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April 16, 2014 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Relationships

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Why did I cheat on the perfect husband?
Question:

I have been married for 4 years with a man I love dearly, but I cheated on him for about 1/2 a year with a former co-worker. I only did it for the attention so I changed jobs. I love my husband and now I cannot stop thinking about what I did to him. We lost our home due to a fire and are living with friends until our home gets repaired, which has put a lot of stress on both of us. I have become very jealous and self-conscious. I am always checking his cell phone, email, calling him at work. I imagine that if I was able to cheat on him and he has not found out, the same could happen to me (Karma). But with him I imagine that he will fall in love and leave me.

If I love my husband so much and I would describe him as the perfect husband, why did I cheat on him? If my husband is not doing anything wrong, why do I keep thinking he is cheating on me?

Desperate, 27-year-old-woman

Answer:

Dear Desperate,

There are many reasons why people have affairs. It is certainly possible that your reason was the need for attention. I would suggest that it is important, even though the affair is over, to seek counseling. Often, the need for attention is more than just someone who is young and not thinking clearly about the costs of an affair. It often indicates deep insecurity and a constant need for attention. This can occur if there has been too much indulgence during childhood, or not enough love and attention. Either can cause the problem.

You sound as if you have made the connection between your affair and believing that your husband might have one. That is called projection. Your guilt and shame is leading you to believe that he will do what you have done. It is imperative to be able to share this guilt and shame with someone who can help you through this ordeal.

If your husband is as great as you say, your worry is groundless. You are going to have to forgive yourself for what you have done if this obsession is going to stop. To do that you are going to have to figure out why you did what you did and resolve those issues. A therapist should be able to help you with that.

Often, when a person does not feel that they are worthwhile and loveable enough, they will sabotage a good relationship to prove how unlovable they are. My guess is that some of this is going on. If I knew more about your background and family history I might be able to tell you more, but with the amount of information that you gave I can only give you tentative possibilities.

It is also possible that at least a good part of the affair was just inexperience and youth. You did not link up the action and the consequences until too late. Even if you can “get away” with an affair, it can act like a cancer that dissolves the trust and honesty within a relationship. The big question is whether you have learned from the experience. If you have learned and can forgive yourself, your marriage can actually become healthier and closer than before.

I hope this will be the case. Take care.

Jef Gazley, M.S., LMFT

This question was answered by Jef Gazley M.S. Jef has practiced psychotherapy for twenty-five years, specializing in Love Addiction, Hypnotherapy, Relationship Management, Dysfunctional Families, Co-Dependency, Professional Coaching, and Trauma Issues. He is a trained counselor in EMDR, NET, TFT, and Applied Kinesiology. He is dedicated to guiding individuals to achieving a life long commitment to mental health and relationship mastery. His private practice locations are Scottsdale and Tempe, Arizona. You can also visit Jef at the internettherapist, the first audiovisual mental health online counseling center on the net.

For more information visit the site or compact information page on QueenDom.

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