 and he was 18 when we decided to get married. Throughout the years, I've wondered about his maturity level. Over the course of 19 years, he's given me just as many mistresses as anniversaries, yet when I tell him to file for divorce, he makes the promises, promises, promises. The latest mistress was only 9 months ago, so what are his chances for making it stick this time?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 6 years ago.

Hello suthern,

The harsh reality is that the best indication of future behavior is past behavior. If he's cheated so many times in the past, it is highly unlikely that he will change. The first time he cheated and you stayed with him, it in a sense, gave him permission to keep doing it, because you would still be there. Each time he cheated and you stayed only reinforced this thought process. At this point, he has shown so little regard for his vows and for your feelings, and yet...still, he cheats again.

You'll have to take a long hard look at what you are getting out o this marriage and decide if it's worth being disrespected and cheated on at his whim. I can imagine that your self esteem is probably low by now, you may want to consider seeing a therapist to learn why you've stayed with him for so long, and what it is that you get out of his behavior.

I know there's a lot more to the story, so if you want to talk more, just click reply

Warmly

Chase

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you Chase...I was raised by my strict Catholic parents who have been married for 40 years, I value marriage deeply, I know he doesn't, he gets busted, says he's sorry, tears, promises. He doesn't want to talk about it to me, to friends, to a therapist. I realize I can't change him, he's the father of our 3 teen sons, one of them graduates high school in 2 days.

I guess being raised Catholic, they're always stressing forgiveness and compassion, even with your enemies, problem is, I can't do that anymore, I know that the more I forgive, it's given him carte blanche to do it again, knowing he can talk fast and get out of it.

I've also been taught that if you work hard, it pays off, well, I've given 19 years to raising these boys on my own, taking care of everything and this is the outcome?
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 6 years ago.

Hi again, yes, I was raised catholic as well. My mother dealt with my stepfather cheating for over 25 years. He never changed, no matter what she tried. He didn't talk about it, and under no circumstances would he ever see a therapist. What most women don't realize is that this behavior is a form of abuse, and over the long term, it can wreak havoc on your self esteem, and turn you into a person you may not want to be. You will find it difficult to trust, not just men, but almost anyone. It affects other aspects of your life as well, not just your relationships. Additionally, you have to wonder what your sons are thinking if they know anything about what he's done all these years. Many times, despite parents best efforts, the children know far more than the parents think. This can affect them and their relationships for the rest of their lives.

The cycle he puts you through, cheat, apologize, cry, promise, are all the cycles of abuse. An abuser hits his victim, apologizes, cries and promises it will never happen again. Until it does. This is really know different. I believe that once you think of it like that, your decision will be clearer. You can forgive your enemy, but it doesn't mean that you should sleep in the same bed with them every night, or live with them.

You are still young. You still have a lot of living left to do. Although you might not want to think about it right now, there are people out there who don't cheat. There is someone out there who will love you without cheating, who will love you the way you need to be loved. Even if you decide to never get into another relationship, you at least know that you're not in a position to be disrespected.

Please understand that what I'm saying is strictly my opinion, I know that it's almost unheard of in many Catholic families to even consider divorce, and that this could cause a lot of other problems. I want you to think long and hard about the sacrifices you've made in your life, and ask yourself when it is time for you to do something for yourself. What do you want to do with the next 10 years. I welcome your thoughts, let me know if you want to talk more.

Warmly

Chase

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Okay, this is the rest of the puzzle. I agree with all that you've said, it makes logical sense to me. What I've never understood is all of the things I've done to make his life and work, easier, been his cheerleader, his friend, his soft place to fall and yet, when he leaves the home and comes into contact with another female, he tells her made up shortcomings of his wife, making it sound like I'm a bitch, a user, ungrateful, an unfit mother and half baked parent to our sons. Maddening still, if you asked anyone who isn't married to him or is his child, he would give the shirt off of his back to help all those around him, a good guy, it's like some sort of mask. Only me and his sons know the truth. Yes, unfortunately, the older 2 boys have full knowledge of the latest mistress, overhearing our heated discussions. I haven't been in the workplace since 1990, some college education so becoming a single mother scares me to death, I've seen all of my sisters burn out or go mad trying to make it work, in the meantime, he's flourished in both careers and makes a decent living. My parents live 900 miles away. I appreciate your input on this, I apologize for not answering earlier, I had my oldest 2 sons graduating jr. high and senior high school last week.
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 6 years ago.

