My husband and I are going through a challenging time. He confessed to me recently that he had a one night stand while I was out of town with our baby visiting family. I have been trying to figure out how to deal with this. This seemed out of character for him because I’ve always felt loved and supported by him, so this isn’t the kind of situation where this was the last straw and I’m ready to leave him. I want to figure this out. Since he confessed with deep regret, I think he wants that, too. He even sought counseling on his own after it happened to figure out privately why he did this and what it means, since he hasn’t really been able to explain it to me.
But I didn’t know where to turn. I’m sure we will go to marriage counseling together, but I don’t want to spend the money on that until he does some personal soul searching first. So I’ve been kind of in limbo. I don’t want our friends and family to know. This is such a personal matter (hence, why I submitted this post anonymously), but this experience has left me so resentful and unsure of myself that I knew I needed help.
I stay home with our baby, so it’s very hard to get time away to see a therapist on my own. Then, an advertisement for Talkspace popped up in my Instagram feed. Talkspace describes itself as “convenient and affordable online therapy.” I thought this could be the perfect way for me to get some guidance on how to handle the situation, and it really has been helpful.
That’s why I wanted to share my experience here. I appreciate the advice and experiences other moms have shared on this blog, but sensitive subjects like this seem to be a lot harder for people to write about. I now know all too well that what can look like the perfect marriage on the outside can be very flawed, so if you are going through a difficult time—whether it be with infidelity or something else—I hope you’ll consider talking to someone about it, and if you’re unsure about committing the time and money to in-person therapy, Talkspace could be a really good way to help you through it.
There are few different monthly plans you can choose from. The least expensive ones only offer therapy through text messaging. The most robust one, which is the one that I chose, offers one weekly 30-minute video chat session with your therapist and unlimited messages. It’s about $100 a week. By comparison, the therapist my husband started seeing is $200/ 1-hour session. In between sessions, you can text your therapist as much as you want to share updates and ask questions, but they don’t respond right away. Based on the Instagram ad I saw, I thought it would be real time messaging, but it’s not. They take a few hours and only work Monday through Friday, but it’s still a really nice way to keep in touch with someone discreetly about whatever you’re struggling with.
I definitely recommend doing video chat sessions, too, because it speeds up the process of feeling better. Before my first call, I messaged my therapist a lot of background information about me, my marriage, and the issue at hand. That way, when we spoke, she already had a good idea of where I was coming from. When I first contacted Talkspace, I messaged through their secure app with an intake therapist who then matched me with five therapists who specialized in marriage and relationships. I read their bios and watched their video introductions and chose the one I liked best.
From there, my messages transferred to her, and she replied to me within a few hours. In our first video chat, it was really hard to say out loud everything that happened, but it also felt really good to have someone acknowledge how hard this situation is. It was even better than venting to a friend because she tuned into key things I said and asked questions to help me explore those comments more. For example, I kept talking like it was my job to make this all better—if only I had dressed nicer or not snapped at him because I was so tired, and maybe I should just forgive him so we can move on since he seems to feel really bad, etc.—and she reminded me that it’s actually his job to re-earn my trust. I think this would probably be obvious to me if someone else was in the situation, but when you’re going through it, you just can’t think as clearly.
She followed up after our talk to ask how I was doing and reminded me of some key points, like encouraging me to think about what values and boundaries I want for my marriage and to share those with him and also not to hide from him how sad I was feeling in an effort to help make things better.
If you really think about it, all of us could benefit from talking to someone on a regular basis. Especially for moms, who spend so much time thinking about everybody else, it’s really nice to have an expert who’s solely focused on listening to you and helping you be the best that you can be.
Things are going well so far. If and when we choose to do joint marriage counseling, we can actually do it through Talkspace, too, which might help us avoid having to hire a babysitter to go to counseling sessions.
I hope you never have to experience what I’m going through, but if you do, I hope this information helps you feel less alone and more empowered to get the help you deserve.
Sometimes a writer prefers to keep her name private due to the sensitive nature of the post. If you are submitting a guest post and would like it to remain anonymous, please note that on your submission.