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Hi Dr Matt:
I'm 32 year old female married and live in Arkansas. my husband and I have been together for almost 4 years but we just got married in march of this year . the reason I'm writing you is after about one year of me and my husband being together he cheated on me and moved out to be with his ex wife was gone for about 6 weeks then begged me to take him back and I did then he did it again . well to make a long story short he and I have had trust issues ever since also I had found out that he still talks to her about a year and a half ago and I left him well i thought he had changed so i gave him another chance well so for so good but i still worry that he's somehow talking to her or seeing her . we moved about an hour and a half away from where we lived but he still works in the same town about 10 minutes away from her and he works nights . he says that he will find another job in our city but hasn't made any real progress in that and its been 4 months now that we have lived here . should I be ok with him still working in the same town with her 10 minutes away from him ? thank you . alison
Related Article: Just as Fish Swim . . . Cheaters Cheat!
Instead of worrying about what your husband may be doing behind your back, pay attention to the living realities before your eyes and ears--in the moment.
Does he act like a man who is hiding something?
Who He Is and What He Is About cannot be completely hidden from you, it will show in his face, in his eyes, in his voice, and in his emotions. If he is still cheating on you, this will be transparent to you in the way he lives—the way he treats you and the way he is uneasy around you.
Further, if he is being unfaithful, your husband will have rationalizing stories to tell and excuses to offer. If he is cheating behind your back, he will need to arrange time away from you, so he can cheat. If he is harboring inward guilt, he will offer rationalizations out of the blue--this is called the "Freudian Slip."
In contrast, a person living with virtue and integrity will have no story to tell, and will harbor no uneasy emotions. In my book, "Changing Your Stripes," I write the following:
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Those who speak honestly from the heart do not premeditate their presentations--they do not carefully calculate strategies. An honest story is more or less succinct and needs no long, involved logic.
Because they have no inner guilt to resolve, people who tell an honest story will speak with candid ease, with no agitated edge of emotion. Honest stories do not try to manipulate or pretend, and they may even be a little awkward or goofy--but the emotions accompany them will feel good.
Honest stories are not premeditated or polished, because honest storytellers have no inner motive to appear convincing--in an effort to compensate for inner guilt. (Changing Your Stripes, page 180).
There are many tell-tale signs to discern that your husband is being honest with you--or unfortunately dishonest. My book identifies these tell-tale signs! All of these tell-tale signs will happen in plain site, right before your eyes and ears.
The good news is this: It is possible for a man (or woman) who has previously cheated to have a profound change of heart. However, a true "change of heart" happens less frequently and you can expect that most of the time people are simply "pretending" the changes that they claim with their words, "I promise, I'll never cheat on you again."
If you are married to a man of integrity, a man who has experienced a true "change of heart," then it won't matter if he works fifteen feet from his former wife. If he says he is committed to you, and will have no further illicit interaction with his ex-wife, then you can trust his word—that is, IF he is a man of integrity and has experienced a true Change of Heart.
If his promises of fidelity are made out of shear will power, and out of the necessity of keeping you in the marriage, then, he is most likely to cheat again.
The harsh reality is that your husband has been caught cheating twice, and he may have cheated on you more than these two times, and with women you know nothing about. Truth is, you don't need to know, you only need concern yourself as to whether he want to be completely committed to you—and that he is willing to have a Change of Heart.
On your side of Response-Ability, you need to make sure that your forgiveness is pure and complete! Your lack of trust in him, signals to me that your forgiveness is not complete. But on his side of Response-Ability, it also may be true that his repentance was not complete, nor sincere?
Look him in the eye and ask him to be honest with you, and then believe his word and trust him. If he is putting up a pretense and hiding dark deeds behind your back, you will eventually know—you will sense it and see it in the tell-tale signs.
My book will educate you to the tell-tale signs that others are not being honest and true with you. The tell-tale signs are also vital for discerning when "you" are not being honest with yourself—it's a phenomenon called Self-Deception, and is much more common than you might imagine.
Again, push aside all worry about the things you cannot see; completely push aside all concern for the things you cannot control. Just pay attention to what is before your eyes and ears:
Do you sense that your husband loves you?
Obviously, if he cheats again, it would seem that your future with this man is on extremely shaky ground. Is divorce an option for you? There is so much more to say about the Change of Heart Process and the Tell-Tale Signs of Betrayal. I offer a free phone consultation. I can call Texas at no cost or obligation.
If you purchase my book, prior to this free phone consultation, I will be able to point to the pages in the book that will address exactly what you need to know, to solve this particular problem; but more importantly, the principles in the book will help you solve every other problem that will come your way . . . on a future day.
Knowledge is power!
Matt Moody, Ph.D.
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