Dancess: I am not having an affair, but every time I go out my husband accuses me of it because when we were dating 19 years ago I cheated on him. I hate going out because of all the accusations, and I feel trapped like I'm in a prison. I have remained overweight because when I lose weight, the accusations get worse. I hate being overweight. I do love my husband, but how do I deal with this and be happy?
DrBonnieWeil: Dancess, it is very important to have a "Fight Fair," which is a certain form of smart heart dialogue that I talk about. You can sit down with your husband, put on your emotional bulletproof vest and allow him to throw emotional darts around you for the "betrayal" he felt from 19 years ago. He is still punishing you because it is not over for him, which is why he keeps bringing it up.
Dancess: I am just so tired of crying all the time. Even today we got in a big fight about it and he just says he can't get over it. He told me to leave him -- well, he screamed that in my face.
DrBonnieWeil: Dancess, what you can do is read the part about fighting fair in my new book Make Up Don't Break Up, and use the ground rules as a way to get this issue cleared up so you can restore the magic and repair the damage.
Dancess: He said he hates feeling like that and he wants me to leave. I don't want to leave but I want to be happy.
DrBonnieWeil: Dancess, it doesn't sound like he really means it -- it sounds like he feels like a pain in the butt because he can't get over it. I don't think he really means that. I think he needs some consoling from you and a feeling of you walking in his shoes.
Dancess: He was in my face today screaming LEAVE ME LEAVE ME.
DrBonnieWeil: He is dealing with a sense of betrayal and doesn't know how to handle it. He needs to be made to feel safe. Fighting Fair is just one page in the book … it's a good start. Also counseling so you can heal and move forward. This isn't a marriage that sounds like it needs to end, he is just feeling abandoned and he needs your help and a therapist's help.
Dancess: Sometimes I just want to run away and never come back and just disappear from him so I won't hurt him.DrBonnieWeil: Dancess, also tell him you will not leave him, to reassure him. Your leaving is his biggest fear. He's actually testing you because that is what he is really afraid of. Tell him you can both work this out with help and learning to talk it out. Don't leave.