Doubly Betrayed

Q: I left my husband last summer because I found out that he had been unfaithful. Before this, we had done as some married couples do and taken some intimate pictures with our digital camera. After we decided to try again at the relationship, I found out he had put the pictures online at a sex and swingers "dating" service. He also shared pictures of me with total strangers. Frankly, I am afraid to dig any deeper as I am afraid of what I may find. I do know that the side of my face was showing in one picture and he put a picture of himself on the site also. I am a professional in our small town and I am afraid someone may have already seen this sex site. I told my husband that I want to go through with the divorce now, eight months later. He wants to work things out. He has a job that takes him away for 40-60 days at a time and him not being around very much does not help either. -- Dee, 44

Dr. Susan: You must feel doubly betrayed. Not only was he unfaithful to you, but he shared what should have been utterly private photos of you without your knowledge. You may not be in the mood to stick around and dig deeper right now, but is there some part of you that does want to stay in this relationship -- if you could trust him again somehow? Without knowing everything, there's no chance you can have a genuine relationship with your husband. If he seriously wants to try, the two of you would have to work hard at it, and he especially would have to get some help. What he did is truly reprehensible. And you're right about his long-term absences complicating matters. They would challenge any relationship. The burden of proof of his trustworthiness is on him, and I have a feeling he's not going to be willing or able to change his behavior thoroughly enough.

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