Ask Dr. Buckingham – Expert Relationship Advice (Hoodwinked? Marriage is a Lie)

Dear Dr. Buckingham,

I dated a guy for two years and then he asked me to marry him. Everything was fine until a month after we were married; the sex stopped; he stopped wanting to do things with me; he stopped wanting to go places and fell into depression.

It took a year and a half before I was able to figure out why. He was molested as a child and I was not informed of this before or after marriage–I guessed and was correct. He never got help for the abuse; he also has ED, and didn’t inform me of this either. We did, however, have sex before marriage, but it was not often; I thought it was more of a moral issue.

I feel betrayed and hurt and can’t get past this. I laid all my issues out on the table upon request before we were married and I asked the same of him and he said there was nothing to tell. I now know that was a lie.

We are attending counseling, but I am not gaining any relief from it, it gets worse as his responses are just weak. I resent him tremendously for making a lifelong decision FOR me. I also feel he was not ready for marriage as he has a lot of excuses for his actions and not taking responsibility for them either. I feel it is over and I cannot trust him anymore.

How Do You Cope with a Deceptive Husband?

Mrs. Betrayed

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Dear Ms. Betrayed,

If I was in your position I would feel betrayed as well. No one wants or deserved to be hoodwinked, especially not hoodwinked for life. While I empathize with you, I also empathize with your husband. He has some very profound issues/challenges and probably believed that lying was the best solution.

Over the past eighteen years I have treated both men and women who have been molested and have found that men are more likely to take their molestation to the grave. I am not excusing your husband’s behavior or supporting men who lie. I am sharing this point because sexual abuse digs deep at a man’s soul. It is the ultimate violation of manhood.

Someone made a lifelong decision for him when they violated him and unfortunately he did the same to you. This is not right by any means. However, the cycle of abuse sustains itself out of fear and rejection. Deception is not easy to cope with, but it is possible to overcome it. Deception in any form is not good, but I do feel empathy for your husband. He is dealing with two issues (ED and molestation) that are probably strongly correlated.

The best thing for your marriage is to have your husband attend individual therapy for his abuse. You cannot expect him to know how to process and express his issues, if he has never put them on the table.

I know that you are frustrated and feel victimized. Again, you have right to feel as such. Given this, I highly recommend that you seek individual therapy. In order to effectively cope with your husband’s deception, I believe that you need to process your emotions individually.

I say this because you will not be able to hear anything that your husband has to say with objectivity or understanding until you are emotionally stable. I believe that it is important to listen to people’s pain and fear. What you consider to be excuses might be your husband’s defense mechanism. The victim mentality can consume individuals. Think about how you feel now. Coping with deception is not easy, but understanding the source of the deception can help.

If you decide to continue with couple’s counseling, please try to be open and demonstrate empathy. This is an ideal time to model for your husband the behavior you desire. If you do not express empathy toward him, he probably will not express it toward you.

I understand that physical intimacy is very important in marriage. I also understand that ED can stem from both medical and psychological issues. Whatever decision you decide to make regarding your marriage, please do so with a clear mind and good information. Support your husband in dealing with his issues and he might be able to help you cope with your grief and feeling of loss. Take care of yourself, but also move forward with understanding and grace.

Best regards, Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please click here and receive a response within 72 hours.

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.

Ask Dr. Buckingham – Expert Relationship Advice (Marriage & Unsanctified Men)

Dear Dr. Buckingham,

I have read several of your articles and decided to ask a question that has been bothering me for sometime now. I am single Christian woman who spends the majority of my time in church or hanging out with church people. I am new to the church thing. I did not grow up in church, so I am still adjusting to the church environment. I guess I would say that I am a babe in Christ.

After joining the Single’s Ministry, I was approached by this handsome guy who was serving as a deacon in the church. After dating for some time, I noticed that something was not right. He is very flirtatious and overly friendly with females. Every time I look up he is in some woman’s face complimenting her. I know that he should be friendly considering that he is a Deacon and all, but he should not be telling women how beautiful they are and saying things about how good they look in their outfits.

When I mentioned my concerns, he told me to quit tripping and reassured me that he is has no intentions of sleeping around, but stated that he likes to interact with a variety of women. He told me that God has removed his desire to sleep with multiple women. I believe him somewhat, but I am still concerned that his hoish tendencies will eventually lead to cheating. I am truly bothered.

Should I Marry a Holy man who has Hoish “Unsanctified” ways?

Looking For Love,

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Dear Looking for Love,

I am fairly open-minded about a lot of things and try not to pass judgment. However, I am not perfect. With this in mind, my response to your question is “No, No and No.” I realize that spiritual leaders are not perfect and will make mistakes like the rest of us. However, I have a problem with any spiritual leader who uses the church as a platform to manipulate and flirt with women. Being Holy and Hoish does not go hand in hand. They are completely opposite.

Here is a little break down.

  • A holy man prays for women. A hoish man preys on women.
  • A holy man works hard so that women can give themselves to Christ. A hoish man works hard so that women can give themselves to him.
  • A holy man is virtuous and seeks to please God. A hoish man is immoral and seeks to please himself.
  • A holy man appreciates and flirts with his woman. A hoish man appreciates and flirts with women.

Please understand that spiritual leaders are appointed and entrusted to help save souls. I realize that we all have flaws, but mixing holiness and hoing should not be one of them. It appears that your fiancé is still struggling with walking and living righteous. Before you say I do, give him some more time to cleanse his soul of his flirting ways. Encourage him to seek guidance and counseling so that he can heal properly. Unfortunately, there are some spiritual leaders who do not know what it means to lead. They do not have to strive to be perfect, but they should strive to be righteous.

Make sure that your fiancé’s moral character is one that you can live with for the rest of your life. He might be healed internally, but he is not demonstrating it externally. As the saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words.” If you are not happy with his flirting behavior now, you probably will not be happy with it in marriage. Your fiancé needs to gain greater insight into his behavior. If he thinks and acts like a ho; people will perceive him to be a ho. If you can see his hoish tendencies so can others. The holy ghost is powerful, but so is the flesh. If you decide to move forward with marriage, get some professional counseling outside of church.

Best regards,
Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please click here and receive a response within 72 hours.

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.