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Sunday, 25 March 2001

How Many More Affairs Must I Put Her Thru?

Written by  Dr. Louise Klein

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QDear WholeFamily Counselor,

I feel silly sending e-mails with a problem, who knows who's getting it. Still with no one I can really talk to, I suppose I'll try your good self.

I am 28 and my wife is 27 years old. We have been married for 2 and a 1/2 years and have a wonderful baby girl of 18 months. Before I was married I'd had no real time on my own, I always needed to be loved and have someone there by me.

Suddenly I found myself alone, no one seemed interested and I got on with life getting more and more depressed. Then came the woman who would become my wife, she worked where I did and we just started sending E-mails and getting chatty.

Six months later I was engaged with the church and all the trimmings booked. Her parents had spent A LOT, (it was the royal wedding). Too late to get out, maybe it's nerves I said to myself.

However within 2 months of getting married I was in an affair that went on for some months, my wife became pregnant and I ended the affair. Hoping that the child would help the way I felt, and now, I know it has not, I am in another affair with a girl who I love dearly and I'm so frightened of hurting my wife, she has found out and has thrown me out to make a CHOICE, her or the other women. We have already tried counseling, which did not help. I know my wife expects me to come home within a few weeks and try again.

  1. How many more affairs must I put her thru?
  2. Why do I feel like this?
  3. Are the other women just an excuse?
  4. Why can I not just go and start my life over to stop hurting my wife?

These are a few questions that are buzzing around inside me. I'm getting more and more depressed, and whilst I know it is stupid, suicide seems the logical solution.

My wife doesnt know of the first affair, it would kill her, I love her deep down, but I cannot get myself to become physically attracted to her. The marriage is less than 3 years old, WHAT FUTURE HAS IT NOW !!

Thanks for listening.

ADear Many Affairs,

Suicide is not the solution to your problems. Being a responsible adult is. You need to face the fact that you have created the situation that you are in, and that only you can find a solution.

How many more affairs? Only you know the answer to that question. It can stop now if you choose to end the affairs and remain with your wife.

Why are you compelled to seek out these affairs? For some people the thrill is in "the hunt" or "the conquest". They constantly seek something or someone new. The adrenaline rush that accompanies this makes them feel alive.

You need to face the fact that you have created the situation that you are in, and that only you can find a solution.

But, from what you say in your letter, it sounds like you're afraid of being alone. You need someone else's presence to validate your existence. And you sound like you feel guilty about the sneaking around and lying. It's almost like you're looking to be punished. The negative feelings and self-recrimination that comes with affairs may somehow validate your low self-worth. Sort of a vicious cycle of, "I have affairs because I'm a bad person. I'm a bad person because I have affairs."

Now, when you tell me that you're not attracted to your wife, that's another matter all together. Were you physically attracted to her at the start of your relationship? When did these feelings end? Was it after she had the baby?

If you weren't attracted to her, then what was it? And don't say that you got swept up in the excitement of planning a wedding. It seems that your wife filled your need for connection for a while but that your own internal problems surfaced again.

I don't doubt that you are feeling depressed. It appears to you that you are in a hopeless and helpless position. The bad news is that if you try to run away from this situation, your life will not change. The good news is that change is possible if you're willing to go back into therapy for yourself, not marital counseling at this point, but individual therapy to work on your own issues.

I don't know if ultimately you and your wife will remain together. That is a decision only the two of you can make. But I hope that you will seek some help and not just let the affairs pile up until she ends it out of sheer frustration. If you're going to end it, then be honest with her and take the responsibility for the decision. Just remember, you are no longer alone in this world. You have your daughter to consider. Even if you do not stay married to her mother, you must become a good father and meet your obligations to her.

Dr. Louise Klein

Last modified on Saturday, 21 January 2012 07:39
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Dr. Louise Klein

Dr. Louise Klein

Louise Klein was born on the West Coast of Canada but lived for many years in Los Angeles and Philadelphia. She has a doctorate in clinical psychology from Widener University in Pennsylvania. Dr. Louise Klein is an experienced therapist in insight-oriented talk therapy. She has worked with individuals, couples and groups for many years. Her experience with families includes stepfamilies, adoptive families, nuclear families and families dealing with illness or death. Dr Klein is also trained in thought field therapy and regression therapy and has taught and worked internationally. Louise Klein lives in a rural community with her husband and St. Bernard and has a stepdaughter in college in New England.

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