Wife Kisses Around
Q: I'm very confused about what I should do. I've been married for three years now. Right after we got married, we moved out of state because she quit her job and I decided to go back to school, so we were going to live with her parents. Then after we get there, she tells me she had kissed this other guy, an acquaintance of mine, on several occasions. After a lot of talks and arguments, we moved back to where we originally came from and tried to get our lives back on track. Well, she recently told me that she'd seen this person several times in the last year and kissed him again, but swears nothing more happened. The question is, what do I do? I'm hurt and extremely pissed off, but do I throw away the time we've been together for this reason? I need help from a third party that is totally unbiased! Thanks! -- Chuck, 28
Dr. Susan: Your wife is suffering from a case of arrested development. Once you marry someone, you're not supposed to keep seeing one of his acquaintances behind his back. That's obvious. What bothers me even more is that people who are having affairs will very often lie about the extent of their involvement. Not to make you more paranoid, but it wouldn't surprise me at all to learn that your wife has been sleeping with this guy. Most men (and women) past the teen years simply don't stop at "just kissing." Regardless, she's betrayed you repeatedly, and turned both your lives upside down repeatedly. Is she telling you about her indiscretions to get your attention? Does she want to make a go of your marriage? Is she really saying she wishes she could still play the field and that maybe you two married too soon? If you don't have kids, hold off on that, for everyone's sake. Step one would be to see a therapist together. If you have insurance of any kind, look into that. That would be an unbiased third party who could help you both get at your options. "Throwing away" the time you've already spent with her is a hurtful choice, but sometimes you end up throwing away many more years trying to hold on to what you have (or wish you had). What assurances is she willing to give you that she will be faithful and loving to you from here on out? It is going to take more than words this time, I'm afraid.
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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.