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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Are my feelings/reactions justified?

Husband is a pilot and out of town. Just spoke to him. We had been texting all morning between flights. As were are talking on the phone he starts saying that his flight attendant was "adorable" and he wants our daughter to be just like her.

OK! I'm not jealous of the flight attendant, but the fact that he expressed he wants OUR daughter to be just like HER, really got to me. He continued to state how she travels for yoga and just got back from India. He stated that he hopes our daughter is "so flexible in her thought processes (Yes, he used the word flexible. ugh...Really!)."

I freeze up, change subject, and cut the conversation short. He notices, asks whats wrong, I tell him, through tears. (Mind you, I RARELY cry.) I tell him I'm upset cause he has NEVER expressed the same sentiments about OUR daughter being like ME. Hang up.

He calls back. Leaves apology on VM.

I text back that her hurt me, and "ruined Christmas."

He calls me a "selfish, bitter woman"

He thinks I twisted his words and made it about me?
Maybe?
Help?

Background: Been married 7 years. Currently, marriage is in recovery mode, but strong. Husband developed emotional "friendships" with two women, consecutively, last year while I was pregnant with twins. They were short lived cause I found out about them. Whether or not he has cheated, I cannot say for sure. I would not doubt either way. Cheating for me is not a 100% deal breaker, as much as it hurts. Since all that drama, he has stopped drinking and is 18 months sober. He goes to AA regularly. I choose to stay because I love him and we get along great, financial stability, and we have four kids. We work on communication but I feel it is still lacking.

Much thanks.
 

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I think you went a little far with the whole "ruined Christmas" routine. My mom did that constantly while my sister and I were growing up. If any kind of argument occurred within a week or two of a holiday, we "ruined" it. Mother's Day, Christmas, Easter.... We hated that so much.

But, that aside, I would have been hurt by that, too, but I'm sensitive like that so I'm not saying it's right. Your husband said he wanted his daughter to be like this woman, but he did NOT say he doesn't want her to be like you....you just decided to infer that. (I'd have done the same, and my ex husband's reaction would have been like your husband's).

You probably wouldn't have taken such offense to it if you found him to be a trustworthy man.....
 

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Wonder what he would have done if the roles were reversed. I bet he wouldn't have taken it too kindly himself.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the reply. First post ever, and you make good points. We are celebrating Christmas tomorrow because he will be gone throught the holidays. He will only be here for half a day, that's why I said "ruined Christmas." I suppose you are right about finding him trustworthy. I used to be ok with comments like this, but damn...this one got me.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That's exactly what I started thinking afterwards. He's way more sensitive than me. Why did this bother me so much?
 

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That's exactly what I started thinking afterwards. He's way more sensitive than me. Why did this bother me so much?
Have you been doubting yourself as a mother?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Have you been doubting yourself as a mother?


Yes. A mother of four littles....I am lacking.
And I've especially been doubting myself as a good wife. I have so much anger since all the "drama" between us.
 

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Have you been doubting yourself as a mother?


Yes. A mother of four littles....I am lacking.
And I've especially been doubting myself as a good wife. I have so much anger since all the "drama" between us.
You just feel like you're lacking. I'm sure you're a great mom :).

Have you had any counseling?
 

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That's exactly what I started thinking afterwards. He's way more sensitive than me. Why did this bother me so much?
Around TAM emotional 'friendships' as you call them are often viewed as EA's or emotional affairs. Maybe because of these previous situations you're less sure of yourself when it comes to your husband. Especially when he makes comments that any spouse wouldn't like to hear.
 

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I think that you are justified to be upset with your husband going on about another woman that way. He has a history of having inappropriate relationships with women. Not good at all.

Making it about him not ever saying that he wants your daughter to be like you is not a good thing either.

Were I you, I'd write him a letter explaining that him gushing over other women is not appreciated and grossly inappropriate. That way you have your say and he cannot interrupt you and attack you for saying it.

Then... start living your life for yourself. get out and do things. Start working our and get into the best shape of your life.

Start socializing and making friends.

Do you have a job or are you at SAHM?
 

