Dr. Keane: Hi, I can help you today.
Customer: I have been married for 5 years. The first 2 years were great, but since we had a threesome and with his depression he seems more moody and shows no emotion especially when I'm mad or upset.
Dr. Keane: Once you had the threesome things changed, if you don't trust him anymore and know he lies and hides things then you need to do something concrete, like marriage counseling, if you want your marriage to improve.
Customer: He knows I don't trust him which makes him angry. I try to explain why I don't but he thinks I'm being unreasonable.
Dr. Keane: Communication is the key to any good marriage and you seem to understand that. You may be "on board" as far as wanting to talk and work things out so you can trust again, but unless he wants the same things you cannot move forward. You are not being unreasonable and once you allowed a threesome to happen you literally brought someone else into your marriage.
Customer: I had a program on my computer that will watch everything he does. I told him I took it off so I can work on my trust issues. But, I still didn't trust him, so I put it back on. Once I put it back on, I seen that he was still looking at other women''s profiles behind my back which is he thinks is okay and I should be okay with it too. I know I have allowed another person into our relationship, and I will not do that again. My main issue is that I want him to be happy so much that I am willing to do anything for him; even if it makes me miserable. I have issues with being alone and my main concern is that he will leave me.
Dr. Keane: If he is looking at other girl's profiles, you have every right to be upset. The lack of trust in this relationship will erode. If he is depressed he should be seeing a counselor and it would be a good idea. If he is not willing to see a counselor, then what does he intend to do about his depression? Has he gone to see his doctor at all?
Customer: He did see a doctor once in the UK, but he says he has problems talking to strangers or people in general. He also has anger issues and is very childish. He gets frustrated and moody so quick even if he doesn't understand what I'm saying, so it makes it hard to talk to him.
Dr. Keane: Your wanting him to be happy is not where your priorities should be. It isn't your job to see to his happiness. Whether it's because you love him (that's not love) or are afraid to be alone (which isn't likely to happen). How old are you?
Customer: I am 34, he is 36. I have two children from a previous relationship with a man who was verbally abusive, possessive and jealous. I was in that relationship for 10 years, and now I am dealing with a relationship with a childish, moody man of 5 years. I try too hard to please people and not worry about myself. Whether it be my husband, friends or family.
Dr. Keane: Have you ever thought about "why" you feel the need to "fix" his problem? He is full of excuses and until he faces his depression you will suffer. If you have been in an abusive relationship once before, do you see any similarities in this situation? It may not be outright abuse however where is the sanctity of your relationship? You would be best serves by going to therapy yourself and learning how to take care of you first. Your self-esteem is based on how well you "serve" others, instead of how good you feel about yourself.
Customer: Well, I was happier with my ex. Even though he was verbally abusive and jealous, at least he showed affection and loved me even if it was too much. Now, I am in a relationship where I don't feel loved and hard to talk to someone. He keeps telling me he loves me and would be lost without me. It's not every day that he's moody, I just can't get over this trust thing and talk to him about it because he makes it seem like its my fault or its not a bad thing. Then I feel bad because I'm nagging about things that make me upset. I have never been alone. I was in a relationship with my ex at age 17 to 27, then met my husband online and married him and have been married for 5 years.
Dr. Keane: It's tough, I know it's scary and you two have children. However, if you put the focus on yourself, take care of you and know you are important just feeling better about yourself will give you strength and courage to stand on your own. Other people will use you and suck all the energy out of you; he's doing a great job making you feel as though it is your fault the relationship isn't going well. Bot***** *****ne, hes depressed, you are "enabling" his behavior and he is using his depression as a way to keep you from taking care of yourself and focusing on you. Your past experience, you're never standing on your own or being alone is holding you back. Counseling would be very good for you in terms of growth.
Customer: Should I tell him I put the program to watch him back on? I know that will make him mad, but at least I would feel better about it and not doing something behind his back. I will also suggest counseling to him and saying it is something I think we both need and needs because of his depression.
Dr. Keane: You need to love yourself first and you don't. You have every right to feel jealous (although it's a horrible destructive emotion) in that he is looking at others, which is a huge lack of respect for you and you DESERVE respect.
Customer: He tells me it is just looking, and that he don't do it every day so what is wrong with looking? Also, the fact the he isn't touching or flirting with them, so there is no harm. I don't know how to fight that question, but with only it makes me feel insecure about myself.
You need to be brutally honest, tell him you did put the program back on and for that you are sorry. That you are done with it and have decided that if this marriage is to work you both need to start at square one, that is, counseling together and individually, open and honest communication and bring respect back into the marriage.
Let him know that "just looking" at other women upsets you and is disrespectful. If he wants this to work he needs to work with you, not just do what he wants. When you tell him you put the program back on say is simply and calmly in a voice without anger , something like "I felt you were not being honest with me and was upset and wanted to see if you were looking again. I'm telling you because we need to start over on this marriage so I've removed it". If he is angry, let him be, don't engage in any back and forth you did this, you did that with him.
Keep all your statements calm and think before you speak, have a dialogue ready that outlines what you are now willing to do and what you want to see happen.
There is harm in his looking, its demeaning to you as a woman and to his wife. Yes, men look at other women, women look at other men. But, what he is doing is basically cheating, simply stated.
Customer: I had a program on the computer before and told him I took it off to start fresh and here I put it back on again, so he will be bad. Also, the main reason I don't trust his is because one day I went to work and he stayed hom and went on a porn chat with a woman for 20 minutes and didn't tell me. He said he was going to, but I was curious ever since then I don’t trust him online cause we don’t have sexual relations, but yet he feels the need to look at that stuff or other women’s profiles online. Meanwhile I feel inadequate, he did say he wouldn't do that anymore, but it’s hard to gain that trust back and I want to stay with him because I love him. I just don’t trust him and can't talk to him without being afraid as well as having panic attacks and shaking.
Make a plan and stick to it, do not accept any excuses as to why he feels it's okay to behave this way and let him know that you plan on "working" on yourself as a way to not only feel better about who you are but to contribute positively, honestly and to the best of your ability to getting your marriage back. If he doesn't agree or take you seriously then you need to rethink your relationship with him.
You are a mother and role model for your children. You need to show them as well as yourself that self respect and respect from others is top priority. As for his porn chat you do not take any excuses for that behavior. He is not a man to be trusted and you need to be tough on that issue. You would be smart to get yourself into counseling as soon as possible to help you learn how to get through this, it can also help you manage and get through your anxiety produced panic attacks.
Raise your self-esteem, you will see a new woman emerge.
Customer: Thank you so much for your help Dr. Keane. I will find myself counseling and discuss marriage counseling. You have really helped me a lot!
Dr. Keane: Good, stay strong and get help. Once you feel validated and stronger you'll be able to move forward.
Customer: Does all women feel bad about their man looking at other women? I do have some friends and they say as long as they look and don’t touch there is no harm being done.
Dr. Keane: There is a huge difference between looking at other women, having porn chats or looking at profiles and flirting. We all look, and it can reach dangerous grounds when someone who has been looking long decides to take the next step and chat, then meet or have virtual sex. Looking at others is different than what he is doing. He may have an addiction or develop one. So to answer your question it has nothing to do with feeling badly about your husband looking, it is the development of addictions, crossing boundaries and relying on these women for sexual fulfillment or even an emotional attachment.
Feel free to ask for me if you need additional information in the future. Good luck and remember be strong and put YOU first.
Customer: Thank you again :)
Dr. Keane: Just put my name in your subject line and I'll answer when I'm online. You are very welcome!