These questions came through my online Live Chat of November 28, on “Why Do People Cheat?”:
I’m a woman back working full-time after being home with children for eight years. I see how easy it is to get very friendly with a male co-worker, how nice it is to be flirted with, how fun to have lunches and laugh.
My husband’s already distanced as if he expects trouble. Even before returning to work, I was often lonely, as he travels for work. How am I going to keep myself from cheating?
Tell your husband how crucial it is that you talk about this now, and discuss how to manage it. Don’t wait things out, and then react in anger to his worries or your own temptations.
Working full-time is a huge lifestyle change from full-time child rearing.
Some social aspects are fun, but a new job’s also tiring, and demanding. And it requires a lot of organizing and task sharing concerning the kids and house.
Your husband liked things as they were, but it also shows he doesn’t want YOU to change. Perhaps with you bringing in income, he can travel less, and you two can re-connect.
Don’t LOOK for trouble. You’re already building up excuses, but a watchful husband will soon catch on.
If someone’s a player when dating, they’re sure going to be a player later. I learned the hard way.
We kept breaking up when I’d discover that my boyfriend had fooled around. He’d come back crying and begging to get together again. I married him thinking he’d settle down.
But once we had the son he wanted and the daughter who adores him, he’s off again, doing his thing. One woman even phoned me to say he loves her more than me! He doesn’t. He loves himself.
Wise Too Late
Yes, you’ve got a player. Some marriages do manage this way. I suspect it’s usually when, as in your case, the spouse knows and accepts it.
You may still be his #1 Love, whom he’ll never leave, because you do understand his nature – he’s hungry for affection, and “addicted” to love.
But just as he takes risks with this behaviour, so do you. It may be that you stay for the home security, for the kids, for the love you still feel. But what decisions he’ll make as he gets older, and whom he might meet, is unpredictable.
Consider insisting that a condition of staying together is that he sees a therapist about his “addiction.”
More immediate, insist that he use protection and gets checked regularly for STD’s.
I’m a woman who’s very restless when it comes to relationships. Whenever I get into one that’s stable, I start looking around without even realizing it.
Even if I was crazy about the guy, once there’s a routine, I’m bored and soon out of there. I like sex, but I move on even when the sex is good. Am I addicted to cheating?
Yes. See a therapist who’s experienced with sex addiction; there are behavior modification techniques that can be applied in some cases, to try to re-learn how to respond to the triggers.
Also, exploring with a professional the how and why this hit-and-run pattern occurs with you, may give you great insight into the deepest root of your restlessness and ways to overcome it.
If that sounds like too much work, recognize that YOU asked the question, and that’s your own signal that you want to change.
What do I say to my husband when he tells me he “can’t help himself” for being in love with his secretary? He says he can’t wait to see her every day, no longer wants to come home at night, never gets bored with her, etc.
We’ve been married 17 years with few fights, have young teenagers who need their dad, and whom we’ve taught right from wrong. Now what will they think?
You say, “Here’s the Separation Agreement.” But only do this AFTER you get very good legal and financial advice.
Reality sometimes helps a partner who “can’t help himself,” do some re-thinking. If not, his words are insulting and hurtful.
If Dad’s going ahead with this woman, the kids will likely need counselling to deal with his changed behavior and standards.
You’d benefit from counselling too, if he leaves. You’ll be able to move forward with your own life a lot faster.
Tip of the day:
Cheaters’ confessions and spouses’ woes - tales of relationship neglect.