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Yes, I agree his comment was stupid, insensitive, etc. However, nobody has pointed out the fact that he was communicating with YOU between flights. He's quit drinking. I suspect that's hard!!
He wanted to tell YOU about it.
Those are all good things. He may have made a stupid man mistake. We all do that stupid crap. Sometimes we need a little slack.

You care--- that makes you a better mom than some. I suspect you are a great mom. How do others think of you as a mom? It's not easy!

Have a good holiday and tell your husband you love him and can't wait to see him, make sure he has a happy and peaceful holiday with you, as a result, you will too!
May all your Christmases be merry.
😊
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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everyone. Truly appreciate it. I'm trying to be more positive. Considering all I've dealt with DH I'd say I've done a great job. I've been very understanding of his faults. Biut of course, because of spats like this, he still thinks I throw everything out of proportion. I suppose I do to a certain extent, but history causes me to be more abrasive than necessary.
I love him, and yes he's trying. Things really sucked when he was drunk every night. Now the rebuilding is my focus, but it is HARD! Seems like I want to just tear everything down when dumb things like this happen. My tolerance is waning. I work, part-time, and sub as interim high school Spanish teacher. I have lots of hobbies, mostly biking and painting. Life is good, its just sometimes the one you love most drives you to the worst places in your head. I think counseling is a must.
Thanks
 

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I was married to an airline pilot for 25 years. An airline pilot who had EAs with two flight attendants over the years - that I know about. Gushed to me about both of them regularly. Made music compilation CDs for them. Bought them gifts - leather boots, actually. Apologized for their affairs with other married airline captains - it was all their husbands' and the pilots' wives' fault in both cases. I never worried about it too much at the time - I believed him when he said they were "just good friends." Ultimately, he left me for the good friend of one of them.

Not meaning to say that all pilots are cheaters. Just that I happened to be married to one that was, so I get what you're talking about.

It's good that your H has stopped drinking, for his sake as well as yours and your kids'. But he's still way too interested in coworkers of the opposite sex. What if you came home from teaching one day and gushed to him about how some male teacher at the school is "adorable" and you hope your son will be just like him someday? I'm thinking that wouldn't go over so well.
 

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Thanks for the reply. First post ever, and you make good points. We are celebrating Christmas tomorrow because he will be gone throught the holidays. He will only be here for half a day, that's why I said "ruined Christmas." I suppose you are right about finding him trustworthy. I used to be ok with comments like this, but damn...this one got me.
I suspect you feel like this because the EAs were rug swept and you are not confident of his love for you.

I would start doing things for you, join a gym, club etc and live your life for you. Do not build your life around this man, he has had EAs and talks to you like that, sssh, he needs to be taught a lesson!

Next time he is around, drop it that you would like your son to be like Mr X (some nice man you both know), remember what is good for the gander is good for the goose. Don't let him away with that s***!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you Nomorebeans. I'm thinking you know exactly how I feel. I trusted that he was just friends with these women, but emotionally it was so much more for him. We've talked about it, and he admits to feeling neglected. (This is hard for me to understand because we were in a really good place, or so I thought, when he was "talking" to other women (one a female co-pilot, and the other a hotel desk rep)).

Aine...yes indeed things were swept under the rug. But not for lack of me trying to drag it all out. With his recovery, I thought it best to deal with it later...well, it's later.

It sucks...I'm still pissed and we're celebrating Christmas tomorrow. He'll arrive at midnight and leave tomorrow by 5pm. Guess I'll be sweeping some more for the sake of a stress-free holiday. :-/
 

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It totally sucks when you feel like you have to police your partner. Was he sober during his two EA's? I can't imagine having a husband gone as much as an airline pilot that you feel you can't trust. Feel for you, hugs!
 

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He felt he was neglected? That's blameshifting. Is it your fault that he's a pilot and gone all the time? No. His blathering about these other coworkers to his wife shows that he has sh!t for brains. He needs counseling but with his schedule it will be very hard. Stop rugsweeping and tell him that he can either grow up and show respect for you or he can snuggle up with one of those oh-so cute flying waitresses.
 

