I got married 3 years ago and recently my wife and I had a baby. My wife and baby are both gorgeous, by the way.
But a few weeks ago at a therapy session my wife wanted me to go to with her (she’d been a little depressed lately) — I was blindsided by the information that she had “hooked up” twice (while she was pregnant) with a guy she’d met on a dating app a few years ago.
I was stunned. I love my wife and baby, and I had never even thought of something like this. The therapist says my wife needs to feel emotionally safe if I want her to communicate with me about this. I’ve always wanted to be a safe place for her to communicate about anything. And I do want her to figure out what she honestly needs and if she even wants to still be married or not. She says the reason she told me in the first place is she felt like she was maybe about to do it again — and she didn’t want to. I guess that’s positive, but somehow not too reassuring.
Right now I’m trying to deal with all the crappy emotions I’m having myself. Waves of anger and betrayal; fear of losing my family — and I’m trying to be as non-judgmental as possible even as my mind paints relentlessly painful pictures me to contemplate and get angry about all over again.
If I were to give in to my feelings of betrayal, anger, and rejection — and walk away from my marriage I would (at least in our state) probably get to see my baby once a week and every other weekend. Moms always get custody of the children unless they are homeless drug addicts. I cannot bear to even think of not seeing my baby every single day. So that’s just not an option at this point.
If it’s hard to be a chump as a female, it may even be harder as a male. At least women get to keep their kids. Us guys — we lose everything. I don’t want to lose everything. So I’m thinking right now I’ll stay until she decides what the heck she’s doing. But that makes me feel like the most valuable things in my life are hanging in the balance — or worse, in her unpredictable hands. Which feels like crap.
Snatch your life back. Don’t let her decide this — YOU decide. I know exactly how hard it is to deeply invest in a shared life and lose the dream. She’s pulled a bait and switch on you. Did you want a committed, loving relationship and stability for your child? No sorry, she’s busy with Tinder now, and you have to tiptoe around her tender feelings. FUCK THAT SHIT, Jim. Fuck it!
I can’t tell you what to do — oh hang, on, yes I can — leave a cheater, gain a life. (It’s emblazoned in red lettering on the banner of this site.) You’re going to have to decide this on your own, but… GO! Leave! Sane parent on your own! Petition for full custody or 50/50! Build a new life! Imagine the mind-blowing future of having a partner who respects and cherishes you! I’ve given this pep talk so many times, I think I have record it and leave it on a permanent tape loop… Read the archives, Jim. Read the comments, until we’ve fully colonized your mind. Don’t choose further abuse. Expecting you to pick me dance so she doesn’t swipe right for more Tinder fuckboys is abuse.
Of course you can’t see that right now because you’ve got a quack therapist convincing you the problem is you. Fucking strange when pregnant isn’t the problem, decimating a partner’s dreams and imperiling a small child’s intact home life isn’t the problem. Traumatizing a partner with betrayal isn’t the problem. No, Jim, according to this therapist — your potential REACTION is the problem.
The therapist says my wife needs to feel emotionally safe if I want her to communicate with me about this.
Does that quack give one shit about your emotional safety? Why on earth is the onus on YOU to provide safety to your abuser? Why the hell do we pay therapists? Isn’t the whole point of the $180/hour comfy sofa and box of tissues to provide a SAFE SPACE?
This is some DARVO bullshit. Yeah, you’re the raging rhinoceros who won’t take his betrayal quite the right way. You’re the threat and she’s some Timid Forest Creature. Poor boo might have her feelings hurt. Tread carefully!
Can all these therapists just hand in their credentials now and burn them in some giant funeral pyre? Mental health professionals are supposed to protect you from harm, not mindfuck you.
Oh, but the therapist just wants to open the dialogue so Jim can learn further of her perfidy.
Jim, you know enough. She’s cheated. She wants to cheat again. She isn’t sorry. Nothing to work with. Buh-bye.
I’ve always wanted to be a safe place for her to communicate about anything.
This isn’t a communication problem, it’s an entitlement problem. She feels entitled to fuck around, and she’s keeping you an emotional hostage because you want your family. You desperately want this life you invested in and child you love. She sees your investment as an ADVANTAGE to exploit not a privilege. You cannot work with that.
She says the reason she told me in the first place is she felt like she was maybe about to do it again — and she didn’t want to.
Oh bullshit. Timid forest creature might reoffend? No. Your wife is goading you into the pick me dance. She wants you to compete for the chance that she Might. Not. Cheat. On. You.
(Who facilitated this “sharing”? I’m imagining hurling that shrink off her shrink chair and bitch slapping her.)
I’m trying to be as non-judgmental as possible
NO! Judge, Jim! Judge! Use the wits God gave you and SAVE YOURSELF.
When someone is abusing you, you’re not supposed to sit in a pose of non-judgment — you protect yourself.
The grace of God that passeth all understanding can come later. Like, decades later, when you’re away from this. You have my permission to non-judge her then. Right now, Jim, you judge the piss-poor way she is treating you and you find it unacceptable.
Take your power back. Today. (And fire that therapist.)