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Dr. Bob, HELP AGAIN! I need your expert Mental Health Advice
May 13, 2004

Hi Dr. Bob,

I am back to the forum in need of some special advice on a personal level. I know you read a million of these emails and have some insight on why we do what we do.

I am the person that went to Venezuela "Caught with my pant down" (March 25 posting). I got so stressed about from reading about all the different STDs out there, I made myself sick and had a slight case of oral thrush. I went to AIMS ( in LA) and received a negative PCRDNA at 7 weeks. They assured me that they do a double verification process that was almost 100% reliable. I felt good for a while, then I started to read about the other STDs out there (herpes, syphilis, Hepatitis A,B,C,D,E,F..Z) And I was completed stressed out again. During all of this I was trying to hide my anxiety from my wife. I tested for all of the other STDs (including ELISA) with my doctor and 9 1/2 weeks and it all came back negative. My doctor was assuring me that my risk is highly unlikely that I caught anything. I am still rattled with guilt, so I told my wife about this on Saturday night. BIG mistake!! I should have kept my mouth shut. She even said that I should have kept my mouth shut. I thought she be upset, but would be ok with my honesty and forgive me. Oh NO!!! She completely freaked out (which I dont blame her), and she wants answers to why I did what I did. We have a great marriage (11 years) and have a beautiful 6yr son. Its not like I dont get enough sex (I get more then my friends).

Here is a little background. Like a lot of men, I used the internet to view a lot of porn for the last couple of years. I go wrapped up into this fantasy world, that hey, if I wear a condom and the wife doesnt know, Ill be ok. I always thought sex was at a physical level and not at an emotional level. Never felt an emotional attachment to it until after I violated my relationship with my wife. We have a big account in Venezuela and all the guys come back telling me about the women and their experience from the strip clubs. So, when I went down there with a coworker (he goes to these places all the time) and we went to the strip club I took one of them back to the hotel after I consumed a lot of beers (I was not a falling down drunk. But feeling good!). You read my story before so I wont repeat it. I felt really guilty afterwards and still until this day.

I am now (since I got back) completed off the porn and view sex completed different. After I got back (Before I told my wife) the times we were together were very emotional for me as well physical. Im telling her this and she doesnt believe me and still wants an answer. Im not sure what to tell her. I'm 33yrs old, married 11 wonderful year and I made a 30 minute mistake. I know I should go see a therapist, however I would rather donate the money to your cause then to a over priced therapists golf membership. Plus, you have read a MILLION of these emails and have some insight to all the guilty husbands that are out there.

My marriage is completely wrecked and would appreciate any advise you can give.

Thanks in advance!!

T

Plus, thanks for the really nice letter you sent after my last donation. I also live in Northern CA (Napa area) and will try and make it to one of the charity events this year (hopefully with the wife).

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello T,

Why do we make mistakes? Because we are human. That means we are imperfect by design. I do not think it was a mistake to be honest with your wife, no matter what the consequences. It really is the best way to deal with your guilt. My guess is that a strong loving 11-year-old relationship will be able to weather this storm. Relationships that confront challenges honestly are often strengthened in the long run. Trying to hide your guilt and anxiety form your wife was never going to be a long-term solution. Continue to be honest with your wife and allow her some time to be upset. Ultimately, I'll bet she will indeed forgive your indiscretion. We are all human; we all make mistakes. If you knew some of mine, I'm sure you'd be shocked! The important thing is not to live in the past. We cannot undo what happened yesterday. Time only goes in one direction. We all must learn from our mistakes, accept our faults and failings, live with the realities of today, and focus on the promise of tomorrow. Show your wife this post. I believe your love for her shines through your comments. I don't think you need to see a therapist; however, if you and your wife can't mend your relationship, consider trying some couples counseling.

I'm confident I'll be seeing you both holding hands and very much in love at one of the upcoming HIV/AIDS benefit events. If you do attend, please come up and say hello! The next big Bay Area event will be A Concerted Effort 2004: A Concert for World AIDS Day on December 5, 2004 at the new Computer History Museum in Mountain View. Details will be posted on the Foundation's website, www.concertedeffort.org.

Good luck T. Thanks again for your donation.

Dr. Bob



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