Dear Dr. Romance:

I had two divorces, and both men turned out to be gay.  By this time my self esteem was shattered, I felt there was something wrong with me.  To make a long story short, I basically started dating and slept with men, just because they showed they desired me.  (Wrong thing to do). 

I ended up not ever wanting to get married again, then I met the man I am married to currently.  He treated me like I had never been treated before.  He made me feel special.  We have been married for 16 years now.  We have been through a lot, he got fired from a job for the first time about 6 years ago and ended up turning to alcohol to sooth his emotional pain.  I went through hell on earth with him until he quit drinking.  The main reason I am writing to you is that for a several years we have both been severely depressed.  Very seldom do we have sex now.  I have asked the doctor, and they say it's due to stress.  Okay, I guess I can understand this.  Well, this morning I had to use his laptop, when the internet browser came on yahoo was the homepage.  One of his contacts was a "she-male" named Saundra.  automatically i felt that old horrible pain inside from rejection, I immediately went and asked him about it and told him if he wanted to be like that I wanted nothing to do with him.  He said he didn't know what I was talking about.  He came in and got on his laptop and said, Oh, when I signed up for email, I got an email from that person.  I thought it was like a site where various people with various opinions meet and discuss all types of subjects.  He also told me he quit accepting anyone else except for family because it wasn't what he thought it was.  He got upset with me for being upset and said he couldn't believe that I didn't trust him.  Honestly I didn't mean to show distrust, but I couldn't help it.  All I could think about was what had happened to me before, and it is happening again. Why???  Do you think I overreacted? 

Dear Reader: 
If you just told him calmly that you saw the contact, and you weren't willing to be with him if he acted like that, you wouldn't be overreacting.  If you got very upset, accused him of something without real evidence, and made a scene, you were overreacting.  You can ask your husband to remove that person from his contact list, but don't throw a fit. 
 
It sounds like you would benefit from therapy, to resolve your trauma of the past, and you and your husband would benefit from couples' counseling, to repair damage done by his drinking, and to your sex life.  Please don't let this painful situation continue until one or both of you is too beaten down by it to want to fix the relationship. 
 
"Couples can cooperate for Success" ; Avoiding The Drama Triangle  and "Guidelines for Finding and Using Therapy Wisely"   will give you some simple steps to follow to begin to improve your relationship, if you're both willing to work together to do it.  How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free (4th Edition)  gives you exercises and guidelines open up your communication.  It sounds like you've both developed a pattern of withdrawing when there's disagreement, which is what you're calling 'depression'.  You can learn to work together to solve the problems and create a satisfying relationship.The Real 13th Step: Discovering Confidence, Self-Reliance and Independence Beyond the Twelve-Step Programs  can enlighten you about the underlying causes of your husband's alcoholism, which may still be operating, even though he's quit drinking.   I wish you well.

  Couple and Free 4th Ed13th Step ebook

For low-cost counseling, email me at tina@tinatessina.com

 

Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.