Ask Allie

Do I Forgive My Husband Who Has a History of Talking to Other Women?

12/2/11

Dear Allie,

I have been married to my husband for 6 months after being together for over a year. Two months later, we had our handsome son. I thought we were all happy as a family with the birth of our son. A week or so later, I noticed that he started to be goo goo eyes and smiling into his phone and when I ask why, he made it seem like it was something else. I got a hold of his phone one night and found that he had been having sex talk with random females and was exchanging nude pictures and videos. It’s not as drastic as having a physical affair but it had the same effect as if he did.

I also found messages of him talking to a friend about how he always wanted to be the special guy in her life and how he feels like they would have a great and happy life together. We talked, I later forgave him, and we started working things out. A week later, I found him trying to meet up with another woman and after I confronted him, I wasn’t even done packing my stuff when he was inviting her to the house to be his new woman.

I moved out and we are currently trying to work on things but the trust I have for him is gone. After him going behind my back, meeting another woman at his job, conversing with her about buying her child something, and who knows what else, I’ve just had enough.

I want to be with him because I sincerely love him and I know he feels the same but that doesn’t keep people from stepping out. I just feel that he might still be seeing other women even though he’s been trying really hard to make things work with me.

Being that we are 2 hours away now and he is saying that he is starting to work double shifts, it makes it even harder for me to trust him. What should I do?

ALLIE’S ANSWER

First and foremost, you have got to stop making excuses for your husband’s behavior. Yes, “sex talking” with other women may not be a physical affair but it is just as bad! It’s all cheating!

Your husband invited another woman to the house before you had even moved out. That’s inexcusable. If he had any sort of respect for you as a wife, he would have never even thought to do that.

Your husband’s lack of respect for you seems to be the biggest issue in your marriage. You don’t do these kinds of things to someone you love and respect. He has continuously gone behind your back to talk and meet with other woman. He clearly doesn’t want to be in a marriage even though he might say that he is.

Don’t be fooled by him sweet talking you into thinking that he is done with his cheating ways. If a cheater is really sorry, they stop cheating after being caught the first time. You’ve caught him multiple times already; it’s a habit now. He isn’t going to stop. Actions speak louder than words.

XO,
Allie

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What Should I Do When I’m the Other Person?

Dear Allie,

I am guilty. What should I do? Another man’s wife came on to me at work, which soon turned into an affair. At first it felt like love at first sight. We were both really happy then later down the line, the arguments started happening. I argue with her because I feel she is not telling me the truth or other words, not being real with me and knowing me, I eventually find things out.

Anyhow, we were in love and several months later, she now wants to be the good wife and stop seeing me but still wants to be friends. Now, I fell in love with her and I know I shouldn’t have but it happened. I can’t be friends with her when I feel totally differently about her. I am trying not to love her but I have to see her face at work. She begs me not to say a word to anyone. If someone were to find out, she loses her husband, in-laws, job, and respect from her parents. I, on the other hand, will only lose my job but it is eating me up inside. I’m so confused. Should I tell someone or stay quiet? Should I move on? If so, how [do I do that] with this obsession I have with her? I need help bad.

ALLIE’S ANSWER

You’ve got to move on! The reason you feel that she isn’t telling you the truth and not being real with you is because the relationship between the two of you began with lies and is based on lies. Having an affair with a married person is hard because truthfully, she probably never had any intention of leaving her husband to begin with. The probability of a cheater leaving their spouse to be with the other person is very, very small.

You filled a void that her husband didn’t fulfill. Sorry to be harsh but now that she’s gotten her jollies, she’s ready to move on and it isn’t with you. It may be difficult seeing her face at work but I suggest you cut off all contact with her and move on with your life. Unless you have a backup job already in place, I wouldn’t tell anyone at work because then not only have you lost your love, you’re also jobless and that can be a dangerous combination for the self-esteem. Consider this a life lesson learned.

It’s never easy being the other person when true feeling start to develop but you must remember that the relationship began with lies and is based on lies. Even if you two were to form an actual relationship, how could you ever trust a woman who was willing to deceive her husband? If she can do it to him, she could certainly do it to you.

XO,
Allie

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Does a Cheater Deserve a Second Chance?

11/29/11

This advice from Washington Post columnist Carolyn Hax was too good, I just had to post it.

XO,
Allie

Dear Carolyn: I have been seeing the same guy for three years. He has made me feel really happy and great about myself, makes me laugh, and we have a very fulfilling relationship.

The one problem has been our trust issues, which we knew we would have. He had a history as a cheater, and I have a history as a cheat-ee. We have seemed to work most of them out, but over time I have always had my concerns.

This summer, he was unemployed and I worked long hours. I felt something was wrong most of the summer . . . and finally snooped, only to find out about a few lies he told, and a sketchy message from a girl. He admitted he made out with the girl at a bar this summer, and also admitted to several other lies he told recently about who he was hanging out with at bars, and his history with women I’ve met — almost white lies, in order to “avoid conflict.”

