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Ask Rev.Dr. August Abbott Your Own Question
Rev.Dr. August Abbott
Rev.Dr. August Abbott, Clergy
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7626
Experience:  Ordained minister: Counselor (spiritual/life)
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I recently found that my husband had dirty photos of his ex

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I recently found that my husband had dirty photos of his ex wife and old girlfriend. He also kept underwear from them. We have been married 14 years. He admitted that he still talks to the old girlfriend. I demanded access to his email and there were intimate pictures of other women and of himself. He swears he doesn't know how the pictures of the other women got there. And that the pictures of him were to monitor weight loss. There was one picture of his erect penis in a condom and he swears that he didn't send it to anyone and that guys just do that stuff. I'm really confused because I want to believe him but I don't. I'm afraid to push the issue because I think he will leave me.

First of all, honesty isn't your husband's strong suit as evidenced by what you've found and are saying here. So the foundation of this marriage, however long or short, is not on solid ground. Foundations not on solid ground cannot stand. No matter how elaborate and regal they may appear, they will always fall.

You are worried about him leaving you? Shouldn't HE be worried about you leaving him? If you do not have self respect then how can you expect him or anyone else to respect you?

You can get him to say anything you want him to say, but given that he's dishonest, well, it's doubtful anything he says will be of any true value.

So you need to look inward first and foremost. What is it you want? A marriage built on the solid grounds of trust and mutual respect? Or one that continues to build castles in the clouds?

If you want trust and respect, it's going to take more tools than you or most people have in their tool sheds. You need a professional to intervene and knock down the facade before you can start building a genuine marriage. Counseling to bring out the truths, the fears, the needs and to teach both of you how to communicate without being offensive and most importantly, how to not push each others' buttons.

When you argue or fight the outcome is exactly the same each time isn't it? You say this, he says that and then both of you retreat to whatever behavior is usual for you.

Expecting this to change on your own is like going to see the same movie for the millionth time and believing the ending will be different.

A counselor with a real educational background (please no self appointed 'life coaches' or whatever title not backed by a real, university degree) can teach you both a new way. Make your own 'movie' with a new ending scripted by two people working toward the same goals. Not hiding anything and no dishonesty. Trusting in each other enough to be able to tell each other anything and know that love is unconditional and unwavering.

Now here's where it all gets difficult: He may want to continue to have his cake (you/the marriage) and eat it too (have his email friends and souvenirs, etc). That's not acceptable. That's not a marriage. You should not be disrespected like that.

So YOU attend counseling and learn your strengths, find your voice and be able to say, "I am worth more than you are giving and until you value me as I should be valued, good bye"

Then prepare to accept that he may never come to his senses and that's ok, you are better off without a deceitful person in your life, holding a position of honor and status as a husband and life partner.

Don't sell yourself short. Unless you're fine with living with someone who does all of these despicable things (by the way, NO, men do not 'just do that stuff'; little boys maybe, but not men).

I happen to believe you are worth far more than that


Rev.Dr. August Abbott and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
How can I find a qualified expert in my area? I'm not sure what credentials to look for. My husband is willing to seek counseling. I think we need to move fast because I'm going crazy analyzing everything he says and does because I think he's not "finished" with that behavior.
Knowing that he is willing to go for counseling is the best news I've had today! You might just have a good man after all and high hopes for this marriage going the distance

For a counselor, start with your primary care physician's recommendations. They should be able to give you a list and depending on your med coverage it might be at no cost

Next, contact the mental health dept of your local hospital and ask them for a list of counselors and their specialties in your area

Both of these sources should only work with licensed (educated, degreed) counselors

Also try ALL local churches and synagogues. For the most part they don't care what religion you practice or don't practice. Clergy and Rabbis and other leaders often need to complete university education in the ministry (etc) with studies in psychology and the like

They are rich in degrees and/or certifications qualifying them for counseling

The quest you're on is for marital and family counseling


Again, I have high hopes for you and your husband. I'd really like to know how things go for you. If you wouldn't mind checking back in and letting me know I'd be very appreciative

My best wishes and good thoughts,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
We have an appointment with a LMFT in two days. Just knowing that we are both committed to this already makes us both feel better. I will check back in after our session!
If we've already touched base, ignore this - but if we haven't I'm checking in to find out how everything is going
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for checking on me. We met with a couselor last week and it was painful to have to rehash all these issues with another person. We left the session feeling worse than when we went in. But I know this is a work in progress. We are supposed to meet with her individually next week.


He has taken a few steps to make me feel better; he got his wedding ring sized so that he can wear it (he hasn't worn it for 10 years). He disabled his personal email accounts and he allowed me brief access into his bank account and social media accounts.


I can't say that any of that really helped because I still think he is avoiding the issue of why he needed all of this other stuff to begin with. I am having a really hard time not being mean and angry. My emotions are either angry, sad, or jealous. They seem to switch back and forth uncontrollably and I waffle between trying to work this out and just leaving him high and dry. I'm still very confused and hurt and it feels like the easiest way to relieve my pain would be to end my relationship. But I realize that is my pain talking. So am I better? No.

You are absolutely right, it's a "work in progress". Yes, it's hard, but so is giving birth, but the end result is worth it (well, usually). Climbing a mountain is rarely easy, but standing on the top makes the journey rewarding.

Your husband is making an effort and that speaks volumes!

I am very confident that you two will wade through this mire and soon be on solid ground again

Remember that I'm here if you need me and I'd love an update down the line hearing that you're renewing your vows or going on a second honeymoon. Well, you know what I mean.

All of my best wishes,