Husband found me with another woman
Dear Dr Nekia,
My husband walked in on me and another woman.
She is someone who is a mutual friend of ours and we have been spending a lot of time together.
We do lunch, go shopping, and have a girls’ night out quite often. I have known her for a few years now and I was glad when she walked into my life because it was at a time when I was very sad from my mother’s passing. During that time, my husband and I were also not on the best of terms and I felt that he and I were not connecting.
We are OK now, but this particular female friend got me through the rough period when no one else could and I feel a strong connection with her.
I am not gay or anything but it does feel good and comfortable to be in her arms.
My husband is now very upset and says that he feels even more betrayed than if it were another man.
He says he would understand that better.
I don’t think being with another woman is as bad as being with another man. I thought men fantasised about two women anyway.
Help me to understand all of this.
Sincerely, She Feels Good
Dear She Feels Good,
When facing a traumatic experience the mind sometimes searches for different ways to cope.
It is a defence mechanism that is similar to when the body goes into shock, or faints in order to save itself from further harm. The mind removes emotional energy by tricking itself into believing that others are responsible, or have the solution to our problems.
If you were feeling disconnected from your husband and had to face the loss of your mother, it would have been very easy for you to seek out someone who could fill the void of loss for you.
Without such a person in your life, you might have become depressed, but the issue here is not that you found someone who helped you, but that you allowed yourself to develop an inappropriate relationship with her.
The first comforter that most of us have ever known is our mother.
Losing her may have caused you to displace your need or desire for her comfort on to this female friend.
It cushioned the blow of your mother’s death and allowed a distraction from grief.
Because of the state of your relationship with your husband at the time of your loss, it made it far more attractive and easier to satisfy your emotional needs elsewhere.
Emotional friendships can easily turn into sexual relationships if the persons involved are open to this transition.
Your husband probably feels that this is such a big betrayal because he was glad that you had someone to turn to and it seemed to make you happy.
Even if this is not the case, it is obvious that he was unaware of the extent of your relationship with this woman.
Contrary to what some of us may think, when a man views a woman as being his and his alone, betrayal is betrayal.
In any case, it is a big blow to the ego and a betrayal of his heart if he truly loves you. And even if the physical intimacy does not bother him, the secrecy will.
He is also likely to feel inadequate and confused as to how and why this has happened, especially if you have never been with or have expressed interest in being with another woman before.
If you want your marriage to survive this, you will have to end the affair and the friendship. Though this may be difficult, or something that you do not want to do, it will be a positive step for you because it will force you to focus on rebuilding the relationship with your husband as well as allow you to finally complete the cycle of mourning the death of your mother.
Dear Dr Nekia,
Why is it so important to men that you do not have a lot of experience with other men? I have been seeing someone for a few months and things have been going really good. We both have been surprised at how well we get along and how much fun we have together.
Everything just seemed to click until we got on the topic of last relationships. Ever since I told him how many men I have had sex with, he has been distant.
I asked him if that is what is bothering him and he denied it at first.
He now says that it bothers him and when I asked why, he says I would not understand because it’s a guy thing. What does that mean? So, what if I’ve been with guys before him?
He’s Not My First
Dear He’s Not My First,
I have to be very careful in answering you because how a man views, thinks and feels about women is very culture-specific.
Most men of western culture view women as objects; possessions to be had, prizes to be won and territory to be conquered. Some would say that this is part of the male’s natural biological animalistic make-up; others would say it’s learnt behaviour. I believe that it is a bit of both.
Heterosexual males are drawn to females and find great comfort and pleasure in us.
This is mainly achieved through sex as the physical act satisfies both their lust and subconscious need for acceptance.
Without women, the heterosexual male has a very difficult time with finding and being secure in his manhood. The reasons for why this is are too vast for this column, so for now let’s just believe it to be true.
If you add this to their desire for acceptance and comfort, you can begin to easily see how it becomes important for men to think that they need to conquer and dominate females, or win the prize.
This is why the chase piques their interest. Their ego tells them that they have somehow convinced or tricked women into having sex, or they found them irresistible. This leads to a false sense of confidence, of being valued or desired and being in control.
A female in control of her own body who wilfully enjoys having sex destroys this theory. Instead of facing that reality, he views the woman as easy and worthless.
He revives his false sense of manhood by constantly seeking new women to have sex with.
It is not until he matures or finds a female who he cannot help but genuinely care for, that he realises his real value and strength as a man can be found in true intimacy with a woman.
As their value to his life increases, so will his attachment to them. It may be that your guy is very uneasy with the thought of you being with other guys because he valued the close relationship that you were building together and cannot see how it could truly be special if you have let so many other guys be intimate with you.
It is yet another irony that the male tells himself: sex can be just sex as far as he is concerned, but for a woman there has to be some level of affection, feelings or intimacy involved.
If the female simply enjoys and is willing to have sex, then his belief system is disproved and he no longer feels special. Another possibility is that your guy may have also had experiences with cheating or heartbreak in the past that has left him a bit insecure.
What happens from here depends mostly on his ability to work through his own doubts and fears. He may need some space and time to think things through. Let him know that what you share is very special to you and that you are ready to listen to him and to understand any concerns that he may have. Just be careful not to push too hard to convince him that everything is OK because this could backfire and push him away even more.
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