heart-logo_web.pngDear Dr. Monique,
Why is it OK for men to seek an alternate relationship while still married and not acceptable for the females to do so? Yet still they leave their wives for their alternate relationship (other woman), while the wife is left alone trying to figure out her next move because she thought the marriage would have lasted?
Double Standard

Dear Double Standard,
Infidelity is never OK regardless of whether it is perpetrated by the man or the woman. Unfortunately certain cultures seem to condone it more for the men than for the women. But in reality although the infidelity rates are higher for men vs. women, according to research the rates in women are rising. Moving on to your second point, however, betrayal and infidelity cause deep wounds that can take a considerable amount of time to heal. For women who have been dealt this hard blow in life, I suggest rallying close to family and trusted friends for support.  See a therapist if it is feasible and/or join a support group even if it has to be online. Focus on activities that are enjoyable and build self-confidence.  Hopefully at the end of the day, what is gained will be far greater than what has been lost.



Dear Dr. Monique,
Is the saying really true “that all the good partners have been taken”? Or is it that we are too selfish to dig and find the good and greatness that a potential partner has to offer? Or are we too hung up on the mistakes from a failed relationship to see the good in another person?
Are the Good Ones Gone?

Dear Are the Good Ones Gone?
I have never subscribed to the statement that “All the good partners have been taken.” However, I must admit I gave it more consideration than it was worth when I was still single. I think that you have raised some interesting perspectives on the matter. Someone may enter an individual’s life and because of past hurt or pain she or he may be unable or unwilling to give the person a chance regardless of whether they deserve it.
For anyone caught in that cycle my advice is to take the time to confront your personal issues that may interfere with your ability to pursue a relationship and try to resolve as many of them as possible. On the other hand give careful consideration to the criteria that you want in a mate, even writing them down. I believe these practices will make it easier to get past any roadblocks that may be obstructing one’s view in recognizing the “right” person.


Dear Dr. Monique,
Can a couple really get over one person’s infidelity?
Coping with Infidelity

Dear Coping with Infidelity,
Although the effects of infidelity can be devastating to marriage, there is research that suggests it can also have positive effects on the relationship. I am also aware, through my own research, of marriages that not only spanned the lifetime of a spouse despite infidelity, but that the cheated partner, in hindsight, was still able to view their marriage favorably. That being said, I certainly do not recommend any spouse testing the effects of infidelity on their marriage.


Dear Dr. Monique,
Can finances ruin a relationship?
Finances and Relationship

Dear Finances and Relationship,
The answer is yes. In fact the research article Examining the Relationship Between Financial Issues and Divorce, published in the journal Family Relations, suggests that financial disagreements are more likely to cause divorce when compared to other “common marital disagreements.” Therefore I would advise any couple to have a comprehensive discussion about their finances, including problem-solving techniques, prior to getting married.


Dear Dr. Monique,
How do you maintain a balance between spending time with your friends and spending time with your spouse after marriage?
Maintaining the Balance

Dear Maintaining the Balance,
I believe your question is one shared by many new couples. In a marriage your spouse naturally deserves priority when choosing how to spend your time but both of you had lives and time commitments before your marriage. Discuss with your spouse your desire to spend time with your friends and ascertain his/her desire for time to do other things. Having chosen convenient times where you both can “do your own thing,” use this opportunity to schedule time with your friends.

Dr. Monique is an award-winning graduate of Harvard Medical School, who completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington D.C. She has years of experience in counseling and discussing relationship issues. Ask her your questions at drmonique@sfltimes.com