I have been reading your advice column week after week, I must say you do give sound advice, hence the reason for my letter. I have been married to my husband for almost 15 years. We both have good jobs, and our 3 children are thriving. The two older ones are doing well in school and the third is a 1yr old. Things between us have become so mundane, we hardly get busy in the bedroom. He does his thing, I do mine meaning we don’t do a lot of things together as a couple.
We had a pretty good relationship, my husband has always been a social butterfly, I on the other hand, quiet and more reserved, I like to consider myself an introvert. Talk about a flirt, that’s him.
I know he is very friendly and I never took it for anything. We live on a small island where nothing stays in the dark. There’s a local saying, “when you think it’s bush, it’s people.” So when whispers of his infidelity came to light of course I began to have suspicions.
I don’t want to be that wife to have my husband tied down, I want him to be able to do his thing, go out and have your drink with your friends, I’m not going to tell him he has to stay at home with me and the children. He is a very good father no lie, but sometimes I feel like he’s selfish and egotistical, because things have been so distant between us I feel like our marriage is diminishing. He is constantly on his phone, and from the smiles on his face, I know that it isn’t one of his boys. My breaking point was when he went to carnival on another island and I heard rumors about him going there with another woman. When I try to talk about it, he tells me I’m being insecure. He said that I let myself go, despite the fact that I work out every day!
He spends more on himself, ordering expensive things, one of us has to save, raising three children, paying a mortgage, and maintaining a home is no walk in the park. Yes we both have good jobs, but, we have responsibilities that come around like clockwork every month. I may have to put on my big girl shoes and walk away from this marriage for good. What words of advice can you give? Thank you in advance.
Dear Unequally Together,
Thank you for the compliments on my previous columns. 15 years is a long time, however I will applaud you and your husband, you have made it past the 7 year itch. Believe it or not, there are not a lot of couples who can make it to 15 years. Marriage is a two way street, it is a team effort, “one hand washes the other.” After being married for a long time, couples can sometimes forget that they are on the same team. Your spouse is not your enemy or your competitor, both of you are ONE. Now, I get that personal goals may differ and can sometimes get in the way, but as you work together as a team, you become stronger, closer, more efficient, more in sync, less lonely and less stressed, and in turn your marriage will become more enjoyable.
As a regular reader of my column, you would know that I am a strong advocate of communication. You mentioned that you have tried to speak to him on various occasions and the conversation would end with him gas lighting you and telling you about your insecurities. When these conversations come up, be cautious of how you approach him and what you say.
I do think to some extent, your husband lacks consideration, which is selfishness and selfish players undermine a team. True teammates show consideration for their partners feelings, interests, needs, desires, and preferences.
It seems like the relationship is lopsided to an extent. You both should have separate, individual therapy where you can both speak freely, while simultaneously you can see a couples therapist together, the reason being is, sometimes we need to work on ourselves before we can work on or with each other. That way you would be able to reconnect and get to the root of the issues. I hope you both find a resolution, you have been together for 15 years, I do not think you marriage is unsalvageable. You said yourself, that he has good qualities, I am sure that you both can work this out as long as you both put in the effort. I hope this helps.
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