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Woman traumatized when boyfriend has an affair with HER therapist. AITA? UPDATED

Woman traumatized when boyfriend has an affair with HER therapist. AITA? UPDATED


When this woman is traumatized by her boyfriend's relationship with her therapist, she asks the internet:

"My boyfriend had an affair with my therapist. Did I cause this? AITA? Where do I go from here?"

I (26f) have been in therapy for about a year now because I was on the verge of a burnout and still had trauma to work through from my previous relationship, which has negatively impacted my current relationship with my boyfriend (28m).

While my current relationship has been an increasingly frequent topic in therapy sessions lately, however, I was there mainly because of psychological pressure regarding my studies and work.

Lately, I've been feeling increasingly worse and haven't been able to handle the pressure around me as well, which has also put a strain on my relationship.

Because I wasn't being completely honest with my therapist and her suggestions weren't working, we agreed to include my boyfriend in some sessions. These were to be one-on-one sessions so that she could get his perspective and create a plan that would take his needs into consideration as well.

My therapist (37f) has been very helpful in helping me better reflect on my emotions and better articulate my needs. The better I could deal with the pressure, the better things went between me and my boyfriend.

After a while, I noticed that my therapist was acting increasingly strange. Whereas before she was very neutral and asked more pointed questions that allowed me to reflect on my own behavior in relation to my relationship and patterns of behavior, she increasingly began to badmouth my relationship and blame me for my relationship problems.

I found this very strange and I couldn't explain where the sudden change came from, but I didn't think too much of it. Maybe I was just on the fence about how badly I treat my boyfriend.

Fast forward to know: yesterday I was at my boyfriend's house and we were having a nice day and decided to watch a movie together before bedtime. Out of nowhere he suddenly had tears in his eyes and then he confessed to me that he was having an affair with her.

He cried the whole time and reassured to me that he regrets it and doesn't want to lose me. In his words, my therapist put so much pressure on him that he didn't know what to do and couldn't say no. I guess it started when she invited him to a one-on-one session. That was months ago and since then they have been meeting secretly.

After he confessed to me, I drove home and cried the entire car ride. No matter how long I think about it, what he says just doesn't make sense. How could he do this to me? AITA? Did I cause this?

Ever since he told me about his cheating, he has been constantly trying to call and text me. I have thirteen missed calls from him and a lot of messages assuring me that I am his world and he didn't want any of this to happen but she pushed him into doing it.

He has also been to my parent's house and my mother has told me how miserable he is and that he mentions over and over again that my therapist pressured him.

How do I deal with this situation? Part of me doesn't want to believe any of this and wants to believe him. The other part knows that what he did is not excusable.

TL; DR: My (26f) boyfriend (28m) had an affair with my therapist (37f) because she pressured him and badmouthed me and I don't know what to do now. AITA? I feel like this is my fault.

Before we give you OP's updates, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

ginboy writes:

As a psychologist I cannot emphasize enough how terribly wrong and unethical this was. It is a violation of your trust, it is a violation of her responsibility to both of you to help you heal.

She abused her power and authority to manipulate your bf into sleeping with her. While I do believe he made a poor choice, the power differential here is substantial and it absolutely falls under coercion.

He needs to report her to her licensing body immediately, or you can report it yourself. It must happen, not just for your case but to protect future clients. Each state will have their own licensing body and that’s who you want to contact.

Take screenshots of the texts if he has provided anything in writing about her behavior or their se%ual relationship.

Lastly, op, I am so sorry. This will be more devastating than a regular affair as it’s someone who you’ve placed a trust in and who you’ve revealed intimate knowledge to. Please find another therapist who can help you work through things.

dwdruty writes:

I’m a therapist myself and wholeheartedly agree with the other commenters — report this therapist to the board that oversees her license. This is extremely unethical behavior and I’m so sorry she violated your trust this deeply.

I think when you are ready you may want to consider seeing another therapist to process this. This might be the last thing you want to do but this is a major betrayal on multiple levels that you will likely need to work through.

As for the boyfriend, please dump him and don’t look back. His behavior is unforgivable and the lack of personal accountability on his part is unbelievable. Be prepared that he will say anything to try and win you back.

You deserve so much better. Once you get some emotional distance/time from the situation I guarantee you will be glad you left him. I wish you all the best in your healing process.

ewpowdont writes:

Your boyfriend is a victim. Therapy is an extremely intimate space, and she used her position of power to push the boundaries of what should have been a professional relationship with him.

This therapist needs to lose her license immediately. She is preying on vulnerable people during times when they are specifically looking for help. Please please report her. It is your decision whether or not you want to continue this relationship with him.

