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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1379
Experience:  Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
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I am a 46 year old man married to a 46 year old woman. This

Customer Question

I am a 46 year old man married to a 46 year old woman. This is my second marriage and her third. We are both professionals and we each have a daughter, mine 20 hers 10. We are affluent and well educated. I was diagnosed with extreme ADD and I take vyvance and celexa daily. for the last three years my wife has gone on trips with her old girl friends from high school and college. Once to Vegas, once to Atlanta and once to St. Louis. On each occasion I have struggled prior to the trip with what feels like jealousy but is high levels of anxiety. One the first two trips I was awful and sent very harsh text messages and said things that were very mean, I also suggested I wanted to die rather than feel the way I as feeling. On the first two trips she returned and I did my very best to make amends and I sought counseling to help me overcome the issues. Within three weeks of each trip I ended up seeing picture on face book pages where my wife was pictured with all the other women and other men. For all I could tell the pictures were innocent enough but on each occasion I became very stressed, and again said some awful things. This year she went on her trip and I was fine with it. I did not cause any issues before or after....until yesterday that is. I found out that 3 other husbands showed up and also old high school boy friends (men). I got very angry and had a terrible emotional outburst for which I am again very sorry. All of these things are anomalies in my life and I cannot seem to get things under control when it comes to these type of situations with my wife. I need help so I do no more harm.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.

Hi! You know, to give you the best answer, I think I should ask you a few questions first that will help define the problem and the situation.

You know, I deal in couples therapy with women who are unhappy because their husbands go on trips with their male friends or fellow professionals and there are women at the conferences and they go to cocktail parties, etc. These wives are very unsettled and hurt. They want their husbands to stop because it can lead to something. Not that it DID lead to something, but that it could lead to something.

The question I then ask the husband is why these trips are more important to him than his wife's feeling at ease? Agreed he has no intention of cheating, but why would he want to put his wife through the fear and agony?

This leads to a lot of opening up about where there is closeness in the marriage and where there is not that emotional intimacy.

So, I have the same questions here: why are these trips more important to your wife than your discomfort about them? Why would she not want to ease your worries by taking trips where there is no close socializing with men without you being there?

Any extra information that will help, feel free to share.

Dr. Mark