Hi ass kickers!
Today I have a listener question I’m answering with my partner in crime/bestie/colleague/peanut butter to my jelly: Amy Smith. This episode is all about intimacy, vulnerability, and more. Even if you’re not partnered up, or have never had an affair, I’m 100% sure there will be nuggets in this episode to help you.
Her question: My husband and I have been going to couples therapy for about a year now. We started going because I had an emotional affair with an old flame over Facebook for a few months prior and we thought it would be a good idea to go. After several sessions I thought that I was getting a good grasp on what I needed to be doing to help my relationship with my husband get better. Then I relapsed into the affair. I told my husband about it and he was of course, hurt. It ended quickly with “the other guy” and we continued to go to therapy.
A few months after the “relapse” I relapsed again. This time with a different man (still very long distance).
I then wrote an email to our therapist asking him if I could talk to him, in confidence, about “a situation”, not wanting to go into too many details. He replied that he did not keep secrets for couples and that if I chose to disclose information to him I would have 2 sessions to disclose the information to my Spouse, or he would. I then chose not to tell my therapist any more information.
In our next therapy session he reads the email my husband and asked me to explain it. All of the trust that I had for the guy flew out the window. I lied. I made up some story I thought would be equally shocking, and I still managed to piss off my husband.
(Months later) I am still involved with “the other guy” but I am terrified to talk anyone (especially my therapist and husband) about it. I feel that switching therapists at this point would lead me to having to “expose” my addiction and secret to my husband far before I am ready.
What should I do?
I asked her a few follow up questions to get a little more information, as I had some hunches about what could be happening (you’ll hear those in the audio). What you’ll also hear in this episode:
- Amy and I broke this down and first addressed what happened with the therapist and what we think should happen next in terms of the trust being broken.
- Andrea discusses why she thinks this isn’t only a communication issue and what’s really going on.
- Amy shares a story about how she sought out an emotional affair a few years ago, told her husband about it and what she learned about her marriage from it, as well as how it’s helped her now.
- Andrea shares her story of how she spent years cheating on her ex-boyfriend, why she did it, why and how she stopped, as well as how she’s able to not cheat in her current marriage.
- We talk about baby steps she and her husband can do now to establish trust in their marriage.
Resources mentioned on this show:
Facing Love Addiction, by Pia Mellody
Codependent No More, by Melody Beattie
Episode 72: Not Wanting to Deal (Andrea’s podcast sharing her story)
Amy’s episode on vulnerability in relationships
This episode is brought to you by, The Self-Love Revolution: Master’s Course Retreat! Join Amy and I for four days of deep diving, new friendships, learning tools to start liking and even loving yourself. Check out all the info here: