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Dr. Paige
Dr. Paige, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1420
Experience:  Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
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Hi,I need some help/advice. I have been married for 11 years

Customer Question

Hi,I need some help/advice.

I have been married for 11 years and we have 3 young sons together.To make a long story short about 5 years ago i caught my wife with another man driving in her car late at night (3 am)she claimed nothing was going on.Shortly after I found out she had secret chats with another male online for with love letters and such in these chats,he would call and I would answer and he would hang up on me if she didnt answer,once again she claimed it was nothing.Then I found out later on she had cheated on me as she told me but once again it was nothing and she said the conversations stopped with the other men,i caught her months later chatting again,we tried marriage counseling but she quit after 2 sessions.I did some hard thinking and decided to give her another chance.Things have been ok between us since then about 3 years ago since we decided to give it a shot again) and just today I find out she is still chatting with this person.I am at my wits end on this and not sure what to do as we have a long history together and children with some issues of their own involved.My oldest son has had an overdose issue less then 1 year ago and is recovering with counselros and such,my younger sons have issues at school,I fear if I bring up this matter and if we split up this will be very hard on the kids.I dont know what to do and need some advice.I dont know who this person is that she chats with,she claims she met him in schoool over 20 years agon,he claims they have never met but to find out they met 9 years ago somewhere.Yes,I have looked into her private conversations to find this out but it was the only way to find out,I only do this when something doesnt feel right between us.This person lives all the way across the country from us so I dont think they see each other (but I dont know for sure).Any advice on what I need to do here as this is eating me up.Thanks.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Howard Wise replied 3 years ago.
Good morning, this is Howard,

I'm sorry to hear about this very unfortunate situation. From what you have reported, it appears that your children are suffering from the dysfunctional environment in which they live. I don't think that remaining with your wife is necessarily in their best interest.

Have you considered individual psychotherapy for yourself? I ask this because I'm wondering why you would stay married to a woman who has so many episodes, or suspected episodes, of infidelity. You are certainly willing to put up with a lot!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The kids dont know about any of this and we dont fight or argue to much around the kids.This is my worry is they love their mom and one of them will only communicate with their mom so this may affect things if we split up.

I put up with it because of the kids and I dont want to hurt them or make things worse for them.

Recently i was offered a new job so I am in the middle of possibly taking this job now I dont know what to do all the way around here.

Do I take the job?Do I leva emy wife?Do I tell me 9 year old,12 year old and 15 year old what is going on?
Expert:  Howard Wise replied 3 years ago.
You have a lot of decisions to make, and it's not going to be possible to make them right now. I suggest that you seek out individual psychotherapy. That would be a great way for you to sort things out and get input from a professional who can help you.

I would be happy to give you a list of names of therapists in your area if you would like me to do that. If so, please tell me the name of the city in which you live.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
So are you saying to not take the new Job right now?

Not tell the kids anything right now?

And to not talk to my wife and let her know what I know again that this is happening still as I havent said a word to her yet?

Do I just go about my normal living for now?

Expert:  Howard Wise replied 3 years ago.
I am not comfortable advising you on major life decisions. You have to make the decisions for yourself because you are the one who will bear the consequences. I am going to opt out of this question to allow other experts to assist you.

Good luck.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 3 years ago.
Hello. If I may jump in here and offer my opinion on the matter. It sounds as though your wife has no interest in continuing the marriage if she cannot stay away from other men. You have every right to be at your wits end about the situation. The children do know something is going on, I guarantee it. Even if you don't fight in front of them, kids can feel an uncomfortable situation. I always recommend against the common notion of staying together "for the kids" because in reality, what you are doing is causing more harm than good. What ends up happening is that the kids see their parents unhappy and they blame themselves for it which can cause a lifetime of problems. What you want to do here is be completely honest with them in an age appropriate way, Kids will respect you for this, even if it is difficult for them to deal with at this time. Knowing that you treated them as adults at a young age will be the most beneficial approach to everyone in the end. You do not turn them against the other parent, you don't let them think any of this is their fault. Honesty is the best policy and the healthiest for the future. Do you want you kids to grow up thinking that they have to stay in a bad situation no matter what, or do you want them to grow up being strong enough to be able to make a decision which will make them and their future children happy?
As far as your new job situation, you have to weigh that in to this and what the benefits are. if it is a wonderful opportunity that you cannot resist, then why not take the chance? Do something for yourself and your happiness, because obviously the situation you are currently in is not a happy one. Your kids will function better knowing their parents are happy, even if they are separated. I think you need to do what is best for your own sanity and well being and the rest will follow. Be honest with your wife. Tell her what is going on. ALWAYS communicate, always be honest. You can't go on living with keeping things, especially big, life changing things to yourself. Yes, you will encounter resistance, change does that to people, but it is always best to be honest and up front so you don't have things weighing on you. It is also not fair to her either. I think you need to do what you need to do to be happy and tell your wife and kids what is going on in the most mature, non confrontational way possible.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I do speak to my kids as if they were adults,she has turned my oldest son on my somewhat as he doesnt understand why
Hi,welcome to Just Answer.I will be happy to assist you with this question today.I will try and assist you as best as possible from here,feel free to ask any follow up questions to my info provided hereI have ahrd time letting her go out on her own at night sometimes with friends as she has told him things that I do that bother her but I havent let him know why I have a hard time.

