You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel All Alone in Their Marriages, keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show Braxton Family Values. Now it's your turn to sit in her chair...
My husband of 21 years had an emotional affair with a 24-year-old several years ago. I investigated, they both say that it was just a friendship but they were calling and texting one another several times a day. She also worked conveniently close to my home, which means they saw one another frequently. I feel as though I've forgiven him, however, he doesn't communicate with me concerning our relationship and where it is going. It pisses me off that he had all those conversations with her but can't communicate with me. I don't know how to get past this or how to get him to be open and honest with me about us. Help!
You said that you have forgiven your husband for having an "emotional" relationship with a 24-year-old woman, but your forgiveness is somewhat questionable given that you are still struggling with the issue several years later. I have to wonder if you are truly convinced that it was only an emotional relationship. It really would not matter if your husband had an emotional relationship or a physical relationship – it hurts just the same. In fact, for some women, an emotional relationship is more detrimental than a physical one because deep feelings become involved. I hear both your anger and your pain.
Unfortunately, your husband's emotional relationship is only symptomatic of a much larger problem with your marriage. The age of the woman is not the issue. She could have been 18 or 80 and the problem would remain the same. The fact that your husband became involved with a 24-year-old only added fuel to the fire given that you have been married for almost as many years as she is old. Your husband's unwillingness to communicate with you about your marriage is a big part of the problem. There is a reason that he became involved with another women and refuses to talk to you. But, it’s important to note that this reason may or may not have anything to do with you. Rather than continue to hold on to your anger and plead with him to talk, I suggest you work through your feelings in therapy. Once this happens, then ask your husband to participate in marital therapy. You cannot change him or what has happened in the past. But, you can change how you respond to him and what you do in the future.
Yes, you can leave the marriage but if you do not address the issues, you will just take them with you to the next relationship. Work though issues in therapy and let it go, especially the anger. If not addressed, anger can destroy you from the inside out and paralyze your life. Ask yourself, is it worth it? Good luck! – Dr. Sherry
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