Hello Suthern,

I know. I really do know what you mean. The issue is his, for whatever reason he is unable to be an adult, and follow through on his commitments. His immature outlook causes him to make any excuse for his behavior and to continue the behavior. It's a harsh reality to realize the sacrifices you've made and to what avail? It's a shame that he doesn't have more respect and love for you and his family and that he's willing to risk it all for a passing fling. The issue is, the longer this continues, one day, it won't be a passing fling, and you will find yourself a single parent, whether you want to or not. It's best to be proactive, particularly when armed with his past and present behavior. Think about what you can do now, while he is still there to prepare yourself in case he's not. Can you put a certain amount of money away? Do you trust anyone to have an account in your name where you can put a certain amount of money away each week or month. Can you go back to school? Either online, or take classes in something you are interested in that could enable you to get a job. What about going ahead and getting a part time job? If he's flourished and you separate, he'll have to pay support and maybe even alimony. Yes, things will change, but you can be at peace. Don't worry about not getting back to me sooner, I'm always here. I welcome your thoughts about what I've said here, let me know if you want to talk more

Warmly

Chase

p.s. Congrats to your sons for their graduations, I know you must be so proud of them.

Ms Chase, Life Coach
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 2897
Experience: Over 20 yrs experience with Relationships, Sexuality, Friendship, and Family Issues
Ms Chase and 3 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX yes, I'm VERY proud of them, feels surreal to say I'm a mom to a high school graduate.

Currently, my husband is on an extended training period, 2 weeks, in PA somewhere, per his usual Navy reserve comittment, that's where he met the most recent mistress, also in the reserve, it is where he meets the majority of them.

The last one he said he "fell in love" with after attending a 2 week school, he came back with what I can only describe as a hypercritical view on anything and everything me and the boys said or did. My gut told me that another woman had come into the picture, he denied it of course, continued with the behavior, hinting at divorce. Tired of his "mood" I agreed without hesitation...he then accused me of being in a hurry. (I know, it was odd to me at the time.)

Through careful snooping of his email and computer; (he gave me his password XXXXX proof his innocence.) I found their emails in a folder he thought I wouldn't look in. Basically, I printed them off and showed them to him, his mood changed instantly and suddenly, he wanted to be my husband again, but he was "confused" so I told him that we would separate, but I wasn't about to let him keep telling the other girl that I was this lunatic monster so I made him call her on his cell, using speakerphone, he apologized to her and told her he wasn't leaving me.

Within 2 days, he was "in love" and telling her I used our boys to "make him" (Like I ever could) break up with her. I don't know who was more pathetic, he for continuing and begging her forgiveness or her for buying his crap.

I made the final bust 8 weeks later and told him to leave, he cried, said he was confused, but to have patience with him while he "sorted" it all out. In the meantime, the girl has moved to the same state, same city where he does his weekend drills and he says he doesn't talk to her.

He has a computer at work and some of the emails I printed off, told her and me that he was at work when he wrote them.

Right now, I'm training online for medical office assistant and actively looking for employment, my oldest son is joining the Navy so it's 2 sons left at home. I appreciate you taking the time to listen and understand while helping me "sort this out."

Am I crazy for staying with him for so long? He's never going to change, is he? He told me he wasn't sure about starting a real relationship with Mindy (the mistress); because he wasn't sure that he wouldn't end up hurting HER in the same way that he has me over the years.
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 6 years ago.

Hello Suthern,

Thank you for the bonus, it was very generous of you, and I appreciate it. More than that, I am happy that I am able to be of assistance to you during this time. I know how horrible it can be to deal with the changes he is putting you through. To answer your question, no....absolutely not, you are not crazy. What's crazy is that he made vows that he is totally disregarding. What's crazy is that you did your part as a wife, and he feels that he is exempt from being a good husband. What's crazy is that you take care of him, his children and his home and these other women are even allowed to become a factor in your life. No you're not crazy. We're not crazy when someone tells us something and we believe them. We're especially not crazy when our own husband tells us something and we believe them.

He actually gave you his password XXXXX instill truth, KNOWING that he was lying but assuming you wouldn't find the emails. Why not just delete the emails? Why is he confused? Where is this confusion coming from? HE's not confused, he knows exactly what he's doing. Sure, he may be confused as to why he can't control himself, but at this point, thats a personal problem. So now, this girl has "conveniently" moved to where he will be on the weekends he goes to drills and you are expected to believe that he's not seeing her?

Is he going to change? Well, the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior. Considering that he's done this before and even now is still lying, I would say the chances are slim that he will change. Who really cares if he wants to start a relationship with Mindy? Why is he even talking to you about that possibility? In a sense it sounds like it's already something he's done. It's not your fault, this is some issue that he has inside of him, and if he should get into a relationship with her or anyone else, it's pretty much guaranteed that he WILL do the same things again because it's not about the women, but about his own self esteem and his own self worth, and his need to have what he wants regardless of the price.

