How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Bonnie Your Own Question
Dr. Bonnie
Dr. Bonnie, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 2189
Experience:  Experienced in counseling all age persons on relationship issues.
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Dr. Bonnie is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hello. Ill try to make this brief. Im a 38 yr old BEAUTIFUL

This answer was rated:

Hello. I'll try to make this brief. Im a 38 yr old BEAUTIFUL successful woman, living with a 50 yr old police ofcr. We have been dating for over 2 yrs. We each have personal struggles with fall over into the relationship. I recently discovered he was cheating, not only cheating but I discovered he was giving WOMEN money. When I confronted him he cried, shook, apologized to myself and my 13 yr old daughter repeatedly, and has basically shut down. He is withdrawn, quiet, irritated, and sleeps CONSTANTLY. I have made him go to the doctor and he is never missing. Shouldn't he be doing more to express his sorrow and guilt?
Hello and thank you for consulting JA,

I am sorry you have gone through these difficult times in this relationship. I would say that his heartfelt apology and following through with doctor care (I am assuming you mean a psychiatrist or therapist) is a good start. But the ultimate gesture of his remorse is to have no contact with these women in any way. It sounds like he is depressed and so, may not be able to demonstrate much emotion at this time. If his actions are showing that he is able to refrain from the cheating behavior, that may be all you can expect. He is lucky to have you...a stable factor in his life. But treatment of his depression is very important to prevent seeking "excitement" in a cheating relationship. This could be a form of sexual addiction whereby he cheats as self-medication of his depression.

So, to answer your question, he may be doing all he can to show his remorse at this time. It may be helpful to attend a therapy session with him to let him know that you are needing more and have an open discussion about it with therapist to mediate.

I hope these thoughts are helpful...
Warn regards
Dr. Bonnie and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Please allow me to go on. He has a huge porn collection/addiction and seemed to be dependent on movies and/or oral sex for stimulation. He very rarely initiates sex. I sent him a text this morning to see if he wanted to hang out this evening, he ignored the text AFTER taking off work because I invited him to a party immediately after I found all this out. He told my daughter she would rcv her keys last Saturday and has not mentioned it since then. Whenever I try to talk to him, he is SILENT. I will say our relationship has been tumultuous and had finally began to level out, now this. And no when I mentioned doctor, I meant doctor for a checkup. He has refused to go to counseling. I will be going alone to address my own issues.

He is really tying your hands to be helpful by not getting help for his obvious depression. If he truly is remorseful and wanting to work on your relationship, he would seek treatment. It would appear that you are right, he should be doing more to express his sorrow and guilt....and ...he should be getting treatment for his depression which is underlying everything else.

Thanks for shedding more light with the additional information.

Warmmm regards
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The discovery of the cheating is only the culmination of other things that exist between us. He isn't a communicator, did I mention he's a 50 yr old policeman. He's never been married, never cohabitated. I moved in last year and he frustrated me so with some of the same behavior, I left. We stayed together and continued to work on us, and I returned. I am an alcohlic who JUST NOW decided to seel professional help. There are several issues here at play. I do not for a moment doubt his love for myself or my daughter, but he told me two things:there's nothing wrong with him, and he doesn't make mistakes. Did I mention he has slept in the bed with me all of twice in the past week. Even before the discovery of cheating intimacy, affection, emotional availability were difficult. I'm laying it all out there because I'm ready to make a decision.

The plot thickens.....It sounds like you may need to focus on yourself and your goals towards sobriety. This will be hard enough and being his "caretaker" and dealing with his rigid thinking and denial about his role in your relationship difficulties will make that harder. I am sure that your therapist will agree with this line of thinking and will give you support in a decision to leave. You will learn about (if you haven't all ready) how this may be a codependent relationship and not healthy for either of you.

Bottom line....he clearly has problems which will not resolve because he does not recognize them (first step to change). You do see where you need to change and you are working towards it....this is too lopsided to make for a happy relationship.

