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Dr-A-Green, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 309
Experience:  Clinical and Forensic Psychologist
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I have had 24 hours to calm down from my discovery so far &

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I have had 24 hours to calm down from my discovery so far & am actually not thinking of walking out in a rage. It is more for my own sanity & to get the time to calm down & think clearly that I want to get away. I do not want to leave permanently, just for a few days to give myself time to think & also to give him space & time to come to terms with the fact that I am aware of what he is doing & it cannot be hidden or lied about any more. I am very self aware & self analytical (helps that my mother is a counsellor) but I am feeling that being in our home, surrounded by all the paraphernalia of an apparently happy marriage is making me feel angrier & resentful of him. I do not want to feel this way & I do not want to confront him with anger as this may ruin any chance we have of moving forward. My first instinct was to pack up the kids and leave, but I am a great believer in not making decisions quickly, so I gave myself time to calm down, and have subsequently reached the point where I feel that if he is in aggreeance that I would like to try counselling first and go from there. I am not ruling out divorce, I am a strong person & would survive it if I had to, but I also cannot just wipe away nearly 11 years of marriage in an instant. I am feeling anger, but it is currently below the surface & am mostly feeling devastated & tearful. I cannot think here because here everyone else comes before me. I am the last on the list of priorities here (a situation of my own making), and while I do not begrudge putting my childrens needs above my own, right now I need to think as a woman & not just a mum. I need to know if I can put in the work to move past our issues, of which i realise there must be many for him to go to this length. Am I really being selfish in putting my own need for space to think above the needs of my children in having mummy tuck them in?

Not at all! I think you should absolutely take the time you need to get re-focused. Time to really take care of yourself is probably the best thing for you. Also, it will likely be better for the kids that way, as 1) you won't have to hide your feelings and 2) you won't be tempted to discuss things that you aren't ready to yet with your husband. Besides that, I'm sure you are feeling a ton of stress and your physical body (and your tiny new one) could use a break too.

Just promise one thing? Don't come up with any hard and fast decisions about your situation during that time? Just let it simmer and let the tough decisions come later. I have a feeling I don't need to advise you of that though, as you are obviously one smart cookie!

PS - don't click "accept" again, as I don't want you getting charged twice for the same conversation - you've already paid. :)
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you.

I admit the temptation is there to simply let out the anger & hurt him however I can, but I know that in the long run that would only hurt us both & would really affect the kids, so I am just letting that be a thought that doesn't need to be acted on.

I think I will take the time to myself, but you're right in saying not to make any decisions straight away. I dont want to be in a position where I have made a bad decision & my pride wont let me back away from it.

You are also right in saying that I really am not ready to talk to my husband about these things. My inclination is to talk, talk, talk, but he is not a very open book & I think that may actually push him away, as well as potentially make me let out my anger & say things I may regret.

I need to talk, but that is why I want a counsellor, to help mediate & keep things calm. I don't want to ruin any chance we have to determine the underlying issues, without making it about whose fault it is.

I take my share of responsibility in us getting to this point, however I need for him to take his responsibility in making the wrong choices in how to deal with our issues. I need for him to understand how hurt I am & that this feeling will not go away by a given date. That it will take a long time & alot of work to feel that I can trust him again, and that every choice he makes affects me, whether I know about it or not. Time he spent on other women could have been time spent on me & resolving any issues.

In our previous conversation around his being on an internet dating site (was actually a site that encouraged affairs for married people, which was probably more distressing) he denied it all, until I showed him hard evidence & even then he tried to say it was a friend from work who had sent him a link to the site. I believe he will deny, deny, deny, unless I present him with the evidence & then he will go on the attack about me having snooped in his private emails etc, which is a fair point, however I think this will get us distracted from the issue, as I will likely go on the defensive about why I looked etc.

Do you have any suggestions about how to broach the subject with him in a non-confrontational way?

As you are well aware, this is very very tricky. That is partially why I thought that getting a counselor involved from the get-go might be a good thought. For example, you going in for an appointment alone, explaining the situation and then inviting your husband to a couple's session. Of course, depending on your husband's disposition, this may make him feel more exposed...

A better tack might be to bring your evidence with you and sit him down while you have a quiet private moment and begin with admitting that you snooped through his things and apologizing for that part of it. Acknowledge that he is likely going to be upset, but that it's something that must be addressed for the sake of your marriage and the kids. If you can possibly be calm while doing this, it would be beneficial, but I wouldn't blame you if you couldn't. Does it sound like he could or might be receptive to this?

Also - would it be possible to send the kids to your mum's during this time?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I think the second option of sitting down & talking may be the better one. As he won't get home until about 11pm tomorrow night the kids will be in bed & my family lives 2 hours away, so not a quick trip.

I think he would be angry with me for snooping, but after that I'm not really sure how he will react. I've never caught him in this big a lie before & I'm not really sure if he does want to stay with me.

He has been a little resistant to some of the ideas I put forward preciously about helping us get back on track, but he has been doing them none the less. These include things like organising a date night & at the end of each week telling each other 3 positive things about how the other during that week (behaviour, not physical).

He has also asked that I do more things with him like when he takes the kids out to go with him, rather than stay at home. I did explain that this was sometimes my only time alone, but I acknowledged what he wanted & made an effort to do just that on Sunday when he went out with the kids. I have also made an effort to be intimate with him more as he said the lack of sex was influending his use of porn.

So I guess that shows he does want to work on being together, but I am still scared & unsure.

I can try to remain calm, but there will probably be a few moments of crying - I have pretty much been doing that non stop since I woke up this morning. Yesterday I felt kind of numb, but today I am just hurt & angry. Mostly hurt.

I think this is still the best approach though, because if I took him to a counsellor & confronted him, I think he would feel he was ambushed, aside from the fact that he wouldn't go unless he knew why we were there.

I guess part of why I am feeling it is so hard to handle is that I haven't talked with anyone about it. He felt really strongly against my sharing the online porn/dating site stuff with my mum or my sisters. I didn't really want to share it with them anyway, as I kind of feel like a failure & I don't want to change their perceptions of him as a good husband & father.

I don't really have any friends here as we moved 18 months ago & the only friends we have are his best mate & his wife who live around the corner.

I think I will sit him down & talk to him when he gets home from work tomorrow, but I might write a few quick bullet points to make sure I don't get off topic & into an argument as that would defeat the purpose. I am a bit of a list maker - do you think making notes for myself will help?

Yes - a list would be perfect, actually. It will help you stay on track and if you feel yourself getting taken away by emotion, you can look back to the notes and regroup. Basically, I think you have a strategy down, but it's conquering the other things that are tough right now (like fear of the unknown). So let me say a few things quick:

1) You are NOT a failure - not as a wife, or a woman, or a sex partner. You shouldn't put any of this on you, so if you become tempted to, please remember that you are not to blame. If someone has issues in a marriage there are many ways to deal with it that don't include cheating or going outside of the unit. Again, you didn't cause this and aren't a failure in any way.

2) His indiscretions don't change who his is as a father. A good father can still be a fallible man.

3) Leaning on others for support, whether they be near or far, is your right. Also, you don't need to tell him about it. Those people are there for you. If you need them, use them.

Finally - commend yourself for being as level-headed as I've ever heard anyone. Being in a situation like this is so very hard and from what I can tell, you are handling it with grace and strength. If you need to, go a little crazy. Scream into a pillow, cry as much as you need to, and remember that no matter where you happen to live - you are not alone. Okay?

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