Dear Dr. Buckingham,
I’ve been married almost 2 years come May. My husband and I have been butting heads for awhile now. I found out 5 months after we were married that he was entertaining text messages from his ex-girlfriend. It started right after we were married with a “congratulations” on Facebook and progressed into sex-texting. I found out because he slipped and hit his face on the concrete and the hospital called me and gave me all his belongings. The girl texted him while I had his phone. I was heartbroken to see that he would destroy our trust and marriage. It seems as though so many other issues have surfaced now that I know who he actually is.
I’m at my breaking point because we don’t know how to communicate. We continue to have yelling matches or we shut down. What should I do?
I am sorry to hear about your marital conflict. I am going to start off by encouraging you to be mindful of whom you receive advice from. Some people might advise you to leave your husband instead of seeking help. Many would argue that you should take care of yourself and cut your ties from a man who is unfaithful and unworthy. Others might argue that seeking guidance or counseling is not going to help. I encourage you to check your source before taking action. In today’s society is easy for people to take the past of least resistance, especially when we have been victimized. What do I mean by taking the path of least resistance?
Taking the path of least resistance means that we will take the easiest way to reach our aims and solve problems, especially when in distress. For example, walking away from our marriage is often perceived to be much easier than learning to forgive and restore trust. I realize that some marriages cannot be saved, but I also believe that some marriages can be saved if both parties put in work instead of taking the path of least resistance. Unfortunately, a large percentage of people are walking away from their marriage when faced with adversity because leaving appears to be the easiest and best solution at the time.
Whatever you decide to do to resolve your marital discord, make it a personal journey first by spending more time with yourself. Think about what you need and want in order to remain married. Remember that self-love is the best love because you can show your husband what you desire and need. Work to relieve your heartache and establish a loving relationship with yourself. I assure you that you will feel more equipped to make a decision that is best for you and your marriage.
Considering that you have remained with your husband after finding out about the sex-texting, I assume that you would like to save your marriage. If this is accurate, I highly recommend that you seek counseling. I realize that you are devastated, but I assure you that learning how to process and communicate how you feel is the key to reducing your distress and restoring trust in your marriage. If you have a desire to save your marriage, you and husband must learn how to engage in open, honest and respectful communication. Therefore, individual and marital therapy should not be optional.
Yes, you have been victimized, but you do not have to act like a victim. Hold your husband accountable, take care of yourself and remember that your fate is partially determined by your work. Please consider contacting me for coaching or visit my website and secure a copy of Unconditional Love: What Every Woman and Man Desires in a Relationship.
Best regard, Dr. Buckingham
If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to [email protected]
Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post