Hope this helps...
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Im not his caretaker. We are in the same home but for the reasons you mentioned, there is little interaction. He's an outstanding provider and very stable and at THIS point that is attractive to me. I will get the counseling and get well and will probable have a totally different perspective on the entire situation once I am emotionally healthier. Maybe he will be motivated by my newfound happiness, but I doubt that he'll address any personal issues...I'm saddened by these developments. I truly feel God put us in eachother's paths. I too feel guilty because I have been verbally harsh and unforgiving, not to excuse his behavior, but I can see where he probably feels undervalued. Is there anything I can do to encourage counseling on his part?

Hi again Michelle,
I may have received the wrong impression when you said he cried and shook and prepared for the I was seeing him as weaker than "very stable". Perhaps he is financially stable but not very emotionally stable. So I meant you are his emotional caregiver.

The thing to do is wait for the right moment....when both of you are calm and in an open frame of mind. Point out the symptoms of his depression (but leave the cheating out of the conversation) which include withdrawal, increased sleep and irritability. Tell him you are glad he saw his doctor but that you know depression needs ongoing therapy. Tell him that your relationship is so important that after you are more stable in your own therapy, you are hoping the two of you can go to couples counseling.

I can hear that you are very confused about what to do...stay or go...remember that you are probably sending him "mixed messages" because of your own confusion. If so, this is very frustrating to him and may be why he is shutting down. If this sounds right....tell him you are sorry for mixed messages and you want to get some clarity in your own treatment and maybe this will open him up a little to talking and to the idea of therapy.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Excellent advice. Thank you very much. He just popped up with dinner from MY favorite place. Yes I'm confused and ill take my time
Okay...good for him. AND good for you for working on this difficult situation.
Warm regards again
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Why doesn't he stay in the house with me? We are intimate at night and strangers in the morning. Long gone are the nicknames and calls. I don't understand why I feel like I'm being punished.
Hi Michelle,
Oh dear...guess it is not a good day.

Since he is a non-communicator (in general), you have to ask yourself what is his non-verbal behavior communicating? or you may need to ask him. You mentioned that he has abandonment issues, is it possible that you also have sensitivity to rejection. That might explain why you are feeling punished. This is definitely something to explore in therapy.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I see y you are the therapist! Yes I have a sensitivity to rejection. My mother was an addict and my father was absent.Whenever I ask him something he gets loud and angry and says all I do is repeat myself. So I acquiesce. He's gone to his brothers which I don't blv, I wasn't invited where before we were ALWAYS together. When I raised that issue just now he says that's all u ever say and we aren't going to ever n happy again. I am beginning to feel defeated. His nonverbal shows caring I guess. He asked how I was feeling, etc.. Bought me a paper, things like that. I had to ask for a hug to which he one armed me. I am feeling needy and pushy and it's just not a good feeling. I'm going to shut down just like I feel he has
What would it be like to agree to a trial separation? Get some distance from him and go back to seeing each other occasionally for "dates". Then when you are about the things which attracted you to each other 2 years ago. Try to regain that feeling. Staying together seems to be resulting in a bad outcome.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I am not open to a trial separation with dating. My daughter lives here. School is about to start. It's too much inconsistency for her. I'm so determined to become sober and emotionally healthy I am almost having to constantly force thoughts of our relationship out ofy mind. I love him as a father figure for her, a strong force in my decision to stay. I trust him IMPLICITLY with her. It's clear to both of us that our relationship has bottomed. I don't know (secondary to becoming healthy) how to get us back on track. I asked God for a man n he is who appeared and I'm committed to this.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
First step has been made. I am in recovery

In reply to your post just before this AM post. You sounded pretty clear in your feelings about trial separation. I wanted to add that you only have control over your thoughts, feelings and actions. It is impossible to know his thoughts, feelings or control his actions....resign yourself to that and it should be easier to cope with.

It is obvious that you are doing what you can to improve your situation.

Good luck,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Well I contacted a substance abuse counselor and my assessment is Wednesday. I feel so optimistic about my recovery and getting back on track. The sad part, he doesn't even know. I know I can't control his behavior etc, I was merely trying to understand exactly what was driving his behavior, etc. My feelings are vacillating from happiness to self pity. As I write this I realize my issues are NOT our relationship but ME.
Hi Michelle
That may be true and the good news is YOU can work on YOU. There is reason for hope. Best of luck in this important phase of your treatment.