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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello, I came across this forum while I was desperately searching online for solutions to my marriage woes.

My husband and I have only been married for just over 2 years. He is 31 and I am 29. Our relationship all along has been stable but on the decline. By this I mean, we rarely if ever argue, but we were just drifting apart over the years. Our sex life went from great pre-marriage to non-existant post marriage.

About 1 and a half months ago, I discovered that he had a one night stand with a young girl he met at a club. I guess I should have seen the signs - he was going for drinks with the guys every weekend (which was always a common occurence but became much worse) and came home at 4-5 am in the mornings by which time I had already gone to bed. It didn't stop at a one night stand and for a couple of weeks after they met up. They even said "I love you" to each other, although he tells me now that he didn't mean it when he said it to her.

I went through alot of pain after the discovery of his affair. He was immediately remorseful, and I believe that he wants to work things out in our marriage. The problem is, we don't know really where to start. He got "close" to that girl because he wound up talking to her about his marital problems... that I didn't pay attention to him etc and that he could not talk to me and that we did not have sex.

On my end, I feel like I've tried to communicate with him since the beginning, from the time I sensed we were drifting but he was unresponsive. I grew more resentful and eventually just found an outlet in playing computer games to take my attention away from our problems. So we wound up with completely different lives though we lived together for 2 years.

Things we have done so far with good results:
1) cut off contact with the tramp
2) spent more time together
3) talked more honestly (still not 100% there - he finds it hard to open up but it has been much better than before)
4) tried to find common activities/friends so we have common interests

Problems we still struggle with:

1) Intimacy - he pulls away from me because he has anxieties about sex with me (which he developed after marriage), and my attempts to show him love by non-sexual affectionate actions seem to "smother" him.

2) Sex life - I don't understand fully his anxiety about sex. From my viewpoint, I really don't know what's changed. He insists it's not my appearance (I gained a small amount of weight over our marriage, but I have looked after my appearance otherwise and think I am still attractive, but I am trying to get in shape more at the same time). He says that I stress him out and he worries about his potency. I've always been tactful and supportive as far as possible but maybe that was not enough. I've tried everything from seduction, suggesting new things, getaways, books, flirting, talking about it (major no no for him), me initiating (he told me not to because it stresses him) but to no avail. And pre-affair, when I gave up trying these things, he then thought that I didn't care about him. It's a real dilemma for me, since trying too hard = bad, and not trying enough = bad. I don't know what else I can do.

3) Social life differences - He is very sociable and always has friends and parties to attend, whereas I like spending time at home and don't socialise as much. He has a minimum of 3 appointments to meet up with various friends of his a week, whereas I'm lucky if I have one every other week. I'm just the kind of girl with a few close friends, whom are women with families and thus don't party and get out alot. He has lots of single and young happening friends and acquaintences who regularly invite him out for nights on the town.

4) Related to no. 3 is my fear. I'm just terrified right now after the discovery, I am so scared that he might see her again, that he might get too close to another female. Despite this I don't want to "force" him to stay at home with me or drag me along, I want him to feel free but yet I am terrified and I can't hide my distress. I cry to myself and I know it makes him bad and guilty when he sees me, but it's just too soon for me to stop the crying.

I'm sorry for the long post. I think the underlying problem is that he still loves me but he isn't 'in love' with me anymore. I used to feel this way too... but after almost losing him to someone else, I now feel like I'm really in love with him again.

We wanted to see if we could fix our problems before resorting to counselling. I just don't know how to go about doing it.

I'm glad to find a place where there are others sharing their problems. Sometimes it really feels lonely to be struggling with these issues on my own.
 

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Counceling.

1)You need to practice hugging and kissing when he comes home or you come home. Real hugs and real kisses to improve the intimacy with each other.

2)You both need to talk to a councelor on this one. I think he has some insecurities about his own body. The affair could also have stemmed from him trying to feel positive about himself.

3) You need to start going out with him once in awhile and he needs to start staying home and doing things with you as a couple--I like bubblebaths :D. I'm a big home body but when hubby goes and plays in his band. I go. I much rather stay at home alot of those times but I know by going he knows how much I care about him. We also have date nights just the two of us. You both have to meet half way here.

4) He could do it again and he needs to be transparent at this point with e-mail, phone calls, etc. He needs to be where he says he is, when he says and you have to be able to meet up with him at any time. It is going to take alot of time to fix that one. My biggest suggestion is he needs to stop going out with friends and start focusing on his marriage if that is what he wants to do.
 

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Hi Healing,

I'm sorry to hear you are going through this. The steps you have taken so far are really good and I'm glad they are working for you.

What you are feeling since finding out about his betrayal is totally normal. It can take months, sometimes years to feel 'normal' again (from what I hear as I'm working on this as well) It does get better over time, but it's really important that you move at your pace and not try to ignore/bury your feelings. That's how your marriage got where it is today.

