Q&A: Partner on online dating sites. I'm constantly insecure. Help!
By psychologist Angie Willcocks
Q: Hi, we are a FIFO family and we are in big trouble. Recently I discovered my partner has been using an online dating site three times a day and is talking inappropriately to multiple woman. As bad as he sounds, I am equally to blame for the constant insecurities and hell I dish out. I want my family back and I’m asking for help, please! We love each other but these cycles must stop and things have to change.
A: Hi. Wow, it sounds like things have been tough for you guys. Thanks for getting in contact.
There is no easy way forward, but children are a great reason to try to work things out. In my opinion the only way forward is to get some relationship counselling, and soon.
I applaud you for seeing your role in the relationship problems – but it is rarely as simple as one person cheating just because the other person has been insecure. Usually what I see is a long-standing pattern that both partners are responsible for how the relationship ends up. And at the end of the day the person who was unfaithful must take responsibility for their behaviour, as there are always other options.
I don't personally know of any relationship counsellors in your area, so my advice is to ask around or simply search Google. Relationships Australia can be an option but they usually have a long wait, so if you can go privately that would be good.
In the meantime, make sure you get some support from understanding friends and/or family. People tend to have strong opinions on infidelity so just be aware that some will not be able to resist telling you what you "should" do. Ignore those friends and get support from others who are willing to listen as you work out your own pathway forward.
Look after yourself physically by making sure you're eating well, getting enough sleep and exercising a bit. Talk to your GP if you feel too stressed to do any of these things.
Please also see my previous columns on dealing with insecurity and infidelity:
I hope these tips help. Good luck.
To read other columns written by Angie Willcocks during her six years with Mining Family Matters, please click here. And remember that we offer a free email Q&A service with our psychologists, so just click here to ask a question about relationships, parenting or your career. All advice on Mining Family Matters is for general information only and should never be regarded as a substitute for professional health services or crisis services. To talk with a trained volunteer telephone counsellor at any time of the day or night, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. To contact the info line at beyondblue: national depression initiative, phone 1300 22 4636.