If you decide to stay with him, you do so with an open mind of what he's capable of. Capable of disrespecting his wife to make some random woman be with him. If you decide that you're going to leave, start putting money away and preparing yourself before you just up an leave. Above all, think about your sons and what they are getting out of this situation. Don't bash their dad, but do let them know that you are not comfortable with what he's doing. The longer you allow him to do these things with your sons around, the likelier the possibility that they will think that his behavior is acceptable and may wind up repeating it as adults.

I welcome your thoughts, so please respond if you want to talk more.

Warmly

Chase

p.s. I know you're proud of them, and I know the surreal feeling, my daughter just turned 16, *sigh* I'm getting old. lol

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Ms. Chase,

Have I told you that you absolutely ROCK? If I haven't, then here it is. I have NO friends here that I can confide this in. Over the years, anytime I decided to start any kind of "friendship" with another female, he would find all sorts of faults with them, saying that he's afraid they would "make" me turn on him.

He's never hit me, but sometimes I think that would be easier to deal with than this. Not saying I want to be hit or abused, NO. It's just that a punch or slap heals faster than all of these head games.

Why did he talk to ME about Mindy? Well, there's this author, Anne Brecht, who suggested "charging neutral" on finding out WHY he does this, WHAT his feelings are, on and on, so as badly as I just wanted to throw a brick at him, I held my emotions in check and let him open up about HER to me.

I found out that she can't have children, her first husband physically abused her and she was in the process of starting a divorce from her second husband of 5 years because he kept accusing HER of extramarital affairs when she went on her Navy 2 weeks+ training in different states and countries. (Hmm...wonder what would make her husband THINK such a thing?)

Ken (my husband) says that he became attracted to Mindy because she's LIKE ME. (Why am I NOT flattered?) He's apologized PROFUSELY to her for dragging her into this mess and leading her on, but has NEVER apologized to me because he says it would sound hollow to me and I wouldn't accept it. (Reads minds...)

According to him, he expects nothing less than PERFECTION from his spouse, no matter what he says, how he acts, so when he's dissatisfied, which is often, he seeks out another woman, especially because he's addicted to "falling in love"; butterflies in the tummy, like a drug.

I hope this doesn't take long to get away from him, making the preparations starting now. No, I don't want to stay with him, I know what he's capable of, but I don't want to have to completely depend on him or burden my parents.

Thank you for listening, this is probably cheaper than full blown therapy, but I guess that wouldn't hurt either. As much as I've experienced being married to Ken, he's never been able to destroy my outlook on knowing that husbands' will lift you up, support you as a partner with your dreams, your life, good times and bad.

Maybe the life lesson here isn't for me, but for him?
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 6 years ago.

Perfection? seriously? I'm of the belief that to expect something you have to be willing to give it in spades. No one is perfect, and to expect perfection is to set yourself and the other person up for failure. Did he tell you before you got married that he expected you to be perfect? He is the king of excuses, and if anyone needs therapy it's him, not you. He expects perfection, he is addicted to falling in love, she reminds him of you....it's all psychological crap (if you'll excuse the expression) that is intended on keeping you in your place and justifying his behavior. She's got so many problems, so he feels like he needs to rescue her, or are you supposed to feel sorry for her for being with your husband? You don't necesarily have to answer my questions unless you want to, I tend to use questions to make a point.

You are 100% right, there are people out there that are capable of having good, honest relationships.

Chase

Thanks for the compliment, you made my day. :)

Ms Chase, Life Coach
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 2897
Experience: Over 20 yrs experience with Relationships, Sexuality, Friendship, and Family Issues
Ms Chase and 3 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
To answer the first question, I don't believe I ever heard the minister say I had to be perfect, I was supposed to love, honor, cherish and respect the man standing in front of me.

I agreed to marry in a Pentecostal Church, but 5 years into my marriage, I asked him if we could have it blessed in the Catholic Church, his reply? "I am NOT coverting to f***in' Catholicism for ANYONE!" Red flag moment, but I thought I could approach him again after I had coaxed him into what it would actually do and mean to me.

I'm not sure what this has to do with it, but he was given up for adoption by his bio-mom who conceived him out of an extramarital affair. The woman who raised him was the sweetest, kindest, most compassionate angel I'd ever had the privilege of calling "mom." Her husband however, was the cheating kind as well, all the way till the end, cancer finally winning the battle and taking my mother in law to heaven after 33 years of marriage, 4 adopted children and yes, she knew he was fooling around.

Did I mention that one of his mistresses was my younger sister who had lived with us for a few months? Yeah, freaky betrayal on both their parts. Mom in law knew about that one before she died and apologized to me.

I do feel sorry for her, no woman should be beaten, but that first husband of hers also cheated on her, she found out, confronted him and the physical abuse was his reply. The only thing that ticks me off about her is that she wasn't successful in stealing Ken quickly and completely.

