'My Future Wife Is Cheating on Me...'

'My Future Wife Is Cheating on Me...'
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Dear Eva:

I have a serious problem with my future wife. I don't think she's been faithful to me. In fact, I know she hasn't been.

I recently overheard her talking to her friend about how she was unfaithful to me. When I confronted her, all that she said was that she couldn't talk right now. I feel like I have to record everything in my own house just to learn the truth.

To make things even more stressful is that fact that she recently told a couple of people that I hit her, but it's not true, I did not hit her. I'm not sure why she has been acting like this lately. She did just find out that her mother has breast cancer, I have a feeling that might be playing a role in her behavior.

We still always find time to make love so I don't know why she would go out seeking it from someone else. I just can't believe she would do this to me. I love her so much, she is my everything, and I don't know that I could go on without her. She is tearing me apart.


The Fiance

Dear Fiance:

Why don't you sit down. Take a breath. Now take another one -- a long one.

As you sit and breathe, notice what you're feeling both emotionally and physically. It's hard to read your letter, let alone live its reality as you are, without feeling many things. I know you say you feel "torn apart," but in truth that's a combination of many feelings. It will help if you can identify the individual feelings that contribute to your experience of being "torn apart." Each one will tell you something different about what you can do as your situation does require action.

Some of the feelings that may be surfacing are: fear, anger, being sick to one's stomach, resentment, helplessness, worthlessness and desire. I write them here, and there are sure to be others, because folks caught in your type of bind are often out of touch with their primary, and painful feelings. This is why such situations persist way beyond an acceptable limit, sometimes leading to tragic outcomes.

Consider this: If someone else beside your fiance made you feel this way, would you consider them friend or foe? Most likely foe, yet you plan to offer her a permanent place in your most intimate world. By planning to marry her you're in effect saying she's the person who'll comfort you when the chips are down, have your back when others desert you, support your dreams and your aspirations and help you be the best version of yourself. Are you being the best version of yourself, even now?

I'm sure there are "reasons" for her behavior, and I'm sorry to hear about her mother's cancer. Having said that, you must know we all have reasons for the way we act. What someone does when confronted with hardships tells you a lot about their character and their coping strategies. Is this the type of crisis management you'll want moving forward, possibly while raising a family and into old age?

Lastly I wanted to quote your ending line: "She is my everything, and I don't know that I could go on without her." That's a very difficult bind to find oneself in: the pain of staying connected vs. the pain of disconnecting. I would call this an attachment dilemma, made more difficult for those who didn't have a secure and loving primary connection to a parent or childhood caregiver. When such is the case, one tends to seek out unstable relationships, and then relive the pain of that primary loss over and over again.

While I'm honored to think through and feel through your situation with you, those with primary attachment difficulties most often need the help of a skilled therapist to make real headway healing this type of relational injury. I recommend you find one.

You will suffer no matter what you do, if you go or if you stay. But there's only one path of suffering that will lead you to less suffering in the long run. I encourage you to take it.

With warmth, and holding the many loving possibilities that exist for you.


Recommended Next Steps: You might want to read my short piece: Find Your A+ Therapist in Five Easy Steps to get the support you'll be needing regardless of what path you decide to take. In addition Emotional Intelligence...Four Quadrants Make it Easy will get you started on understanding what you're feeling. It's the first step to knowing what to do.

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Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

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