Hoed on

Joey Garcia

I found correspondence between my husband and a prostitute, and then e-mails between my husband and his brother discussing the experience. My husband said he was only thinking about cheating because he thought I had been unfaithful. I have never cheated, but he tells everyone I have. I caught him in online meet-for-sex sites (he claimed curiosity about the dirty pics and had to create a profile to look at them). I have been in denial for too long, so we separated. He thinks I am crazy and says he does not have to help me financially. The only person he listens to is his mother, who says he is perfect, and I’m the liar and cheater. I cannot afford to hire an attorney. How do I make peace with this humiliation and devastation? I made myself stop asking why, because it doesn’t change anything. I feel dirty (even though I wasn’t unfaithful) and like it is my fault for believing his lies. My doctor gave me anti-anxiety pills, but I don’t want to take them, and I’m nervously waiting for the STD tests to come back. What can I do to feel clean again?

Sabotage every thought pulling you back into the mire of lies and porn. Your imagination may conjure pictures of your husband engaged in illicit activities or it may revive images from moments when you caught and confronted him. Pull the plug on those flashbacks by consciously redirecting your thoughts. Focus on gratitude for your life now, every mundane, drama-free aspect of it, and not on your made-for-the-Lifetime-network marriage. You have the energy to accomplish this: Just tap the copious amounts you used to perpetuate denial. By shedding the contaminated thoughts, you will shed the “dirty” feelings. Eventually, you will feel fresh and free again, like a new creation.

While you retrain yourself to remain present, you should also admit your failings to yourself. You lied. You were unfaithful to yourself each time you denied your intuition, accepted your husband as porn-curious instead of porn-addicted or expected real love from someone incapable of giving it to you. Yes, every time you chose to stay committed to marriage solely for financial security or treated your husband like a master instead of a man, or argued against going to therapy, you were unfaithful to the spiritual dimension of marriage. And, of course, whenever you believed this was about sex, not illness, you were unfaithful to your husband.

Honey, you cannot afford a divorce without hiring your own attorney. You are too fragile to advocate for yourself. So take out a loan or borrow funds from family and friends, but hire a reputable attorney to handle your divorce. And don’t fear the anti-anxiety medication. It’s a temporary fix. If you engage in the previously mentioned techniques of bringing your mind back to the moment, you won’t need the pills long-term. One last thing: You can’t control what your mother-in-law thinks of you. So stop trying to control her and her son. Relax and plan your new life instead.

What is the best way to exit a bad blind date without being rude?

Always plan a blind date so that it’s time-limited with plenty of space for a quick escape if the person possesses the kind of extreme personality that would score them a slot on Survivor. And, of course, always drive your own car to the date. When it’s obviously not working out, say: “Thank you so much! We’re not a match, but I really appreciated the opportunity to meet you.” Smile, shake their hand, walk out to the parking lot and drive away. Simple!

Meditation of the week
At the airport, a man was really drunk. A guy watching him pulled out his phone and said he'd post the spectacle on YouTube. “That's not appropriate,” I said. “What if it was your father or uncle?” He put his phone into his pocket. Are you willing to treat everyone as family?

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