Celebrate what works
Two years ago my husband cheated on me with one of my friends. I was listening to you on V101.1 radio and you said that we usually know because our intuition tells us something is wrong; you’re right. I knew and tricked my husband into admitting the affair. But he also said that he stopped because he thought he might lose me. He said he was sorry, but I am not sure if he is sincere. He is more loveable, but I am not 100 percent satisfied. After the affair, I saw the phone number of a woman in his truck. He said a girl gave it to him and he threw it out the window. He said it was nothing. How can I be sure? Why he would even take the number; I wouldn’t. He says he did it to be nice. Please help!You’re suspicious, unsatisfied and think your man is insincere. None of these feelings are productive in a marriage. However, your feelings are instructive because they scream “I don’t trust my husband!”
Trust deficits consume the mind the way termites devour homes. So if you want your marriage to survive, you must view your life realistically. You have a friend and a husband who betrayed you. How do you betray yourself? Are you insincere? Hiding your true feelings (about anything) instead of processing them in a journal or with a friend or psychotherapist? Focus on yourself and see your man’s betrayal as an invitation to clean up the parts of yourself that cheat you of being real.
If your husband is codependent (avoids truth because it could cause hurt feelings), it’s likely that he considered ending the marriage but didn’t want to hurt you. Having an affair allows him to maim the marriage without having to confront you about the things he wishes were different. An affair also protects him from looking at himself to see how he fails to invest in the marriage. Codependents have difficulty being consistent. They swing back and forth between commitment and absence (emotionally, physically, mentally and financially) while blaming the other person for their own ups and downs (“If she was different, I wouldn’t have to seek attention elsewhere”).
So here’s my prescription: Being truthful builds trust, trust allows a couple to grow close enough to make a commitment, and a commitment, made and tended, allows genuine love to grow. Strip away all that is false and you’re ready to begin healing. And remember, your intuition can only operate when you’re free from fear. Otherwise, it’s not intuition that says your marriage is in trouble; it’s a neurotic sense that something is wrong. It’s a sense you can’t shake because it’s rooted in an unhealthy belief that something is always wrong. In that scenario, you must reorder your thinking.
Celebrate what’s working in your life and you will create a life that works.
My boyfriend and I have been together happily for five years. The problem is my best friend always wants to double date when she gets a new boyfriend (every three months). But when we double, they’re all over each other. My boyfriend and I are tired of hinting that we’re not voyeurs. Ideas?Next time she proposes a double, set boundaries: “We’d love to (whatever), but we’re interested in talking to you and (flavor of the month). So we don’t want to watch you make out. If that feels too restrictive, let’s not hang out as couples. I want us both to be comfortable.” Then dig up one of my old columns on the difference between love and infatuation and share it with her. She needs support in learning how to have a relationship that is person-centered, not just sex-centered.