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My wife was reading my facebook messages and found an

inappropriate exchange with another women...
My wife was reading my facebook messages and found an inappropriate exchange with another women. We were flirting and she sent me a picture of her in a bra. This happened six months ago and never happened again. The other women felt guilty and so did I. I assured my wife it was a one time thing and there was no physical relationship. And there was not. We have been married 12 years, we have three kids. She just started seeing a therapist and I start next week. How do i prevent a divorce and get her to trust me? I am willing to do whatever it takes. I feel awful.
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Answered in 8 minutes by:
7/23/2013
TherapistMarryAnn
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5,893
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Verified
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.
It sounds like you made a mistake and one that you feel sorry about. And it seems that you are taking a lot of the right steps in order to deal with this. Only your wife is feeling betrayed and angry so she is not hearing you.
Because you are willing to stop your behavior and you are sorry for what you did, that can only help your marriage. Your wife is not hearing that because she may not be able to overcome her hurt feelings yet. Keep trying with her. Tell her how sorry you are. She may resist hearing you, but when she is able to calm her emotions she will remember you trying.
Also, talk to your wife about making amends. Let her know that you are aware you hurt her and especially that you took away her trust. Ask her what you can do to regain her trust. Be willing to do what she asks (as long as it is reasonable and not hurtful). Let her know that you are wrong here and that you are willing to do what it takes to fix what happened.
Be willing to become an open book in your marriage. If it makes your wife feel better, let her see your cell phone, read your emails and check your accounts. This will not be forever, but just until trust is reestablished.
When you do see the counselor, be sure you are open about what happened and that you follow through with anything you learn in therapy. Talk to you wife about what you are learning and how what occurs in therapy will change the situation, especially the future of your marriage.
This may take a while, so try to be patient. Your wife may go from angry to hurt then to ok only to go back again. And any issues you were dealing with before may play a part as well. While you are working this through, you can also use self help to work on your marriage. Here are some resources to help:
Healing Your Marriage When Trust Is Broken: Finding Forgiveness and Restoration by Cindy Beall
Not "Just Friends": Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity by Shirley P. Glass and Jean Coppock Staeheli
I hope this has helped you,
Kate
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!
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Thank you. Do you have any advice on what my posture should be when I see her tonight?

Should I be concerned that she was snooping or just let it go.

It is best to let go of the issue of snooping. Your wife either has issues with trust that have nothing to do with you or she had a reason to mistrust you. Either way, her therapist should deal with that in therapy.
When you see her tonight, try to be humble and open to her. That may sound hard to do, but if you try to put yourself in her position, having someone approach you in a gentle way is more difficult to be angry at than someone who is defensive. You can also consider going in with a small gift she might appreciate, but that is up to you. Seeing you again is going to bring up a lot of her feelings about what happened so whatever you do try to be gentle about your approach.
Kate
TherapistMarryAnn
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5,893
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Verified
TherapistMarryAnn and 87 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Thank you Kate, you have been very helpful.

You're welcome! Hang in there. It may take a while, but you can have your marriage back.
Kate
Please don't forget to rate my service as OK or higher so I am credited for my answer. Thanks so much!
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Thank you so much for the positive rating and bonus. I appreciate it!
My best to you and your wife,
Kate
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