Why Can’t I Be Faithful To My Wife? | #MyCounselorSays

Shaun Lotter, MA, LPC

Question:

Randy asks, “Why can’t I be faithful to my wife?”

Read more to find out what Shaun Lotter, Christian Counselor specializing in marriage counseling and affair recovery, says about how to choose your spouse when struggling with infidelity.

About the Author

This article is based on scientific evidence and clinical experience, written by a licensed professional and fact-checked by experts.

Shaun Lotter, MA, LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 10,000 hours of clinical experience. Shaun specializes in marriage counseling, affair recovery, sex and porn addiction treatment. You can schedule an appointment with Shaun for online counseling or in-person at our Springfield, Missouri counseling center.

Video Transcript

(Transcript is generated by a software and may have discrepancies from the video.)

Cassie

Welcome to My Counselor Online. I’m Cassie and this is My Counselor Says. My Counselor Says is where you submit a question, either for yourself, or for a friend,  and one of our incredible therapists takes their time and answers your personal question. So let’s go find out what My Counselor Says.

Shaun Lotter on Questions to Ask About Infidelity

I want to start by changing the question, because sometimes what we’re asking may not be quite getting to the heart of what is going on. What I want to do is change the question to, “Why am I not choosing my wife?” That’s important because I’m choosing other things.

What I hear Randy saying is, I don’t understand why can can be faithful to my wife. A more clear way of putting that is, “Hey, I’m not choosing my spouse.”

Ask What You’re Choosing Instead of being Faithful to Your Spouse

And so from there, I want to take it a little bit further. Something that I want to ask is, can you talk to me about what you’re choosing instead of your spouse. Let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about what it is we have chosen and what it is we are choosing apart from our spouse and apart from our marriage.

We all get in these situations where maybe we do something we’re not supposed to do, and you have a quick and ready answer to say; what we ought to have done, what we should have wanted, and what we need to be right. When I sit with somebody who’s dealing with infidelity, often what they’ll say is, “I never should have done this. I knew it was wrong. The affair was worthless. I got nothing out of it.”

Dig Deeper, Instead of Just Saying the ‘Right Things’ about being Unfaithful

And they’ll say those things because, you know, we say those things from the time we’re little. We’re encouraged to say the right thing. We’re encouraged to say, you know, well, I shouldn’t have wanted that, all I really want is my spouse. And so sometimes in counseling, what we have to do is have the courage to unpack that a little bit. Let’s list out those things that we have chosen instead of our spouse. And then, we’re going to take it even further once you’ve written that out. What am I choosing instead of my spouse, but I want to encourage you to ask yourself, what am I getting out of each of these things, and what are these things stealing from me? Again, this is a very different question than, “Should I be doing these things or not?” I want you to put that to the side a little bit and ask, “What am I getting, whether it be a temporary relief from the pressures of life, whether it be some sort of satisfaction or pleasure. Be bold, be courageous, take some time to unpack that.

In order for you to be able to say to your wife, I really choose you, you have to know yourself. You have to know what’s going on with you. And so, asking this kind of question is going to help you get there. I like the question here. “Why do I struggle to choose my wife?” I would just say, you need to explore the answer to that, so you can look at your wife and say with confidence, “I do choose her, and do everything that’s necessary to choose her well.”

I hope that’s been helpful to you. I appreciate the question and look forward to another Asking for a Friend.

Cassie

Thank you so much for submitting that question!  We certainly love to answer your questions. If you have a question for yourself or a friend, you  can submit it using our web page and then look for the answer in an upcoming edition of our weekly e-newsletter.

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