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…
I am eight months pregnant with my third child. My husband of almost 12 years recently admitted to cheating and that he believes that he contracted an STD in the process. We were separated for our 10-year anniversary due to cheating and made it through that. However, once again he swears he doesn’t know what’s wrong with him. He swears he stopped it after he started but obviously still went further than it should have. I have known this man since my teen years; he was my high school crush. I am 32 now and we have two girls and another on the way. I am still awaiting results to find out if his infidelity has put my unborn child and my life at risk. I am so confused about if I should even attempt to forgive him for this or if I should even have him there when this baby is born. To top it off, I lost my brother to suicide only five months ago and I am still so shattered that I don’t trust my instincts. I don’t trust my decision-making. What should I do? I’m lost, alone and in need of advice! — Anonymous
I am certain that this is a tough time in your life and I am sorry to hear about your brother’s death. While your brother’s death and your husband’s behaviors are two different things, they both represent a loss. Neither relationship will ever be the same. After almost 12 years of marriage and two children, you find yourself eight months pregnant and worried if you and your unborn child have an STD, thanks to your husband’s cheating. Your husband has cheated before and you forgave him and continued to trust him. Once again, he has cheated and you are faced with the same issues as before. It is not a question of whether or not you should forgive him, it is a question of whether or not you want to continue to be with him. You can forgive him all day long but you don’t have to be with him. He told you that he did not know what was wrong with him. Really? Let me help him, but more importantly help you, to understand what is wrong here: He is a repeat cheater and it is likely that the only reason he is telling you now about this “fling” is because he has contracted an STD. Your husband is unfaithful and not committed to the marriage. He may be taking you for granted and believe that you will always be there for him given that you have known each other since you were teens. For whatever reason, he is “still in the streets” looking to get some needs met in all the wrong places. Now, your husband’s cheating has put you and your unborn child’s health at risk. Regardless of the test outcome, you must ask yourself: Do you want to be in this marriage and will you ever be able to truly trust your husband.
It is obvious that he has not proven trustworthy at this point in your marriage. He is unable or unwilling to provide emotional security that requires trust in your marriage. As long as you accept his behaviors, he is going to continue to do the same old thing. If you continue to settle for less, you will always have less. You deserve more but you must believe that. I suggest that you seek individual psychotherapy from a licensed psychologist or therapist to work though issues with your marriage as well as issues with your brother’s death. While your situation is serious, it is not hopeless. –- Dr. Sherry
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