Doctor Love: Desperate

Sunday, March 1st, 2020


Readers, email your question to [email protected] Your letters are edited solely for grammar, spelling and length.

Dear Doctor Love,
I have been married to my husband for nine years. During that time he has had numerous one-night-stands and I have caught him every time by recognizing changes in his behavior. He thinks he hides it well, but I’ve seen it so many times the tell-tale signs are very obvious.
The last time was five months ago and after many tears and promises he convinced me to stay. The problem is that I am finding it hard to love him like I did. He thinks everything should get back to normal because he has promised not to ever cheat again yet history has shown that each time I start to trust him, he cheats. In the past he always found new ways to deceive me so I am constantly anxiety ridden and suspicious.
Our intimate life is sparse even though he tries to initiate love making. Then when I’m unresponsive he accuses me of withholding sex to punish him.
How do I get over the resentment and betrayal? Can I ever believe him totally or is it broken beyond repair?
/s/Desperate

Dear Desperate,
When most people talk of reasons for divorce, infidelity is often at the top of the list. Knowing someone you love has cheated on you is devastating but beneath the surface it’s not the actual basis of a break-up. The root cause is the destruction of trust.
Physical and emotional betrayal, disrespectful behavior and repeating harmful patterns all break down the trust that married couples need. Lies and shifting blame cause self-doubt and damage self esteem and confidence, creating a wall that is difficult to break down.
You feel vulnerable, you have suspicions and fear that won’t go away. He has a pattern of behavior that has destroyed your trust and he needs to understand that promises of fidelity and love are not enough. Actions speak louder than words, and his actions shout loud and clear. Couples counseling may be the answer, if there is an answer.
Start to heal your own emotional health by talking to a professional on your own. Finding the right therapist is a good way for you to begin to get into a positive frame of mind. You may learn that instead of trying to rebuild a life with someone who consistently hurts you, removing yourself from what has become a toxic environment for you is the answer.
Your marriage doesn’t define you. You are your own person, strong and resilient and if you cannot bring back the faith you once had in your marriage then look ahead to a future without him.


 

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