Hello. I need advice. About a month ago I confronted my spouse about being involved with a coworker. He admitted to the relationship. Physically, he said, they only kissed, but he did not offer this information readily. Our counselor had to pull his teeth to get it out.
The day after the admission he was very patient with my questions. Now he becomes easily agitated and shuts down. I feel I need answers in order to move on, because some of his comments don’t add up. This scares me.
The counselor suggested I consider calling the other woman. This freaks me out. I am not afraid to ask, just worried she will be bitchy. I’m trying to be patient with my spouse in hopes he will come around, but I don’t know what to do.
Lexi, a few years ago, a U.S. credit card company got in trouble for failing to tell customers that it could reduce their credit line if they used their card at certain businesses. The list of businesses included massage parlors, pawn shops, pool halls, tire retreading shops and…marriage counselors.
The company didn’t have a moral axe to grind. They simply needed to determine who posed a financial risk to them. So they ran the numbers. What they found is that couples in marriage counseling are at a high risk of imploding.
So there’s that.
And there’s this. When a police officer comes up to your window and asks, “Do you know how fast you were going?”, most people won’t tell the truth. But it doesn’t matter because the officer already knows the answer.
Unlike the policeman, however, you don’t know the truth. You don’t know where your husband is in the marriage. He’s already decided he can involve himself with another woman. What else might he be lying about?
You have at least one thing to build on. You have a good counselor. He or she is like a detective, able to get an admission from a suspect, when it is called for. Your counselor knows what happens next must be based in reality. That’s why he or she is trying to help you get to the truth.
If you call this woman, one of three things will happen. You will get information that conflicts with your husband’s story. She will tell a prearranged story identical to your husband’s. Or she will be belligerent and tell you nothing.
Of course, there is a fourth possibility. She might tell you she fell for your husband’s lies about you. But whatever happens when you call, you will be inching toward the truth.
That’s why the next person you should call is a lawyer. Consider it an investment in peace of mind, like having an emergency plan for a flood, fire or tornado. You don’t have to enact the plan. But you need to have one in place in case you need it.
Consider also turning marriage counseling into individual counseling for you alone. Your counselor wants to counsel based on facts. A good lawyer wants the same. Only people dealing with the truth of your situation can help you.
There’s a market for people who sell fiction. There are people who want to be told comforting lies. But you don’t want to be one of them.
You want to be like the credit card company. You want to run the numbers. You want to know the facts. You want to understand the risk. Only then can you decide on your wisest move in a perilous situation someone else placed you in.
~ Wayne & Tamara
Direct Answers from Wayne and Tamara – Column for the week of January 29, 2018
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