Dear Dr. Buckingham,
I have been married since I was nineteen years old and it has been a very rocky path. During these years of marriage, my husband has had multiple affairs. These infidelities were only admitted to me after he had a near death experience, in which his present lover at the time showed up to be by his side. I never met this lady before and immediately sensed that they were intimately involved. After some prodding about their relationship and other suspected ones, he finally admitted it.
We had a discussion and decided to put the infidelities behind us. We agreed that he should not befriend other women, and that we would have an open policy where I would be able to see his cellular phone. Unfortunately, little did I know that I was in this agreement with myself.
My husband continued to talk to his lover for a while… untill I got really annoyed. When that was over, he met another female friend, which he befriended via an app. He had inappropriate conversations with her, but never owned up to it. I pleaded with him some more about ending this friendship.
Currently, he has befriended yet another female friend. I have told him how disrespected I feel. He continues to talk with her and placed a lock on his phone. On numerous occasions I have had conversations with him and he always promises that nothing is going on and that he is willing to work on our marriage. I need you to give twofold advice for both me and my “husband”.
My husband continues to cheat and I am sick and tired: what should I do?
Dear Mrs. Tired,
I rarely give advice about walking away from your marriage. However, I highly recommend that you move on if your husband does not agree to attend therapy. I recommend therapy for two reasons.
First, I recommend that you attend professional counseling because you need someone to help you cope with the emotional abuse you are experiencing and for insecurity and low self-esteem you may be experiencing too. I am not attacking you, but often times, women who remain in abusive relationships typically suffer from insecurity and low self-esteem. A person with low self-esteem feels unworthy and lacks self-respect. Also, people with low self-esteem will consistently put others before themselves due to a strong desire to please others.
Your husband cheats because you allow it. Talking to your husband about his infidelity has not changed or influenced his behavior. I do not know what your financial situation is, but leaving him will send him a clear message that states that you are worthy of respect and deserve more.
A therapist can help you process things that you might not see or help you cope with things that you do not know how to cope with. Also, a therapist can help you assess your husband’s character and capacity for genuine change. Lastly, if leaving is what you decide do, it is important that you learn strategies for moving on in a healthy and safe manner.
If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, please do something different.
Second, I recommend that you attend professional counseling so that you can learn what is required to have a healthy marriage. Many individuals remain in unhealthy marriages because they do not know what healthy marriages look like. Trust, Respect and Communication (TRC) must be present in order to have a healthy marriage. Unfortunately, your marriage does not have TRC.
Your husband might love you, but he definitely does not respect you. As a matter of fact, he does not respect himself. Respect means recognizing the worth of self and others. In a healthy marriage, each individual strives to eliminate anything or anyone who will cause pain and suffering in their relationship.
There is a saying, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” He cheated numerous times and you remained in the relationship. Most people will discuss your husband’s behavior and talk to you about how bad he is. I agree that your husband has some challenges, but so do you. If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, please do something different. Seek professional help and spend more time focusing on making you better. Your husband will not respect you until you respect yourself.
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.