Relationship Connection: My husband wants to openly love another woman

Question

My question is my husband of 22 years is obsessed with a woman he met while he was out of town. She lives on the other side of the country. It came as a total shock. No warning. He says at this time he doesn’t want to repair our marriage or the damage he’s done to me but he’s not sure he wants a divorce, either.

The only time he went to therapy with me was to tell the therapist that the solution is for us to have a polyamory type relationship so he can have both of us. I was in shock. We have always been 100 percent dedicated to monogamy. I’m sure the idea came from this woman who’s been married four times and broke up at least three marriages. But he says he’s in love with her.

When anyone says midlife crisis, he walks away. He did go to individual counseling once, but left when the therapist told him he’s being delusional and living in a fantasy land. Now he’s left the house to think and not be bothered by all my crying and pain because I found a secret phone after he said he broke it off with her, but he says the pull to her is too strong to end it cold turkey. He’s angry with me for not accepting his “solution.” Now, he says the last 22-plus years were a waste of time for him. Do you have any help for me?

Answer

Your husband doesn’t love this woman. That’s the wrong word. Your husband is infatuated with this woman. There is a huge difference. Love is about commitment, sacrifice, loyalty, unselfishness and compassion. Infatuation is a completely different emotion.

Dr. Shirley Glass researched affairs for over thirty years and found that unfaithful partners believe they’re in love when in reality they’re experiencing the high that comes from obsession. The following are conclusions she made about the feelings of “love” in an affair:

  • People compare and confuse the intensity of being “in love” during an affair with the secure, comfortable feeling of reality based “loving” that occurs in long term relationships.
  • The feeling of being “in love” is linked to Stage One idealization, passion and infatuation.
  • True love, which you grow into, is characterized by acceptance, understanding and compassion. That is why so few people end up marrying their affair partners, and those who do have an extremely high probability of divorce.
  • Once the affair is no longer the forbidden relationship that takes place in a golden bubble, the cold light of day soon bursts the romantic fantasies.

Your husband is in an affair. He’s not capable of offering you or this other woman love. You have to decide if you want to wait to what comes of the break he’s taking to think about your relationship. If he’s taking time to think about the relationship with you while he’s still engaging in a relationship with you, then he’s made his decision. You have to now decide what you’ll do.

You committed to be monogamous and faithful to each other when you married. Your husband wants to break that agreement and change the rules. If he had an issue with that agreement, he should have talked with you about his concerns before he broke the promise. My belief is that he’s now changing the rules because he doesn’t want to give up the high he’s experiencing from this affair.

You have a difficult road ahead of you. None of this is fair to you, but you have to make a decision of what you’ll do. You’re in shock and are having difficulty making sense of this awful reality he’s dumped on you. Get some professional help to guide through the decision making process so you can make the best decision for you and your family. Your husband has already made his decision.

Resources

 

Stay connected!

Geoff Steurer is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in St. George, Utah. He specializes in working with couples in all stages of their relationships. The opinions stated in this article are solely his and not those of St. George News.

Have a relationship question for Geoff to answer? Submit to:

Email: geoff@lovingmarriage.com

Twitter: @geoffsteurer

Facebook: facebook.com/GeoffSteurerMFT

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

[i] http://www.shirleyglass.com/afterword.htm

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16 Comments

  • ladybugavenger April 27, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Divorce him and tell him to go the creek

  • Hataalii April 27, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Well, I agree with Geoff on at least one point. None of this is fair to you.
    But, it is what it is, and you have to deal with it. It makes absolutely no difference whether this guy is “in love” or “in lust” with the other woman. He has made his decision, and that was to cheat on you.
    Now it is your turn to make a decision. I believe you need to find the most low down, dirty, scum bag lawyer you can find, and take him to the cleaners. You owe him nothing, but he sure owes you a lot.

  • .... April 27, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    LOL ! no problem move to Colorado City

  • radioviking April 27, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    Who does he think he is, Joseph Smith or Brigham Young?
    Sheesh, Mormons seem to be anxious to get back to their roots in polyamory.

    • mesaman April 27, 2016 at 9:04 pm

      Who do you think you are? You seem to want Mormons to get back to their “roots” in polyamory (sp). That way you can have something else to whine about in your boring tedious life.

      • .... April 28, 2016 at 8:20 am

        Who do you think you are mesaman .you seem to want people to complain about about you getting back to your “roots” in polyamory that way you can have something to complain about in your pathetic life, have a nice day dog breath !

