I am depressed and don’t know how to deal with my wife’s multiple one-night stands on her girls trips to Goa. She has slept with foreign tourists and has attended rave parties and used all kinds of substances while being there. This came to light recently when one of her girlfriend’s husband hired a detective to track his wife. What came to light was that all the friends were doing the same thing. I am from a very simple family and my wife would make fun of me and would tell me to be more open to her girls night out and trips with the girls. I can’t get over how foolish I have been and am angry with myself. I don’t know how to process all this information. What should I do now?
What you should do now is ask yourself 2 straightforward questions to further crystallize which way you and your relationship is headed.
Question 1: Would you like to continue to stay married to your wife knowing what you now know believing in her ability to understand how her behaviour is humiliating and painful to you as her husband? Does she possess the will and insight to adjust to your expectations?
Question 2: Would you like to divorce this woman based on what you describe as her ‘promiscuous ways’ with multiple partners based on your knowledge of the fact that your values are perhaps mismatched when it comes to ‘loyalty’ in a relationship? The answer to what you currently perhaps seeing as a relationship impasse lies in the clarity with which you answer either of these 2 questions.
The choices you make based on the resolution you seek (Exit versus Resolution) will determine the path that you choose. Either ways, your relationship with your wife would have changed regardless of what you decide and how she reacts upon finding out that you now know.
If you wife makes fun of you about how you aren’t ‘open’ – ask yourself how you feel about that. If you feel like she’s being cocky with you or is in some ways slandering your values about togetherness, then you have some thinking to do.
No relationship that claims to be based on love can be sustainable unless trust, respect, sensitivity, communication and care are poured into it first. We are often so careful with our words in public, our public perception on social media and we may even pay good money for someone to carefully handle our financial records or grow our money.
Yet, how much attention and time to we spend in cleaning up or organizing the way in which we interact and place our needs with our partner? You are unable to reconcile yourself with your wife’s lifestyle choices and she is perhaps implying that you’re too much of a ‘boring good boy’ for her tastes.
An inflection point has been reached for both of you and this will affect the continuity of what you’ll have shared so far. If you feel like a heartfelt chat is going to inject some dignity and truth into the situation, you may give that a shot or if you feel like your wife is truly someone who can’t simply ‘get it’ when it comes to your thoughts and dreams, then a visit to a relationship counsellor may help give you the clarity you seek.
If your wife agrees to a visit to a relationship counsellor then there may be hope for her to perhaps better understand what is it that she is doing or not doing that is affecting you and the general emotional health of the relationship.
There also lies the possibility that her disappointments with you or with men in general in her life or her relationship needs that she’s had to censor or keep hidden are an acting force on her decision making. This would require some reflection and exploration.
Self-directed anger or labelling yourself as foolish will not solve your problem. In fact, it may worsen it. Every person is liable to make certain choices that in retrospect may be viewed as poor decisions. You have made choices. She’s made choices.
Perhaps if we learnt to be transparent about our failures with people who matter to us, we would be in a better position to de-stigmatize the messy process of lifelong learning. Whatever you decide, lessons await both of you.
Your wife may benefit a great deal from learning how to not only let her impulses rule over her since there is a price to pay for every action in life. Sex with multiple partners can lead to certain incurable sexually transmitted diseases and infections.
There is a chance that you may also get infected if you have sexual intercourse with your wife – if she in fact is already the host to an STD.
Therefore, you must act swiftly, with clarity and with the necessary courage to rescue the situation since you are as much a part of it as you are at the heart of it. Whatever you decide, consider all the pros and cons before you dive straight in.
Dr. Aman Rajan Bhonsle, Ph.D Consulting Psychosocial Analyst & Youth Mentor