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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5839
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Dear Counselors, I have been dating the same guy for 7 years

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Dear Counselors,
I have been dating the same guy for 7 years and married to him for a year. In the past 3 years he has been cheating on me by having sexual chat with online girls (meet up 1 of them) as well as 1 of his friend. I just found out about this these few months. It's been difficult as he lied, covered up, resisted and now he begged for forgiveness and wanted to seek mental doctor help. He kept telling me he couldn't resist and blamed it on illness. I said he's cheating me and it's called emotional infidelity. He doesn't want to admit it's cheating as no physical involved. I'm confused. How do I know whether he's really sick or just cheating me? What's the difference with bipolar infidelity?

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

There is a difference between physical cheating and emotional infidelity only in name. Cheating is cheating. It is undermining the trust of the relationship which is needed to have a good relationship that works. Without trust, there is no relationship.

There is no such diagnosis as Bipolar infidelity. A person can have Bipolar and cheat due to the manic phase of the illness. It can cause sexual promiscuous behavior that is hard to control. But medications and therapy can help control those symptoms.

If your husband is cheating and has Bipolar, he should be in treatment if he is not already. He can get an evaluation through a trained therapist. They can help confirm a diagnosis and give him treatment options. For most people with Bipolar, medication is necessary. Bipolar is a brain chemical imbalance and cannot be helped by therapy alone.

Even if your husband has a good reason for his behavior, that does mean it hurts you any less. He needs to acknowledge your pain and start to repair your relationship. Here are some steps that need to occur:

One, is your husband sorry for what he did? This is important, because if he does not take responsibility, recovering your marriage will be difficult.

Two, has your husband stopped all contact with this other person or people? He must do so as a first step to regaining your trust.

Three, has he done anything to start repairing the marriage?

Four, are the two of you talking about what happened? Your husband needs to be open and honest about what he did and let you ask any questions you need to. He broke the marriage vows. He needs to own up to it, illness or not.

These are some of the most important issues you both need to be working on. Talk with your doctor about a referral to a therapist. If you attend church, talk with your pastor. Pastors are often very good marriage counselors. Also, if you have problems affording therapy, try your local community mental health center. They can offer therapy on a sliding scale fee system.

The main issue is to rebuild trust. It can take a while and a lot of work, but you can do it as long as you both are motivated.

There are some books that may help you. One is called Infidelity: A Survival Guide by Don-David Lusterman. Another is Not "Just Friends": Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity by Shirley P. Glass and Jean Coppock Staeheli.

You can find these both on or your local library may have them.

This is painful for you and you need time to recover. If he will not work with you on this, see a therapist yourself. You need the support right now.

I hope this has helped you,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for the reply. He told me that he never touched any of these women, but the chat seems too real to categorize it as online conversation only. I told him that I want to meet up with the girls to ask question and confirm. Is this a good move? I can't trust him anymore as he has been lying again and again. What should I ask these girls about? Should I scold them as I know my husband initiated all the chats? He told me he doesn't have any feeling towards those girls...purely chat..but I don't believe it.. can you chat with the same person over a year, meet her, call her and do not have any feeling? Did he tell the truth?

He should not be talking to any female outside of your relationship on line, in person or by any other means. The only females he need concern himself with is you, relatives and any mutual friends you share. Any one else he is with that you do not know about could be considered cheating.

You probably want to avoid dealing with the females he is talking to. He is ultimately responsible for his own behavior and these girls are just following his lead. He may have told them he is not married or they just may not care. Talking to them is not going to stop him. He will only keep cheating if given the chance. It is his behavior that is the problem here and until he takes responsibility and changes it, the cheating will keep happening.


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