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Ask the Rock Doc
Sound Advice 4 a Song
By psychologist, Dr. Bruce L. Thiessen, aka Dr BLT

Certain aspects of the following correspondence may be altered to protect the confidentiality of the concerned party or emphasize and to convey certain key psychological and spiritual truths.

Dear Rock Doc:

I was class president in my senior year of high school.  I went to all the parties and was the life of those parties because everybody was familiar with my band, Tokin Economy (I'm sure you've never heard of them, we were strictly a local phenom).  It was the sixties.  I graduated with honors, even though, at the time, I was addicted to uppers, downers, and everything else in between.  I left the band when I started getting some big offers.  I was poised to become a big rock star.  I was once even invited to audition for what turned out to be on of the world's biggest rock bands ever to play lead guitar for them.  I was being seriously considered as a prospect.  Then came the draft, and everything changed. 

While in Nam, I saw, heard and experienced things that were too much for my mind to handle, so I kept doing the drugs as an escape.  Well, eventually I was shot and ended up paralyzed from the neck down.  No more war, but also no more guitar, and basically, no more life.  Just before the war, I had got some girl, Lori, pregnant, and she was there, waiting for me with a little girl who called me "Daddy!" when I got back.  I hardly recognized his girl I had knocked up one night while on the influence of many, many things, but she said she loved me, would always love me, and she sounded convincing, so I married her. 

As it turned out, she was just looking for a daddy for our daughter (Evangeline).  She'd be dropping off our daughter almost every night at her grandmother's house, and leaving me for some nightclub where she would get drunk, stoned, and hooked up with some other drunk, stoned dude.  A song that Kenny Rogers had made famous became my theme song, and the story of my life.  Listening to that song was the only thing that brought me comfort, that, and the booze and the drugs, but they also got me in lots of trouble. 

She ended up leaving me, and it was a hellish divorce, but eventually I got off drugs, got saved at a little church in the neighborhood, and remarried, to a woman, Grace, that I met at that church.  We got married in 1980, and everything was wonderful for about 20 years.  But since about 2002, she's been taking off, just like Lori did.  She doesn't go to bars, but I've been suspicious that she's been having an affair.  Once again, I feel like the character in that song, Ruby, and a friend of mine told me that you do one heck of a cover of that song.  Where can I hear it, and, have you got any advice for me.

Another American, Idle

Dear American, Idle

Your body may be Idle, but your mind seems to be actively seeking solutions.  Before I begin to address the serious issues you've raised, let me take care of that song request:

Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town
Cover by Dr BLT

Suspicion is a painful emotion, involving some highly consuming patterns of thought, but it's important to realize that suspicions are not always supported by facts.  The first thing to do, if you are suspicious that your significant other is cheating on you, is to entertain all possible scenarios, not just the worst one.  Then, try to take emotion out of the equation just long enough to examine the situation as objectively as possible. 

Eventually, if your suspicions to not subside, and she offers you a string of inconsistent statements concerning the behaivor you suspect she is involved with, you'll need to let her know about your suspicions.

But first, look for whether or not she is consistent in her relay of information.  Do the pieces fit together?  If not, you've got to ask, "What is wrong with this picture?"  

Then you've got to confront her with your suspicions.  Be honest, but also, be supportive, (and give her some room to explain, in the event that there is room for an alternative hypothesis) about what has been taking place. 

If your fears are justified, then you have some serious decisions to make, the most obvious being those dreaded words once introduced in a song by the Clash, 'Should I Stay or should I go?"

It's kind of like moving in the direction of war.  You want to start with talk, with open communication and with negotiation.  The talk may go in circles.  That's where a professional therapist may come in handily, and I'd recommend that you find one that you trust.  If you let me know where you live, I will help you find one.

Infidelity deals an often deadly blow to an intimate relationship.  But the deadly blows don't always lead to death of a marriage.  Healing, and restoration, leading to a rapprochement, is not only possible, but, very likely to happen, if you both humble yourself and diligently seek God's direction.  Forgiveness takes time, lots of time, and you may have to cover some unpleasant emotional territory on your way to the land of forgiveness.  Anger, despair, hopelessness, rage--these are generally prominent in relationships that have been tested in this way.   But once the storm has past, God can bring peace to each of your hearts, and to the relationship itself. 

You both started out on a foundation of faith, so do what you can to cultivate that faith.  The Bible says that with faith, nothing shall be impossible.  May God bless you with whatever you discover to be plaguing your marriage, and may you place your trust in Jesus to wholly restore any damage that your relationship has endured. 

***If you are a musician in distress, or the family member of friend of one, contact Dr BLT at or visit:




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