Hey Dr. Buckingham,
My name is Craig, and I have cheated on my wife a few times. I really love my wife and family, but I admit I think I have a problem. My wife wants to end our marriage, but I want to do whatever it takes to save what I truly want—my marriage and family! What kind of help do I need?
Thanks in advance,
Without knowing exactly what contributed to your infidelity, it is difficult to provide specific recommendations. However, given that you have cheated on your wife several times you could potentially be suffering from a sexual addiction. Sex addicts exhibit a negative pattern of sexual behavior that leads to significant relationship distress. Also, being excessively preoccupied with sex can also cause significant personal distress.
Considering your problem with infidelity and your need to fulfill sexual desires outside of your marriage, I would highly recommend you seek individual therapy with a professional who specializes in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy, in which negative patterns of thought about the self and the world are challenged in order to alter unwanted behavior patterns or treat disorders such as sexual addiction. CBT is a solution-focused approach to treatment, oriented toward solving problems and learning skills. Many psychotherapists argue that inappropriate behavior is caused as a result of irrational or faulty thinking, and the goal of CBT is to help people get better and stay better by changing their thinking, behavior and emotional responses.
I know that you are concerned about your wife and family, but the best thing you can do to save your marriage is to increase your self-awareness. Knowing what motivates you (and therefore what motivates you to cheat) is powerful. After you figure it out, you must work toward change. Your wife and family cannot change your behavior, only you can do that.
If you truly want to save your marriage, it is imperative you seek and attend therapy. Please understand that therapy alone will not save your marriage. What you do outside of therapy to rebuild or restore trust with your wife is going to save your marriage. Considering that you also violated God’s covenant, I also recommend you seek spiritual counseling.
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.