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Thanks for the reply. First post ever, and you make good points. We are celebrating Christmas tomorrow because he will be gone throught the holidays. He will only be here for half a day, that's why I said "ruined Christmas." I suppose you are right about finding him trustworthy. I used to be ok with comments like this, but damn...this one got me.
I do agree he was out of line with gushing about this other woman. BUT....YOU say that cheating is NOT a 100% dealbreaker for you, so guess what...he KNOWS that, so you better believe it will be happening again. His comments show that he is acutely aware of another woman, and that is just ONE...he is pretty much surrounded by them. As long as he knows you wont ever leave him due to infidelity, where is his incentive to remain faithful? His unwavering morality??

You are seriously undermining your worth if you are not willing to dump a cheater.
 

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I can't imagine having a husband gone as much as an airline pilot that you feel you can't trust. Feel for you, hugs!
OP, I think you're going to have to do a lot of mental and emotional gymnastics to try to make yourself feel safe with your husband.

Here's my guess:

You're an intelligent woman, so your gut is constantly going to be trying to get your attention. You know that what he's doing is wrong, but you feel powerless and you're trying to stay in the marriage anyway. This is seriously going to cause you emotional, and likely physical, harm if it continues.

You're already trying to swallow your feelings so that your kids and your family can enjoy your Christmas celebration tomorrow. It's admirable, but your emotion is going to have to be released somewhere, sometime. The longer you keep it in, the bigger the explosion, yes? Plus who knows what else he'll say, what other things are going cause your stomach to twist, between now and the next time you have a real chance to talk. Maybe you'll be accused of being selfish at that point, you know, he needs a chance to unwind, he's rarely home and when he is, you're picking fights over ancient history. Conflict avoidance.

This is how women become basket cases, "crazy" "unstable" wives from whom their men must escape. Or so the story goes. It's an age old story, because for ages, women had no viable escape from such a marriage.

I doubt he'll agree to do it, but he needs to find a new job and probably a new line of work entirely. I don't know if he'd be a safe, faithful, partner in any environment, but he is absolutely not safe or likely to be faithful in a traveling job, with a ton of available options and no real accountability.

There are many people who can handle a traveling job without behaving inappropriately, but your husband is not one of them.

He's already had EAs and at any point, it would be easy for him to have a PA. He has access to admiring women, a ton of time away from home, he is away from you overnights as a matter of course.

Because of his poor boundaries, he also has the ears of naive women- his friends, you know, they talk about stuff. Probably including you. You can bet that at least one woman will agree, for instance, that you are off your rocker for accusing HIM of ruining Christmas (you're the one who is ruining it with your over-reactions, in case you weren't aware). He will be a sympathetic character who deserves some comforting. They will both begin to believe that she "understands" him, really "gets" him, better than you ever did or could.


You can think that I'm off my rocker, that I am totally wrong. And maybe I am. But this is how many, many affairs begin. It's probably how most affairs begin.

Your husband isn't going to voluntarily tighten up his boundaries unless he has a personal reason to do so. You're going to have to give him a reason.

If I were in your shoes, I'd want him to have a new job, one that didn't require traveling, by mid-year. I know it is extreme. But you are going to have a hard time as long as he is traveling.

I am not saying you should threaten divorce. I am suggesting that you tell him that this is not the life you envisioned or wanted, you don't want to be a single mom, you want to have a marriage where you get to spend your lives together. You love him and you want him home with you. It's all true, yes? Keep it on the front burner. Let him know that this isn't working for you. You don't want to divorce, you want the opposite: you want a great marriage with him, day in and day out.

It's great that he got sober, it truly is. But that's pretty much the bottom floor expectation of a husband and a dad. It shouldn't be his greatest non-financial contribution. It's not too much to ask a husband to be sober and to be home.

Even if he does agree to get a job without travel, you're still going to have to work with him on his marital boundaries. You have an uphill battle. But you can't get beyond a skirmish if he spends 80% of his life apart from you.

I have to do my usual recommendation to read His Needs, Her Needs, to learn more about how to protect and improve marriages. The book Not Just a Friends also seems applicable here.

Best of luck to you. I hope you are able to have an enjoyable Christmas, even with this situation.
 
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