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Dr. Paige
Dr. Paige, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1427
Experience:  Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
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I have caught my husband "cheating" online (chat rooms, SMS,

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I have caught my husband "cheating" online (chat rooms, SMS, video chat). He admits to some of it and claims it's very infrequent. But I have uncovered a fair amount of evidence that he has been far from passive about this activity. Question is, now that he accepts responsibility and begs my forgiveness, what steps can I take at this point? Over the past few days, he is very attentive, doesn't go near the computer, comes to bed with me rather than staying up doing whatever. I have reluctantly agreed in the past to him staying up after I go to bed to play games on the computer. Should I tell him this too is out of bounds? Should I get him to give me his email passwords? I'm not convinced anything will lead me to forgive this, and I have told him that all trust has broken between us. But he wants to try.
Hello. This is a very difficult position to be in and it happens frequently. Trust CAN be regained, but you have to understand that it will take a lot of time and you need to figure out what your husband can do to help you heal and make sure you communicate this with him. He seems to be making an effort and that is a good thing. You need to find out WHY he felt the need to do these things in the first place. What is it in your relationship that he feels is missing? Figure this part out and then both of you need to work on that together.
Make sure you acknowledge his efforts in a positive way, or else he will feel like there isn't a point to continue. Think about what you think will help you deal with this. If you think having his passwords will be a positive thing for you, then do that. If you think it will make it worse, then don't.
If you need some time to think about if you want to try to fix things, then by all means, do that. Decide what you think is best for you and then begin to take that path.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

This is helpful. Thanks.

He accepts full responsibility and says he has been isolating himself. I asked him if there is any part of this that is my fault and he insists not.


He lost both parents within a year of each other (this happened in 2009/2010) and he has difficulty opening up about it. He says that this struggle has caused him to be in a funk lately. And that this is what caused him to act out. However, what he doesn't know yet is that I've discovered this activity has been going on for the past few years. Maybe it's related to his struggle, but maybe not. It could be a true addiction and he is looking for an excuse for it. In any event, I've stressed that I want him to talk to me about how he is feeling, and that I'm the one who loves him and wants to be consoling to him.


We did talk about the lack of closeness in our relationship. We talk about it frequently and he said it's been getting better for him. Yet, this activity continues, and he has no explanation for why.


He is very savvy and will figure out how to cover his tracks if he continues this. So I don't want him to know how I am accessing the information. I'm thinking that if I ask him to share his accounts with me that it will aid him in feeling as if he is addressing the problem. Even if it doesn't make me feel better or worse to be checking on him. But for now I plan to keep the key-logger software running and check in every few weeks without him knowing. Unfortunately I feel like I have to take this measure to truly know, because he can easily cover his tracks.


I want to heal things, but you're right, it's going to take a while. I feel sick every time I think about it. And I feel like I'm betraying myself when I try to let him close and try to forgive. It's truly a struggle for me.


Thanks for your further thoughts.

None of his actions are your fault in any way. Usually when someone has room in their heart for another, there is something missing int heir relationship. No fault is there, it's just circumstance. He may be coping as you said with things in his life that have happened. He need to learn how to direct his stress in a more reasonable way, such as to you and for your emotional support.
If he wants to continue, he will. No amount of spying on him will change his behavior. The key is his will. He needs to understand that how you react to him is the result of his actions, not the other way around. It is his job to help you cope and deal with this, so you need to help him understand how to do this. This is different for everyone, so figure out what you think is best for you and talk to him.
There is a lot of hurt and a lot of healing to be done here. He needs to understand the hurt this has caused you, more so than you making him feel like you are pointing the finger at him. Even though you are, you can't make it seem that way to him. Be open and friendly with your approach, even though you are seething with anger. You will make him feel more at ease and hopefully more empathetic towards you, which is what you want. When you have anger about this, even though he did this, he will have a defense mechanism in place to react to that. You need to try and get him to keep any guard down. You want empathy, not anger. It is difficult, but it can be done.
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