Sunday, September 11, 2016

I caught my wife sexting someone else

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Question: My wife is dealing with depression. She goes to a counsellor as well. I want to support her fully as I believe that she would have done the same for me if I was in her place, but of late it's getting tough for me. I recently caught her sexting someone and when I read those messages, she came across as a completely different person. Someone who is courageous and sexy. It left me jolted. I am not able to get over it. She doesn't even justify why she did it, just says she is sorry. I don't know what to do. My life has become miserable. ​ - By Anonymous​

Answer by Dr Deepak Raheja: It is evident from the above that you are feeling emotionally betrayed. It is obvious that she has not valued your empathetic stand towards her. I would want you to know that it is normal for anybody in such a scenario to feel dejected and disappointed. So, the way you are feeling is understandable.

However, I would like you to know that depression is a condition wherein; a vacuum of helplessness, hopelessness and emptiness envelops the inflicted person. It is not uncommon for such individuals to exhibit faulty decision-making, as the psychic agencies that control their judgment are impaired. To me, it seems that your wife too, is going through such a phase wherein she might have tried to fulfill that emptiness with her aberrant behaviour.

Research also shows that patients with depression are likely to engage in deviant behaviours such as extra-marital affairs, one-night stands and truancy to reduce the sense of worthlessness and to get an edge to cope with the underlying feeling of hopelessness and low self-esteem. Living in a make-believe world makes the acceptance of painful reality a little easier for them but in the long run this can lead to disastrous consequences if not dealt with appropriately. Hence, I feel you should try to not take on a judgmental stand towards your wife, at the same time reiterating that her behaviour is unacceptable at every level. I feel that to reach out to her, an emotional plea seems to be a better recourse than to confront her, which may lead to the falling apart of your marriage with painful consequences.

- Dr Deepak Raheja is a Senior Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist, Director of Foundation Hope

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