Contrary to what Reddit might have you believe, relationships can survive infidelity as long as both of you are willing to do what it takes to address the infidelity. This takes a lot of work from both of you, though he, as the cheater, obviously will need to do the brunt of the work.

Does he have the emotional maturity to handle that? Although, again, he is definitely a victim, he still betrayed your trust and it will be difficult to rebuild that. Do you want to continue this relationship?

I wouldn't blame you if you walked away from this, but I wanted to tell you that you don't necessarily have to. I want to suggest couples counseling but after this traumatic incident I'm sure that might not be something you're interested in pursuing at this moment. Good luck whatever you decide on.

melancholia69 writes:

Report her for sure. However I have to disagree with (most) people's stance on your bf, if he is telling the truth then he was assaulted.

I feel like if the genders were reversed here people would be taking this a different way, being alone with a therapist is a very vulnerable position where the therapist is in power and it's not unbelievable for someone to be pressured in a way....

that makes them afraid to say no EVEN a male person and the fact that people are dismissing that possiblity just because he is male is pretty gross.

If he is telling the truth on how it happened then she is a predator and an abuser and he is also a victim.

hiswif98 writes:

This is a gross violation on the part of your therapist. It doesn't excuse your boyfriend's part in this, but this is probably one of the few instances where the other woman is the main person at fault for the affair. She was in a position of trust and what she did is incredibly unethical.

You absolutely need to report her. Contact the licensing agency wherever you are from and file a formal complaint. Get any messages from your boyfriend or call logs between them and submit those as well.

Even if your boyfriend pursued her, she has the responsibility to stop any advances immediately as she is in a position of power. There is an unequal power dynamic that should not be ignored.

This situation may completely turn you two off from finding a good, ethical therapist but I encourage you to seek out someone else for individual and possibly couple's as well. If what he is saying is true, he is also a victim in this. If find another therapist, please advise them of this situation so they can help you through it. Good luck OP.

bigmama writes:

First and foremost, I am so, so damn sorry you are going through this. Therapy is supposed to be a place where you can be yourself and get help, not a place where you have to worry if your therapist is going to sleep with your boyfriend.

You need to report her and your (ex?) boyfriend needs to do so as well. I don't know what the answer is or should be concerning your boyfriend. Is it possible that she did push and pressure him? Yes.

That doesn't invalidate your feelings of betrayal. Have you told him that you need time to process this? If not, tell him. He's not doing himself any favors by constantly trying to contact you and not giving you space.

He may be miserable but he has to understand that a bomb was just dropped on you. Whatever happens between you two, I wish you all the strength in the world.

charlotty writes:

Firstly, you absolutely need to report this to the licensing board of your therapist. What she did was completely unethical and disgusting and is obviously not fit to continue giving therapy. Think of the other clients she may have who can be a victim of such nasty behavior.

Secondly, what you decide to do about your boyfriend entirely rests on your own decisions and feelings, and you should not be swayed in your choice just because your boyfriend is miserable and feels sorry about what he did. How was he pressured by the therapist?

Did she hold a gun to his head? It sounds like he’s not taking full responsibility for his part in the matter and doesn’t want to be fully held accountable. That’s a huge red flag imo in addition to the overall cheating and behavior itself

And now, OP's update:

The last days were pretty exhausting for me, since I had to study for my finals and go to work besides being absolutely heartbroken. But I have read through all the comments and am really overwhelmed by all the support!

After all this happened, my ex-boyfriend tried to meet me at my place. So I went to my parents first, but then got in touch with him after a few days. We talked for a long time because I really wanted to understand what exactly happened.

But the sad truth is: I still don't know if she really pressured him that much into having se% with her or not. He couldn't give me a proper answer, even when I made it clear to him what the consequences would be for her career.

So I broke up with him. I told him that he could talk to me anytime if he feels that what she did was sexual coercion/assault. But I can't forget what happened, even though I don't know who actually initiated the affair and who is to blame. I'm also not in the emotional state to continue seeing him if he is complicit in my trust being so exploited and broken.

Regarding my therapist: I have reported her and am in the process of suing for damages. I absolutely do not care how much she manipulated my ex boyfriend or if he willingly had sex with her. I have been her patient and she has gone behind my back. Hopefully she won't have anything left after I'm done with her.

So, that’s it. I am now trying to move forward and focus on the important things. To be honest though, all of this has broken my heart.

From one day to the next, my entire life has been destroyed and I can start all over again in terms of my mental health. Right now, I can't imagine trusting anyone like that ever again but I guess that’s just life. We live and we learn.

What do YOU make of this story? Any advice for OP?

Sources: Reddit
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