Tuesday, April 25, 2006

What to Do When You Know She's Cheating

A man writes in because he knows his wife is cheating and wants to know what to do about it. Good question! Do you know what to do? Better yet, do you know what causes it, and how to avoid it?

This letter describes an all-too-familiar scenario to need an introduction. We’ve all either lived through it or watched someone we know live through it. Meet Kyle:

Hello David,

I am writing this letter in hopes you can help me to understand how a woman can change so much after 6 years just by making a new friend. A couple of months ago my wife met a woman at a high school football game and they fell right into being best friends. It quickly came to the point that they are together at least three night a week and are always on the phone with each other for hours a day. Now I have never been the kind of man who cared if Cindy had friends to hang out with or not and I really believe it’s a good idea for a woman to have other women to share things with, but I also believe there is a line into each other’s personnel relationships that should not be crossed.

Allison, my wife's friend, is also a married woman and her marriage is on very rocky ground. She would frequently go out of town for entire weekends and has been begging my wife to go with her so they could “have some time to be alone and talk,” like they don’t do that all day long while her husband and I are at work and three evenings a week. I did some detective work of my own on these trips out of town and was not at all surprised at what I learned. Allison was traveling several hours to spend the weekend (pretty much in bed) with a man she had meet months ago. She wants my wife to go with her because the man she was seeing has a friend that wants to spend time with my wife. I also found out the two women, at the age of 39, had not been going out to dinner as I was told, and were in fact spending hours sitting in local bars flirting with other men and acting like they had just come of legal age and could buy drinks for the first time. Now besides being dangerous and possibly causing a car accident, the two would flirt and carry on with the men in the bar to the point I was sick to my stomach. Yes, I did follow them out a couple of times just to see what level Cindy would let things get too.

Last night Cindy told me that she and Allison would be going out of town next week to spend some time with friends of Allison in Nashville. That is straight into the arms of other men, and I am sick about this. What I need to know is how to break up these two women without losing my own wife. Allison is the worst kind of woman, always wanting men’s approval and willing to sell herself to get it and do whatever they ask to keep it. I see my wife falling down that hole and I am not sure if I can still reach her to get her out of it. If I try to talk with her about it she just laughs and tells me my imagination is working overtime. The thing is I know for a fact this time she is being set up to spend the weekend with another man and have the conversation on tape.

How should I handle this? I could leave it up to Cindy, but this would not be the first time she has been in the arms of another man since we’ve been together. I love her and have forgiven many things most men would have never put up with, but if she does this again I am gone. I would like to be able to stop this from happening if I can so what do you suggest?

Kyle

Well Kyle, you’re in a jam and a half. Do you know how you got there? I do. No mentally and emotionally healthy woman who is feeling attraction for a man she’s living with is going to be sucked into this situation; she won’t risk losing what she has if it’s working. About the only chance you have of this not being the case is if she’s so emotionally damaged that she would be seeking all men’s approval like her friend Allison, and you make no mention of that.

I hate to break it to you, but you’re being a wuss, and she’s either looking for excitement elsewhere or testing you to see if you’ll be a man and step up to the plate. It’s going to be very difficult for you to know which because you don’t have the communications skills to pick up on the hints and signals that would tell you, otherwise you would have already picked up on the hints and signals she gave you that would have told you that you weren’t being enough of the alpha male and creating variety, mystery, excitement and authority in her life. That’s two strikes against you right there. Then we have to address her problems as well…

It doesn’t appear that she’s necessarily in an approval-seeking mode, more like thrill-seeking, but she’s lying to you about what she’s doing. Why is that? Is it because she’s lacks the self-respect and respect for you to tell you the truth, or because she’s tried to tell you the truth and you’ve been so deaf to it that she gave up? The fact that she’s had other affairs really doesn’t give a clue, because the affair is the symptom, not the cause, and multiple affairs are often symptoms of the same cause.

Then we have the issue of why you are still together if she’s had other affairs? Did you work something out that has since failed, or are you just a doormat who let her back in the house after she had her fling? I see that you say that this is the last straw and that’s understandable, but have you considered whether the last straw may have been several straws back?

Right now, you’re in more trouble than any other reader who has written me, not because of where you are, but because there are so many unknowns in your equation. I’ve helped several snatch their relationship right out of divorce court (remember Phill, who put the fire out in a week flat and is now, only a couple months later, an alpha male I’d be proud to call my own son?), and helped others find their way to it by helping them see that they were hopelessly mismatched with a parasite or a predator who was sucking them dry of life with their abuse, but in the face of all these unknowns, I can’t answer your question.

A real man would immediately stand up and tell her that he knows what she’s up to and that she can stay at home and be part of the family as he tries to improve on his own shortcomings or she can leave and never come back, but without knowing whether she is worth keeping, you can’t know if you want to do that. Until you can sharpen your communications skills to the point you can recognize at least most of the things she tries to say to you, most of which will be either non-verbal or verbal but indirect, you can’t assess how she feels, because you can’t understand what she’s saying and can’t know if she’s telling you the truth. You’ve got too much work to do before the decision can be made.


In “How to Be Attractive to the Woman You Love,” you’ll find a fairly extensive system for determining whether your relationship with this woman is worth saving, a great course on how to communicate with all women, including a lot about how to distinguish between truth and lies (see also this archived article on lie detection), and the low-down on attraction – what it is, how it works, how to create it, and equally important, how to kill it. The book costs less than a good meal for two, and it’s an instant download (in Adobe’s PDF format) at http://www.makingherhappy.com. There’s no excuse for waiting, because it’s fully tested and guaranteed to work, so go get it and get to work.

In the meantime, live well, be well, and have a wonderful day!
David Cunningham

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