When I opened my clinic for marriage counseling for the first time in town, various organizations asked me to become a keynote speaker at their events regarding love, marriage, and relationships in general. Since I wanted to make my business known to the public, I said yes to almost all of them. After all, all I had to do was speak about the normal things that I would talk about in my office and spend an hour answering the audience’s questions.
In all fairness, because it was not a big town, most of the questions that I got required generic answers. For instance, if the question were, “How do you keep the love alive after many years of marriage?” I would merely tell them to spice up their sex lives, talk more, or do more activities together. If you don’t know if you already met the one, you need to look into yourself to know if you see yourself with that person in the next few years. Despite that, the most complex question to answer is, “Why am I not enough for my husband?”
I would typically hear this question from depressed women wives who get cheated on by their spouses at least once. It is challenging to answer mainly because the truth would hurt the person who’s asking for it. After all, women were naturally drawn to people they hoped to fix, even though not everyone wanted to be fixed.
So, this woman, Mary, came up to me after my guest-speaking session. She said, “I wanted to go to the mic and ask a marriage-related question, but I was too embarrassed to talk about my marital problems in front of my friends.”
“I understand. Would you like to come by my clinic? Tomorrow would be nice.”
Counseling A Betrayed Wife
After exchanging pleasantries with Mary the next day, she told me her story.
“Jim and I had been married for five years now. During the first year of our marriage, I caught him kissing a random lady in his car, but he said that that woman just hopped in the passenger’s seat and grabbed him.”
“And you believed him?” I asked curiously.
Mary looked down. “Yes, I did, but a small part of me did not want to believe it. Then, shortly after that, I got pregnant with our only son. The thought of my husband being with another woman did not cross my mind again until I heard his phone ring while he was in the shower in the hospital where I gave birth. I looked at it and saw that it was an MMS of another girl’s naked breasts,” she confessed.
“What did you do?”
“I confronted Jim, of course. I was livid; I wanted him to go away. But he kept reminding me of our newborn son and how I should not rob him of the chance of having a whole family just because of one mistake,” Mary uttered.
I knew where Mary’s story was going, but I allowed her to continue for the benefit of the doubt. It turned out that she kept catching her husband in comprising situations. The worst part was that Jim never admitted to anything. He told Mary that she’s either delusional or making him look bad in others’ eyes, although all the pieces of evidence indicated that he was a habitual womanizer.
“What can I do to make my husband faithful? I have done everything I can think of. I got back into shape; I started wearing sexier clothes. Jim would appreciate my efforts, but I knew that he kept seeing other women behind my back,” Mary said, teary-eyed.
“Well, I know that no one wants to hear this, but there is nothing you can do about a habitual womanizer. The problem already started when you allowed your husband to get away without any consequence when you saw him kissing someone else in his car. While there is a chance that that girl genuinely jumped in the car and kissed him, he could have pushed her away, but he did not,” I explained carefully.
Mary sighed. “You are right.”
“As for the other cheating incidents that your husband always denied,” I continued, “It may finally be time to see it in a different light. Sometimes, womanizers keep saying that they did not do anything wrong because they thought it was okay to cheat, not because they were really innocent. In that case, you should think of the best action to protect yourself and your kid.”
“Does this mean that my marriage can no longer be saved?” she asked.
“Only you can decide on that,” I replied. “However, based on what you told me about Jim’s womanizing habits going on for years – even when you just gave birth to his son – I find that alarming. It likely meant that he was living a double life, or he no longer respected you. Either can’t be worse than the other, frankly speaking.”
Mary went home that day, at a loss for words. On her next visit, though, she informed me that she kicked her husband out of the house because she found him lying about a new extramarital affair again.
“I had been fooled for too long. Enough was enough,” she said with conviction.
Hopefully, all the women with habitual womanizers as their spouses would wake up from their romantic dream of “fixing” their men. It could happen, of course, but if years already passed, and there was no change in the man’s behavior, it’s alright to throw in the white flag and give him up. It’s for your sanity, after all.