Husband's a Cheater
Q: My husband and I have been married for three years, and I'm 30 years old. He admits to only one instance of having sex with another woman during that time, but he has also met women several times and visited singles sites. He claims he's trying to find someone for his brother, but he has lied to me constantly. We went to marriage counseling for a few months and things seemed to be somewhat better, though my anger didn't fade. And then I found a girl's number. When I confronted him, he again said his brother asked him to talk to her for him and his brother used his name. This is possible since his brother has asked me to talk to someone for him too but I feel my husband should have let me in on this earlier so I don't feel something is wrong. I think about divorce but I still love him and he doesn't want one. Is this worth salvaging? -- Samantha
Dr. Susan: A marriage that you both value is always worth working on. The problem I see here is that your husband has a very different idea of fidelity than you do. He thinks he can cover up anything and so long as you accept his stories, he's gotten away with it. It's certainly possible that you will have to seriously think about divorce before long. If he values the marriage, it's up to him to help rebuild your trust in him. Right now, he's going about that in the worst possible way.
You're absolutely right that he should include you in any planning with his brother that involves using chat rooms and singles sites, but that activity makes me uncomfortable. I would think that with your husband's history of infidelity, he wouldn't want to add to your suspicions this way. In fact, have you considered the possibility that his brother is the one who's covering for him, when it's actually your husband who likes the thrill of illicit playing around?
I'd suggest another trip to the therapist. At the very least, your husband needs to stop keeping secrets. No more singles sites, no more mate-seeking for his brother, no more lies of any kind.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.