        • mesaman April 28, 2016 at 10:18 am

          Your dog bit your what? How could it find it?

          • .... April 29, 2016 at 6:03 am

            Is that the best you can do. road kill breath !

      • radioviking April 30, 2016 at 7:38 am

        Mesaman, you seem to be an offended Mormon. Do you deny that Joseph Smith was married to 30+ women? Do you deny that a third of Joseph Smith’s “wives” were teenagers (as young as 14 years old in Fanny Alger’s case) and a third of his plural “wives” were already married? Do you know the Mormon/LDS history? If you deny the facts, you are a liar.

        .In LDS doctrine, Doctrine and Covenants section 132, the Mormons are taught that they are damned if they do not live the “New and Everlasting Covenant” (aka polygamy). Brigham Young taught that men can NOT get to heaven if they are not practicing polygamy. Why is the doctrine still in LDS scripture? The First Presidency under Brigham Young even taught that monogamy is of the devil! Go Google it if you think I’m lying. It is a fact.

        .Well, were Joseph Smith and Brigham Young speaking for God or not? Brigham Young taught a lot of crazy things for decades! Go read his general conference talks. The Mormon culture is based on this type of sexual morality. If you deny it, you either do not know your own Church history OR you are lying. If you are not a Mormon, stop “bearing false witness of your neighbor”. The problem is that there are Mormon men who are simply doing what Joseph Smith did (having more than one woman). Then they go to church and sing the hymn “Praise to the Man” which praises Joseph Smith – a man! God has clearly commanded in The Bible that only Jesus Christ is worthy of praise! Especially not a man who lied to his own wife (Joseph Smith eventually lied to Emma, denying his other sexual relations and secret marriages because it hurt Emma so much!).

  • Ladyk April 27, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    He has chosen to no longer keep his commitment to you. Giving him “time to think ” is just giving him more time to do whatever he wants with no Cconsequences. I know it is hard but it may be time to go your separate ways. Some suggest you find the meanest attorney possible and “get what you deserve” . I will tell you that no amount of money from a divorce settlement will make you feel better. So if your choice is to divorce him then just get it done and get on with your life. You still have to live with yourself so don’t let his bad behavior dictate yours. Then learn how to forgive. Being judgmental and hanging on to the anger won’t help you at all.

    • ladybugavenger April 27, 2016 at 9:41 pm

      It might take 10 years to find forgiveness but keep trying. I agree with Ladyk

  • .... April 28, 2016 at 8:24 am

    I love commenting to mesaman with the same crap he dishes out. …ha ha ha ha ha

    • mesaman April 28, 2016 at 10:19 am

      That’s because your life is so dismal and boring you find pleasure in pedantry and whining. Your a good little socialist, now go to your room.

      • .... April 29, 2016 at 6:13 am

        Well I would go to my room but your already in there camel breath. now do something about your useless and dismal and pathetically boring life you naughty little socialist that takes pleasure in pedantry and stupid whining.

        get back to Mesa it’s tourist season and they want their village idiot there to entertain the homeless people that hang out at the park

  • Rainbow Dash April 28, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    “We have always been 100 percent dedicated to monogamy. I’m sure the idea came from this woman who’s been married four times and broke up at least three marriages. ”

    Right. The other woman suggested it. Sure. NOT! More then likely the thought originated in his mind.

    Lady if he was “100% committed to monogamy” as you say, he wouldn’t have given this woman another thought.

    He has probably been cheating on you for the majority of your marriage if not all of it.

    “He says at this time he doesn’t want to repair our marriage or the damage he’s done to me but he’s not sure he wants a divorce, either.”

    uh huh. right. Make the decision for him and….

    DUMP HIM NOW!

    You are too good for him.

  • Stephanie Humphrey August 9, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    I am sharing this testimony to let the people know about Dr.Mack, I recently caught my husband with his ex girlfriend. Recently, he has been distant unloving and disrespectful towards me. I had a feeling he was going to leave me in no time and he later did this was After 3 years of marriage, my husband left me and never returned. I felt like my life was about to end, my life was falling apart.. I contacted Dr.mack via email: dr_mack @ yahoo .com and explained my problem to him. In just 3 days, My Husband rang me 6 times, He came back to me. We solved our issues, he said he was sorry for leaving me, he said he wants us to be together again. I am so happy this finally ends with joy! I feel my heart beating again! and we are even happier than before. My life is back!!!! Many thanks to Dr.Mack, please re-write the email address….

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