[Two Pronged] My husband's photos with ex-mistresses are still up on Facebook
Jeremy has a master's degree in law from Oxford University. A banker of 37 years who worked in 3 continents, he has been training with Dr Holmes for the last 10 years as co-lecturer and, occasionally, as co-therapist, especially with clients whose financial concerns intrude into their daily lives
Together, they have written two books: Love Triangles: Understanding the Macho-Mistress Mentality and Imported Love: Filipino-Foreign Liaisons.
Dear Dr Holmes and Mr Baer,
Two of my husband’s ex mistresses still have pictures they posted in their Facebook accounts where they were with my husband. The first, AP (affair partner), currently has a live in partner and they have a daughter. The second AP got married but her husband died after 6 months.
My husband finally got professional help and my hinala (suspicion) was confirmed that he is a sex addict. Most of his APs are his officemates and he quickly got tired of them. He admitted during his therapy sessions that after he tires of them, then he just changes to another woman. These APs know that he is married but since he is financially ok, lapitin (he is attractive) to so many women who are willing victims.
I based this on their status in life that they want financial help. One is a separated woman, another a widow, both with kids, a third a fresh graduate on a two-year course living as a bed spacer, etc.
After completing his therapy, my husband wanted to talk to these APs to request they take down their pictures with him since they are already in new relationships.
I did not agree. I am worried that what if instead of giving in to his request, they put up even more pictures as revenge against him for leaving them? What do you think is their motive for not taking down these pictures in their FB? Is it correct to just continue not speaking to them?
Thank you for sharing your story of your husband’s infidelity and his treatment for sex addiction. Sex addiction can be a contentious issue and to learn that recovery is working for at least one person will be encouraging for others.
The issue of Facebook pictures is, however, a very different matter. People who have affairs seldom court publicity so for your husband and his various mistresses to have taken pictures in the first place and posted them on the internet in the second is worthy of a little analysis.
Obviously publicity, however limited, is unwelcome to most people who are also in a relationship with another party at the same time. Exceptions might be for example those who are in open relationships or simply don’t care enough about their other relationship to worry about possible fallout. Perhaps your husband’s therapy addressed this.
Another aspect of the pictures is their historical nature. In an era where what happened a day ago is considered old news, these pictures are virtually from the Stone Age. If they were not an issue when your husband was actually involved with these women, why make a song and dance about them now?
As for the women’s motive for displaying them, they had no problem having an affair with your husband in the knowledge he was married. Secrecy would have been problematic since in all likelihood most of his office would have been aware what was going on, at least in principle.
You surmise that his financial standing was part of the equation. Perhaps posting the pictures merely commemorates the moment, or a badge of honor, or is even a homage to a sponsor (if money or its equivalent was involved) – or a combination of these. Whatever the reason, your husband is scarcely in a position to request their removal at this late stage, having failed to do when he was actually involved with the women.
All the best,
Thank you very much for your letter. I guess both of us should also thank Mr Baer for the convincing reasons he gave to leave things as they are and do nothing more about the pictures.
It was also a good idea (IMO) that Mr Baer suggested you and your husband explore the reasons he did nothing about the pictures in the first place. It is worth exploring if he did nothing about the pictures because he simply didn’t care enough about your marriage to worry about possible fallout.
Many other advice columnists might disagree. “Why open a possible can of worms?” they might wonder. BUT, your purported reasons for not wanting your husband to contact them again show this can of worms is already open.
I agree with you 100%, by the way. There is no need for him and his previous partners to speak of their affair again; the less contact, the better.
Just remember Winston Churchill: “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” And, should you be too young to consider this wonderful man a hero, then a more convincing figure (if only because he is currently a bigger part of pop culture at the moment) might be Tywin Lannister, the fictional character in Game of Thrones, who once said:
“You spend too much time worrying what others think of you.
“The lion doesn’t concern itself with the opinion of sheep.”
Hoping all this helps, dearest Sheri.
Need advice from our Two Pronged duo? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with subject heading TWO PRONGED. Unfortunately, the volume of correspondence precludes a personal response.