My first instinct was to break up with him, but he came forward with a robust plan I didn’t expect — and in a week he has gone to therapy, decided to not go out until I can trust him again, and to change his life even when I do trust him again so he is not ever in a risky situation. The biggest plan is to practice 100 percent honesty with me.
He says this change is not all about me; he feels he is ready to change himself whether I stay with him or not. He is 27. Am I wasting my time by giving him a second chance?

— Wishing to see into the future

It’s funny — we tend to give people more credit for saying the wrong thing, because at least we’re sure they mean it.

We celebrate hearing the right things — therapy sought, responsibility taken, respect given, humility shown — with skepticism verging on outright disbelief: “Great. What’s the catch?”

It is, of course, a valid question, and if you decide to take him at his word, then you’ll need to keep your mind open to any possible outcome, including one where you discover he manipulated you from beginning to end.

If that sounds more like living in suspense than being part of a trusting relationship, then think of it this way: No matter what he promises, no matter how plausible — no matter what his history or yours, in fact — the sensible approach remains the same. Live each day, be receptive to truth, make choices accordingly.

This is not to suggest that you scrutinize every detail of the past, present and future; that’s just misery. Instead, my advice is to discard whatever narrative you’re tempted to superimpose on yourself, your boyfriend, your relationship and whatever else, and just live by the reality you have in hand.

That means recognizing that your partner is a temptation-wrestler or birthday-forgetter or stress-eater or emotion-bottler or whatever other trait just isn’t going away, no matter how much better life would be if it did.

And it means choosing to stay with someone only if you can see these things as the price of a life that suits you well, not as temporary obstacles to some imaginary better life. Think cars: Either having one is worth the nuisance of insurance, gas, parking, repairs, etc., or it isn’t, and you sell it.

With this guy: Cheating is a real possibility. Can you accept that when it happens? Enough to quell the nagging fear? “Not ever in a risky situation” = delusion.

There’s no greater obstacle to this kind of pragmatic thinking than the human taste for narrative. We see ourselves as This, or our relationships as That; we try to prove we’re Someone or live down Something. You’re doing it here. You’ve waited for him to prove whether he fits the cheater rule or the exception. Now it’s, “Can he change?” — and more waiting.

But people are too complicated for such reductive thinking, and applying it usually means you’re overlooking other, important things.

Please accept that anyone can cheat on anyone — and so what matters is whether you’re in a relationship worth the risk things will go wrong in the ways foreseeable and otherwise: cheating, infirmity, unemployment, sick child, unforeseen conflict, whatever.

And please also look inward, to see why you keep assuming high risk despite a low tolerance for it. Where have you rationalized, or indulged bad habits, or ignored warnings? Where have you stuck to your narrative after the facts stopped supporting it?

I can hear the “Once a cheater, always a cheater” crowd screaming for me to shut up, and I’ll grant, it’s often that simple. But are you comfortable with fidelity as the variable that counts the most?

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What Do I Do About My Boyfriend Treating Me Like Crap?

11/20/11

Dear Allie,

I need some help on what to do about my boyfriend.

We have been together since 2005 and have had our ups and downs. We’ve split up 3 times because of him treating me like crap and now he is doing it again. The sad part is that I know the person. She calls his cell phone at all hours of the night and had the nerve to ask him help her get an apartment. I don’t know what to do because I have always depended on him to help me out.

ALLIE’S ANSWER:

Girl, it is time for you to stand up on your own 2 feet and leave him. He isn’t going to change. If this is the fourth time he is pulling this crap, it’s a habit, not a mistake. It’s going to be hard at first but what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger, I promise.

XO,
Allie

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What Should I Think About My Husband’s Phone Behavior?

11/20/11

Dear Allie,

My husband and I have been married for 6 months after a 5-year off and on relationship. He now is locking his phone and when I ask him who he is calling he says it is none of my business. He clears his inbox on his phone and he will not make love to me, but just once a week. Do you think he is hiding something from me or am I just paranoid? I think he is cheating on me but I can’t prove it just yet. What should I do?

ALLIE’S ANSWER:

Well it sounds like this is newly acquired behavior so yes, I do think your husband is hiding something from you. I’m not 100% sure that your husband is cheating but he is definitely up to something he doesn’t want you to know about. There really is no other reason for him to lock his phone and clear his inbox all the time. If it were just a friend or business contact calling, why wouldn’t he just tell you that instead of telling you it’s none of your business? He seems to be up to some shady business.

If there has been a recent decrease in your sex life, it can mean that your husband is getting it from someone else. I suggest you check out some of the products in the Cheaters Spy Shop to help you in finding out the truth.

XO,
Allie

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