We have been married for 9 years with a 3 yr old daughter. I had Post Partum Depression after our child was born and became sexually distant with my husband. After getting on the right medicine things have been better for the past 6 months. I just found out over the past month my husband and a very close friend have been having a texting sexual relationship. It went on for 3 weeks, after the girl told her husband about it. My husband has apologized and told me it started off as a joke but went too far. We live 1500 miles away from them so no in person contact happened. He has deleted her from all his contacts and said it will never happend again. I love my husband very much but feel lost and betrayed. How do I move past this?
- Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
- Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
- Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
- No correspondence takes place.
- No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
- Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
- Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.
It is certainly understandable that you feel angry at and betrayed by your husband because of the sexting he was doing. The fact that the woman is far away is comforting to know but still very disconcerting.
At the very same time forgiveness is something to be considered. After all, you love your husband and have probably had a good relationship until now. Keep in mind that catastrophizing is something to be avoided. He did not have a direct affair and he reports that it was a joke. Please remember the impact of Post Partum Depression on your life. Depression makes everything feel worse, as for example, the way you are handling his sexting.
I want to emphasize the importance of depression because their is new evidence that there are fathers who experience a type of post partum depression. It is unclear how and why this works but it exists in a certain percentage of the population. I can imagine that both of you were aware of your depression but not his. It’s easy for that to happen. By the way, this is not by way of excusing his behavior but understanding it.
Also consider the fact that the two of you now have a baby and it is essential to consider the baby you both have before either one of you allow bitterness and resentment to affect your family. That is why forgiveness is so important.
In the service of forgiveness and coming together, I think the two of you should sit down and talk about what happened so that he can understand your feelings and you his feelings. In having this talk it’s important for both of you to be open and understanding and with an attitude of letting this thing go. It sounds like it was a silly mistake made at a time when there was lots of stress for both of you.
Now, move on with your family lives and enjoy your baby together.
Best of Luck