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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5820
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My husband had ( and may still be having) his second

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My husband had ( and may still be having) his second emotional affair with the same coworker. He admitted to an emotional affair with her 18 years ago when they worked in the same building. A couple of years ago , my husband was moved to her new building and it appears to have picked up again. I found suggestive and flirty text messages on his work phone one evening in late Nov., confronted him on Christmas Day , and he promptly hid both of his cell phones and deleted every text and picture he had with her. When I looked into phone records for his personal phone I found calls and texts that included many late night texts even as late as 2:00 am - 5:00 am in which conversations were carried on. I am unable to see what was actually written,just the times and numbers of calls and texts. He doesn't and has never called an texted me this much. One month there were 91 texts and 41 calls! He says they are just good friends. I say this is an affair. When I try to get answers from him, he gets evasive or verbally or physically abusive. He has spit on me, shoved me down, put his fist up against my nose but not hit, gotten nose to nose and screamed more times than I can count, called ME a whore, which I find ironic since I have not been unfaithful once in our 35 year marriage, called me a stupid bitch and other names to my face. He has attended anger management therapy since February, but many of these things have happened after sufficient time in therapy. He does not seem remorseful, but instead just wants me to start from here and move forward and just let the past go. Just yesterday he told me to "get over it". I hate to end a 35 year marriage, but I cannot move on until I understand what happened. What little he does tell me doesn't ring true. It is now affecting my health-- I've lost 25 pounds and was admitted to the emergency room two nights ago with dizziness and nausea---- my blood pressure was 184 over some other high number, very unusual for me. I am struggling with the idea of divorce. I know I ahould leave, but find it hard to call my lawyer and say to file. I don't understand why I can't just do it as it is obvious to me that I am not important enough to him for him to help me heal from his emotional infidelity. Can you help me understand what is wrong with me?.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.
You have three issues going on in your marriage. One, it certainly sounds like your husband is having an affair. Everything you describe points to an affair- deleting his texts, hiding his calls and refusing to tell you what is going on. Plus he had a past relationship with this person. Two, your husband is abusive. That is always a reason to leave a marriage. Three, it sounds like your husband is also possibly Narcissistic. And if he does have narcissistic personality disorder, the chances that he will ever recover are slim. Most people with a personality disorder can try to get better, but only if they see they need help and are willing to get it. That may be why your therapist gave your marriage a slim chance to survive. Your husband does not see his behavior as harmful and he is putting himself first.
Just based on your husband abusing you, you need to leave this marriage. Affairs, abuse and poor treatment are all signs that your husband needs help. But at this point, he does not seem to be willing to even see he has problems let alone get help for them.
It is not unusual to struggle with leaving a marriage, even an abusive one. It could be that his treatment of you has affected you to the point that you are experiencing low self esteem, which can keep you from standing up for yourself and getting out of the situation.
In order to leave, you need support. Since it has been hard for you leave, lean on others to give you the strength to get out. Trusted family, friends, support groups, therapy and just learning more about abuse can all help you get enough support and build your self esteem so you can leave. Here are some resources to help you:
Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft
The Emotionally Abusive Relationship: How to Stop Being Abused and How to Stop Abusing by Beverly Engel
It can be scary to take that first step. But try to think of yourself. What he is doing to you is affecting your health and your happiness. You do not deserve to be treated this way. If you can take one step at a time, you can find peace and a happier life.
I hope this has helped you,
May I please request that if you find the service I provided helpful at all that you rate me with three or above? Your rating is the only way I am reimbursed for my answer. Thank you so much!
TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Kate it's been hard mostly because he says he loves me and wants to make it work but then does nothing. He has a sizable amount to lose in a divorce since Texas is a no fault state and I will get50% of our assets no matter what. I am not sure if he says he loves me and wants to work it out because he really does or because he doesn't want to lose half of our assets, which includes a sizable 401k. We were High school sweethearts and I hate to throw away a 35 year marriage. The therapist that I have seen seems to think he only says this so he doesn't lose half. I have a hard time thinking that he could love me and still treat me this way. I have support in my parents and sisters but just cannot seem to pick up the phone to call the lawyer. Can you explain me to myself???
It may be that your husband stays in the marriage because of the money. That is possible. But the best way to determine if your husband is being truthful about what he is saying is to watch his behavior, not what he says. If he follows what he says with matching behavior, then you will know he is being truthful. But if he keeps acting opposite of what he says, then he does not mean what he tells you. He is most likely motivated by something else.
To explain why you stay in the marriage is very complicated. It could be that you were exposed to abuse in some form as a child, either you were the victim or between others such as your parents. Or you suffered a trauma that makes it hard to leave. Whatever it was, it probably affected your self esteem. Adding to that is what your husband does to you now. But whatever the reason, support can help encourage you to leave. If you feel you cannot do it on your own, then others can help. Talk to a therapist on your own, contact friends and talk to other women that are in similar situations. That can give you the strength you need to leave.