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Ask Dr. Mark Your Own Question

Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5087
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology helping with relationships
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I did send my message and have difficulty processing this

Resolved Question:

I did send my message and have difficulty processing this
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 months ago.

Dr. Mark :

Hi! I'll be glad to help you with this issue.

Dr. Mark :

There is no record visible to me of a message you sent. Could you start over here?

Customer:

my husband drives a school bus and works with many woman every day. he is friends with many of them. however since he started 3 years ago it seems like he is more close to a certain women. he talks with her every day between runs and since he knows i am jealous of this friendship he mostly keeps quiet about their conversations. however she recently had a heart problem and is now back to work. he told me onew night that they are now walkiun for twenty minutes every day to help her get stronger. i told him that this makes me feel very uncomfortable and he does not know why, because he is not doing anything wrong.

Dr. Mark :

This is a very difficult emotional problem, indeed. I can see how you would be hurt.

Dr. Mark :

Does he understand at all why you might feel this is inappropriate?

Dr. Mark :

For example, if you went walking with another man regularly, would he not mind?

Customer:

no for this has happened for other happenings and he says that he feels hurt that i don't trust him. he does not understand my feelings.

Dr. Mark :

This in itself is hurtful and a problem, you're right.

Dr. Mark :

That he does not want to stop doing this for your sake even if he thinks it is fine, is not good. If you ask him to stop, he will not do it for your sake?

Customer:

what should i do to help him see my feelings.

Dr. Mark :

Would he be willing to go to couples counseling with you?

Dr. Mark :

Because I think the communication problem here is difficult between him and you emotionally and a counselor might make it easier?

Customer:

i don't know- he has been really a good husband for all our years.

Dr. Mark :

So this is the only area where you feel emotionally not complete?

Dr. Mark :

Hi, it says you're typing, so I'll wait, okay?

Customer:

yes he says he would not cheat on me. now he can't sexually due to bladder cancer about a year ago due to prostate surgery aloing with the bladder surgery. I sometimes think this happened for a reason. He is known for being a great guy and helpful. I love him for his kindness, but I think smetimes it goes too far. Women can't get over how young he looks for his age.I don't think he would actually cheat on me but i don't like how it makes me feel. I don't want him to think i should tell him what he can do or not do. Am I wrong?

Dr. Mark :

No you're not wrong, it is a very important point. I would like to copy here something from my files I wrote for couples in this situation. May I do that?

Customer:

Yes>>>I would like to know what other couples think.

Dr. Mark :

Let me search my files and bring up what I wrote to the other couples.

Dr. Mark :

I want you each to spend some time thinking about what marriage means to you and what your VALUES are. Because if there is a mismatch in the values between you, you need to know that now and work on it. That one person sees the relationship to be one thing and require certain things and the other person sees it to be a different thing and require different things is not a good basis for a strong marriage.


BOTH of you need to understand that the central issue is that marriage is a BESTOWING of one's "specialness" to one human being. That includes sex, but is not just sex. It is emotional fulfillment, comfort, etc. It is the things that make a relationship "special". That means exclusivity. That means to you and to most people with traditional values that close friendships with people of the opposite sex are a violation. Now for the important point:


When one partner in a marriage feels that the other person has done something to lessen that relationship, the other person is actually being called upon to REAFFIRM the bond of "specialness" I refer to. I often see it in my office when husbands or wives are flirtatious at social events. Or that the spouse has a “friend” of the opposite gender that they feel is “just” a friend. The other spouse gets hurt. The real question is, even if the flirtation is innocent fun, why would the husband or fiance be MORE attached to that need for flirtatious fun than to their spouse’s discomfort with it? Even if the friend is just a friend, why would the husband or fiance be MORE attached to that need for the friend than to their spouse’s discomfort with it?


That's our question here. When one spouse wants to help others, he has to realize that helping starts with one’s spouse first. That is the most important helping relationship. And if one’s spouse is emotionally uncomfortable with a friendship he is maintaining, then helping that friend at the expense of his spouse is not “doing good”. It is hurting his spouse.


And so he would need to ask himself why he is not willing to stop helping this other person in order to help his wife be happy and fulfilled? Because this value is the biggest value in marriage.


Hopefully, going over my answer together in that discussion will help the two of you see what are the values that have to be weighed and what values you want to live by can be agreed to.



Okay, I wish you the very best!


My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Dr. Mark :

Now, I know that is a lot to read and maybe you can read it all after we finish here, okay?

Dr. Mark :

Hi, do you want to continue our discussion?

Dr. Mark :

Or has this answered what you needed?

Customer:

Thank you so much. It helps me think that my feelings are not all my fault. I havebeen feeling so hurt for a longtime. I still can't see how he feels so strong that i should not see how he ia sostrong on his feelings that I can't see his side.

Dr. Mark :

You know, it's sometimes hard to understand how men can be so clueless about emotions. But that is what I've found is the most true and common reason that men behave as your husband is behaving: it's not a lack of love and caring; it's cluelessness. So that's why I wrote that essay I pasted in for you.


Okay, I wish you the very best!


 


My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Dr. Mark :

Has this helped?

Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5087
Experience: Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology helping with relationships
Dr. Mark and 2 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you

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