As I read my first question and all of your replies, I realize how ridiculously cruel and insane he sounds and how cluelessly I gave into denial, if I don't acknowledge it, it didn't happen.

Can I ask a theoretical question here or two? Why doesn't he divorce me if I don't make him completely happy? Why make me sound like such a stupid monster?
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 6 years ago.

Yes ma'am, you are correct in saying that you are not expected to be perfect. Only God is perfect and we can strive to be like him, but know that we will never achieve the state of perfection. It is foolish to think that we can, and equally foolish to think you can expect it from someone else. You're an exceptional woman, by all counts intelligent, perceptive, compassionate and a great sense of humor.

There's a possibility that his adoption plays a part in what's going on with him, feelings of abandonment, inability to commit or to be faithful. Additionally the 'father' figure cheating could really have something to do with it. As a child he sees this woman who he loves dearly, and the man who is supposed to love, honor and respect her cheats on her, ie this is what you do to someone you love. Can you see why I'm concerned about your boys?

Your sister....that one kind of got to me. He has no boundaries whatsoever. Which only makes what I'm about to say even more important. There is no way to know that anything he is telling you about this other woman is true. It could be all lies. In fact, you should assume that anything that comes out of his mouth is a lie at this point. He might be saying that she's abused to get the sympathetic response.

Why doesn't he divorce you.....there could be a dozen different reasons. The simplest reason is, he could be comfortable. To divorce would mean anything from moving, to not seeing his children as often, to not having his meals prepared. A change in life that he just might not be ready for right now. Maybe he knows he will do the same thing to the next person, and they won't stand for it and he'll be alone. I have a feeling that is what terrifies him the most, that one day he'll end up alone. He probably does love you, in his way. Making you into the 'monster' or the 'bad guy' is his way of justifying what he does, to himself and others.

I know I said earlier that he was the one that needed therapy, not you. However, I do think that you might benefit from therapy, whether with someone in your area or even if you wanted to try and work though some things with me, it's up to you. There are reasons why we do the things we do, good or bad, but there are times when we know we are in a bad situation and yet, as you said, we go into denial and pretend it doesn't exist. There are reasons for this that you should try and discern if you can.

Do you have a name I can call you?

Chase

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Yes, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm glad you see this mess through the same eyes as mine. Like I said before, my upbringing is what has made me stay for so long, I can almost hear my parents, it's weird, both of them were alcoholics, unpredictable and yes, my mother cheated on my father so I thought I could make this work, the rewards coming later.

It does sound utterly pathetic, my reasons to stay as long as I have, but it has it's past deeply rooted with the people before us, however, I believe strongly that as adults, we have the ability to break negative cycles. My sons are being raised in an alcohol free environment.

I know too, that he has no boundaries, no heart, he cares little for me, our sons and alot for himself. As I work this out with you, my resolve is getting clearer and stronger. 19 years is a long time, you'd think I'd be able to tell when he's lying, which is most of the time, half truth's and alot of embellishment.

My sons are very good toward the females, beginning with me, protective and the girls they date, so maybe it's not lost after all?

I realize as well, the reason he makes me into the complete opposite of what I am, is to lure new potentials, get closer without coming on too strong. You should see his professional evaluations:

A compassionate leader, takes the initiative to help his subordinates, above and beyond the call of duty. He's never shown that to me, at all.

If I can look into it, I agree with seeing someone to begin distancing myself from this situation, thank you for everything, I hope I can come back if I need to, you helped me make up my mind without feeling guilty.
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 6 years ago.
THIS ANSWER IS LOCKED!
You can view this answer by clicking here to Register or Login and paying $3.
If you've already paid for this answer, simply Login.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Last | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dear Debra

    Advice Columnist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1719
    I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DE/deedeeham/2011-1-24_51523_408.64x64.JPG Dear Debra's Avatar

    Dear Debra

    Advice Columnist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1719
    I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy's Avatar

    Kate McCoy

    Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    1235
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1215
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CO/CoachJenK/2012-3-9_31019_Jen.64x64.jpg Coach Jen K.'s Avatar

    Coach Jen K.

    LMSW, CPC

    Satisfied Customers:

    726
    Providing the utmost care and support.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IN/intrapsyc.com/2012-2-20_161928_RGMTPicturex5002012.64x64.png Rafael M.T.Therapist's Avatar

    Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    549
    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/HU/hungryjack20/IMG_1281_edit_2.64x64.jpg Dr. L's Avatar

    Dr. L

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    349
    Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/SU/suzmsw/2011-9-2_184634_Thisone.64x64.JPG Suzanne's Avatar

    Suzanne

    Therapist, LCSW

    Satisfied Customers:

    338
    Experienced in treating trauma, relationship issues, co-dependency
 
 
 

Related Relationship Questions