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The Talk 2

We talked.
It took a while, and several false starts, but I asked him about the lingerie. He said it was poor quality and he sent it back. (Plausible. I thought it tacky, online shopping can be a minefield)
He didn't seem to get the implications at first. Ok, like many men he doesn't really talk about emotions. He has been a bit withdrawn lately, a bit depressed. Anticipating the horrors of promotion interviews.
So, maybe foolishly I asked. Is he having an affair? He denies it, but his body language is defensive, no gestures of affection, a few stilted words from each of us. Then, as if he suddenly realised what to do, he is on his feet holding me.
He is devastated to have hurt me. Has always been faithful. Don't I always know where he is?
We have loads to do together. He can't imagine life without me.
We are both crying now. He will do better. We can do sex if I want. He keeps saying how stupid he has been, how he upsets me without meaning to and gets angry with himself for doing so. He loves me. I love him.
We can work it out.
Corylus Corylus 56-60, F 8 Responses Dec 31, 2012

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Personally.... I would not believe the returned lingerie excuse. Mainly because, judging by the fact there hasn't been much (or any?) sex, it would ring alarm bells to me that he ordered any to begin with.
Is he a stylish man? Into fashion? If you really think about it, most lingerie is a bit tacky, but I doubt most men care about that.
I would ask to see the receipt and the bank or credit card statement that shows it was returned. Regardless of how uncomfortable that conversation may be, tell him it will make you feel better and you would like to see it.
Then you will know for sure. You won't have to wonder. Ask for the proof. It's YOUR marriage, too.

The excuse on the Lingerie....Plausible? In your bravest moment, when you are willing to open your eyes, do you believe this? You know your husband and deep in your heart, you know the truth. Whether you are willing to act upon this truth is another thing. My guess is that no matter how your husband behaves, whether he honors your marriage or not, you would never leave him. He knows this too

If you both genuinely want to save the marriage, consider marriage counselling at this point. It may not give you the result you seek (a happy marriage together) but it WILL give you a result. Because once you confront these issues together with the guidance of a trained counsellor as a mediator, you will each see quite clearly where your own priorities lie - and if those priorities are shared by your spouse.

Marriage counselling is of very little value if one party is reluctant to take part - this in itself will give you an indication of his willingness (or otherwise) to actually WORK on your relationship.

And some marriage counsellors are hopeless. Seek a referral from a knowledgeable person or organisation that you trust. And if you find a counsellor does not "fit" well with you and / or your husband, do not hesitate to change counsellors.

The thing about "fixing" anything is that there is a huge gap between saying you want to do it - and doing it.

"Are you having an affair ?"

Somewhat unsurprisingly, the answer to this interrogative is always "No".

He may be having an affair. He may not be. What does it matter ? His behaviour is what it is - and THAT is what you have to deal with.

Key point IS that he is intimacy averse to you. "Why" he has taken this position is of no consequence. Knowing "why" changes nothing.

I don't share your confidence that you can "work it out". There appears to be one spouse who is not pulling their weight in the dynamic, and that is a fatal flaw.

Tread your own path.

i feel for you. the "if you want" bit is emotional crucifixion, IMO. similar to my own h informing me he'd gotten an rx for cialis, and, well...read my stories for more background. sounds like you'd both do well to see a therapist together to get the conversation going without pulling teeth on both your parts. it may or may not be helpful. at the veryleast he is aware that the situation is hurting you, and that's a space to start from.

read widely here, post more...you will find this forum to be enlightening and helpful.

good luck.

"We can do sex if I want."

Wow. What a turn-on.

That's one of the things that destroyed it for me - I want to be desired, not to be a chore. But each to their own.

yes,,,,to be desired,,,to be loved,,,to feel that emotional connection.

"We can do sex if I want."...is something you could say to a prostitute......not your spouse

It's partly my fault. Well of course. When he questioned why he might have an affair I said that we don't do sex anymore. Crass I know. So he is just reflecting back my poor phrasing. It's not something I find easy to talk about, nor him.

The TalkTM is a marker, not a solution.

You most likely have a long road of tears and work ahead of you. Not that that's a bad thing, whichever direction it goes.

If it suits you, by all means get external help to mediate or provide individual assistance.

Well I hope this is the case for you both. Be aware of re set sex. Pacify you for a spell and back to more of the same! At least he acknowledged the problem and showed some emotion.

Re set sex?

Yes,,,,,,Re-Set Sex,,,,,

It is sex that serves only to alleviate the sexual frustrations, and the urgency the refused spouse is showing towards the situation.

The, as ALU elluded to,,,,,,back to more of the same.