Chronic philanderer

by Rod Smith

“We have been married for 30 years. I have been suspicious of various incidences (regarding other women) and events from the beginning but his excuses sounded believable. I finally got proof and my husband confessed. Things escalated and his behavior has not stopped. He just got more deceitful and dishonest. I have realized I don’t know him. He portrays sides according to circumstances. He has the wife, house, car and social standing and then a secret life. He admitted he has a problem and said he would go for help. I am told that this condition cannot be treated. He can control the woman he chooses to pursue: they also have low esteem and are needy. I know about over 20 so far. He is currently on medication for depression. I still care for him but I want out of this marriage. It is suppressing and strangling me.” (Edited)

Resist the natural urge to diagnose him. If you really want to be free of what is “suppressing and strangling” you then you have to unhook yourself from feeling responsible for his future. You are not. He is. In the same manner, it is you and not he, who is fully responsible for your future.

So, I believe an exit strategy is necessary. Gather your community (women you’ve known for years). Devise a plan. You’re too young to carry and cooperate with his pathologies forever.

Once again, as I have said in multiple columns and to multiple men and women in destructive relationships, until your self-care exceeds your “care” for an abusive partner, you will face deadlock.

While you always do what you have always done, he will always do what he has always done. Until the pattern changes it will continue – and it seems you are the one who is feeling the pressure for change at present. If you want to understand anything about this scenario, consider the reasons you did not make a stand or a move after woman number 1. Consider now, the reasons you have been willing to play second fiddle to 20 more women. While his philandering is solely about his choices (you caused none of it – no partner is sufficiently powerful to “cause” another to be unfaithful), the reasons you put up with it are solely about you.

Devise a strategy

It's probably time to plan an exit.....!

I know I’ll get lambasted by readers who want me to show more empathy and more understanding. But, until you stand up for yourself, draw a line in the sand, and are ready lose your marriage, he will continue to step upon and use you as if you were not indeed, a treasured wife, but rather an enabler for him to use and hurt many more woman along the way.

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