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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5334
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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Dr., Thank you so much for your answer. You have hit the

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Dr. Mark,
Thank you so much for your answer. You have hit the nail on the head. I would like to add that my husband married the second wife because she was pretty and he was looking for a step-mother for his children, who are living with his first wife. The second wife was kind of ditsy, young and had no clue how to be a mother. He is now looking to get custody of his youngest son, 16 years old. I am a mother of 4 beautiful children and a grandma of 2 children.
I asked him if he was just trying to make a good family setting by marrying me. He is very intelligent and probably had been planning this, as well. He saw my motherly, good, caring, heart and has been taking advantage of me.
I would like to add that I to have great looks (not bosting), but am a very faithful, intelligent and loving. My husband said he went to the strip clubs because he was being egotistical. He was upset that I did not change my bank account name to my marital name. He says that is disrespectful to a man because I am not 100% in the marriage. I told him had one foot out because I was not sure what he might do. He said this is what has been driving him to do that in addition to me taking a excellent paying job out of town not long after we got married. How does that sound?
It sounds the way you know it sounds: baloney.

Okay, with mustard. But it's baloney nonetheless. I'd buy it if it was good baloney, like if you were his first wife and he was in his 20s still. But you've been around the block and he's been around it quite a few times. It's old baloney: you don't change your name and bank account, therefore he has affairs or goes to strip joints. Right.

I apologize for my cynicism, but I thought I would voice it as I think you feel it inside.

Again, I can't make the choice for you. But I am pretty sure you didn't sign up for what I wrote about in the first question: the up and down, fail and try, cycle of sex addiction recovery. And that's when he's trying. So, I'm assuming we're talking about leaving.

And that will mean grieving. You invested real love and caring into the relationship. You will be distraught. Would you want to be NOT distraught? You need to recognize that this would be a time for grieving. And so...grieve. You're already over denial even before you decide to leave (again, only if you do decide because if you don't, that's fine), so that means anger, and hurt and pain. And eventually acceptance.

But as you do that, keep your head up high: he may act mean and nasty if you leave but that is something in you that you want to make sure to AVOID as you move on and look for Mr. Right.

Because you will soon need to switch focus from exclusively grieving (looking back at what was lost) to where you wish to head toward. And that will be to look for Mr. Right. So let's have this in hand:

Now for your life. Why do I say your life? Because you are not going to find Mr. Right by just looking for "a guy". You've got to treat finding Mr. Right as part of living YOUR life. You are clearly a woman with values. You are not looking simply for sexual gratification. You are looking for a human being who wants to share his life with you and who values who you are.

That's why we're going to focus on goals, strategies, and plans. I want you to take a sheet of paper or on the computer if you prefer and on that paper write your Healthy Relationship Goals. Examples: make 3 close friends in the next 3 months; or go on dates with interesting men at least 4 times in the next 3 months, etc. So you see they don't need to even be goals for just relationships with men, but can be social relationships. Because the more social you are, the more you build your ability to express yourself socially instead of just career wise, the more you will feel comfortable expressing yourself to Mr. Right on a date. You need to feel comfortable sharing your inner self with other people on lots of different levels: acquaintances, friends, confidantes, and dates.

Next, I need you to take another sheet or underneath the goals in the same sheet write Strategies for my Healthy Relationship Goals. For each of the Goals, I want you to write strategies. For example, if your goal is to go out 4 times in 3 months, strategies might be: I want to identify the type of interests men you'd be interested in would have. Then I want to ask yourself where would they go to fulfill those interests. For example, if an interesting man needs to be someone who is into fitness, then he would be a member of a fitness club. If he needs to like art, then he would be a member of the Art Museum and go to gallery openings. If he needs to be spiritually oriented, then he might need to be attending church or a meditation class.

Then, you need to write on a separate piece of paper or underneath each Goal and Strategy: Plans for how to succeed with your strategies. So to continue the example above, you might write: my plan is to go to the 6 most popular fitness studios and check them out to see what their membership looks like and what kind of activities are there. Or for art, I plan to join the Art Museum and to go to an art opening at a gallery at least twice per month and maybe 3 times. Or if you are interested in religion, checking out 3 congregations for active ones that have social events.

These are examples of strategies and plans. I'm trying to focus you on your life interests. What do you want to do to further your having a meaningful life? Remember, Mr. Right needs to fit into what's meaningful to you, so look for him in activities that bring out what's meaningful in your life. All this is if you decide to leave.

I wish you the very best!

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