I dont know ifg anything is really happening with this other guy as it is long dfistance and they seem to only communicate once and awhile online or emails,but allot of "I love yuou" and "kisses" type of stuff when they do talk as well as sending pictures (that I havent seen but heard of).

I am afraid I will worsen things with the kids if I make the choice I want to make by leaving her as they have been through allot recently including losing a cousin in a house fire two months ago.

I think it is time to break it off,but to tell you thr truth the only thing I am worried about is how this will affect the kids.

I have been prepared for a couple of years knowing this can happen again and to not let it hit me as hard to to let her know its over as I gave her a second chance and it failed.

I dont think I do anything wrong as I work 40+ hours a week to provide and do what I can with my free time for the family.

But this has gone on way to long and I want it over with as easy and painless as possible.

What are your suggestions on how to approach her and discuss this as she tends to bail out the door whenever i bring up something like this here and of course deny it as well as excuses why it happened.She can get into my head pretty good as a manipulater.

Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 3 years ago.
Even her speaking to another man with I love you and kisses is NOT right. She seems like she wants everything in her life, you, the kids and to do whatever she wants with little question. I understand your concern about the kids. A divorce or separation of any kind is going to be devastating, but so is staying with someone who you are clearly not happy with. You didn't say how far away this new job was an if/how seeing the kids with visitation would work. You certainly don't want to take the "bail out" approach and have the kids feeling that you left them as well. it is a tough thing to handle and the individual way you speak to them is going to depend on each of their personalities and level of sensitivity about these types of things. Without knowing more detail about your family, I'm afraid I can't offer much guidance in regards to word for word what is proper to say to them.
As easily and painless as possible is not going to mean pain free by any means! So prepare for that, it sounds as though you have. if she will not stay in a room long enough for you to express how you feel, I would practice with writing it down. You don't have to give anything you write to her, you can use it as a tool to organize your thoughts and decide how it will sound being said to her and anticipate her reactions. Once you get it down to where you are satisfied, you can have that conversation, OR you can choose to give her something in writing which would force her to read it. If she will not verbally communicate with you, that may be your only choice. Don't let her manipulate you any more ! You don't deserve to be treated that way. She should never hold anything regarding the kids against you either. You have rights as a father and as a human being to be happy, treated fairly and the opportunity to see and participate in your children's' lives as fully as possible. You know you have made your decision. I can hear it in your questions and answers. You know what you need to do. You just need the strength and support to do it.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I am currently an expert here on JA/Pearl.I worked at a dealership locally for 14 years before leaving to spend more time with my family and to help my oldest son with his troubles at the time.I have being doing JA for around 2 years full time now.The dealer I worked for called me and offered good money to come back which would still be local but I would be away from my kids again 8 hours a day or more when the last two years I have been at home with them while she went out and worked so they switched from being with mom to being with dad most of the time.If I went back to the dealer I would be away from them again and their mom would still work as well.

My oldest son (15) over dosed last september and was with the wrong crowd.He has since over come this episode with extensive out patient therapy and counseling as well as medications.He trusts his mother more then me and speaks to her more then me.He is also been diagnosed with severe depression.

My middle son (12) has started to fail in school and not wanting to go to school and class.He has had a hard time learning his whole life and we are currently working on this problem with his school.

My youngest son (9) is also depressed especially over losing his cousin recently in a fire as he was in every grade and class with this cousin as well as best friends.

So these are my biggest challenges right now and then to find this out today about her still communicating with this person adds more fuel to the fire.I do want to leave her I just don't know where and how to start the process.I know if I were to stay with her it would remain the same for me.

I thought about talking to my oldest sons counselor before I talk to my wife to give the counseloor a heads up on what I am going to do but I don't know if that is a good idea or not.

Any more suggestions.I can still work on JA and be ok but was looking forward to going back to the dealer full time again.
Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 3 years ago.
I would definitely suggest taking some advice from a local counselor who you know and who knows you family in greater detail than I do. At least all of your children are school age, so they will also be gone most of the day as well. In most family's, both parents work, so the after school issue will have to be handled. You want to be as prepared as possible and get all your ducks in a row before you make this leap. i know it seems like a HUGE leap, but you have several advantages given your kids' ages. Even though they are going through a lot of things themselves, at least they are old enough to be able to cope better than if you had 3 very young kids. You are doing right by organizing your plan before making your plan. The bottom line is that you are obviously not happy and divorce is eminent. Nothing should change with your kids as far as you being there for them as you have. If you are still local, you need to work out weekend visits and whatnot and make sure you see them as often as possible and continue to be involved in their school activities, counseling, etc as much as you can. I'm sure you already know this anyway. Make sure that when you spend time with your kids that you make every second count. You don't want her manipulating them and putting bad things in their heads about you. If you are as supportive as possible and always there for them, even if not living with them, you can be sure they will see through any games she may play in this regard. it is a difficult situation, no doubt, but you can get through it.
Dr. Paige, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1420
Experience: Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
Dr. Paige and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you very much for this help.Much appreciated.The dealership job I can put on hold if I need to as they told me anytime I am ready.

I will make my plans and go from there.

Thank you.
Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 3 years ago.
No problem. Good luck and keep me posted!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Will do
Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 3 years ago.
K. I have to have the last word on a question or else it keeps telling me I have customers waiting.

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