It sounds as though he is remorseful and it probably does make him feel bad seeing how he has hurt you, but talking about how you are feeling is necessary, but temporary. Each discussion you have will help you heal, especially if you understand why it happened, where your marriage was at and that you are taking steps to improve it.

I do think he needs to account for his time and that you are entitled to be reassured by him as you've been through a lot. He needs to move at your pace. From your end, I would really try to focus on getting the answers you need and making sure you do it in a gentle way and reassure him that your goal is to improve and heal your marriage, not to upset him or make him feel bad. I am struggling with this as well but the obsessive thoughts are almost gone now and they were constant in the beginning (it's been 10 months)

At one point early on I did forgive my husband as although it's no excuse, I fully understand my role in where our marriage was. I too became withdrawn because I felt he would eventually leave me.
I also told him that he would not ever need to worry about me hanging this in front of him. In other words, it was important for me to leave it in the past and never use it against him down the road. He definitely appreciated hearing that because I think in some ways it might have almost been easier for him to leave and start over fresh then deal with the guilt and the work that lie ahead of us.

I hope you are able to get him to open up more. It's hard to tell from your post what his intimacy issues may be. I can throw out some things to think about that may or may not apply...

Do you think he may view you as more of a motherly role than a wife? In other words are you the take charge type and do you see that he may be intimidated to talk to you about his feelings? Does he feel that you may not really need him around? If he sees you in that way, it could be a sexual turn-off for him.

Are you overly sensitive by nature where he is afraid to say what he feels for fear of upsetting you?

I also agree with happilymarried67 that now is the time he should stop all the socializing with the single guys (that's where he was tempted in the first place) unless you can be there & you should stop the online gaming if you haven't already.

Maybe start small with the talking if it's difficult for him. Rather than going directly to the sex issues, talk about your hopes and dreams for your lives together. Respond to him positively when he hugs you (I really love it or It feels so good when you hug me) etc. as it may encourage him to initiate that behavior more often.

Anyway, lots of rambling but hopefully some bits and pieces you find useful :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thank you all so much for your replies.

happilymarried67: I have gotten some contacts for counselling (though I'm not sure which one is good). I want to try it if it will help. I do very much want to go with him when he goes out, but he keeps saying that it "isn't polite" to bring me unless I'm specifically invited. This completely puzzles me, I know that everyone needs to have their "alone time" but on the other hand, why is it that MY friends always ASK me to bring him whereas his friends rarely do? Only a few of them know me as well, and make sure to invite us as a couple... the rest do not.

Swedish: I'm glad to know that after time the obsessive thoughts will pass... I hope I will get to that stage too. On the intimacy problem, I don't think I'm motherly or bossy to him, but I am sensitive and my feelings are easily hurt. I know this weakness and I try to be objective to criticism, but right now... there's no input from him and he has claimed its "nothing about me".

Both of you have suggested that he stops socialising with the single guys... well he has stopped going for drinks with that group he was with when the affair happened. However right now he is out again with friends for drinks (4th Friday night in a row) and he tells me its a different group of friends. He told me not to worry and promised me he'd be back by 2 am, and its 2.30 am here and he's still out. He tries to keep me informed of his whereabouts now, and calls me/texts me more often. But it feels to me like my life came to a standstill since the incident and I'm focusing every ounce of my energy into trying to fix things with him... but he still finds it possible to go out with his pals... its like nothing has changed for him other than some new reporting responsibilities.

I don't want to have to tell him to stop partying. I wish that he would WANT to stop for the sake of our marriage. He knows that every second I'm living in fear still, and right now I'm sitting here waiting up for him to come home (and I have to get up at 6 am because we have something happening tomorrow with his folks). I don't know, maybe I'm being unreasonable but I wonder why he can be so happy out there with other people when I'm sitting here by myself fighting off tears.

Edit: Is it because he doesn't respect me? Am I being too much of a pushover. Sometimes I wonder if it would work if I really let loose and got angry, and made demands. All this "nice girl" thing has never brought me anything in life but pain.
 

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Edit: Is it because he doesn't respect me? Am I being too much of a pushover. Sometimes I wonder if it would work if I really let loose and got angry, and made demands. All this "nice girl" thing has never brought me anything in life but pain.

My hubby does not go to events/parties that I am not invited to. Infact I have a big problem with him stating that you are not invited but that is just me. I would at this point give the ultimatum that I am not a doormat, work on the marriage, do things that are inclusive to both of us or get out. I am a woman of little words at times. Don't let yourself be his doormat. This is a marriage a partnership. This is not I'm going out to party while you sit at home.
 

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I do very much want to go with him when he goes out, but he keeps saying that it "isn't polite" to bring me unless I'm specifically invited.
Considering he cheated, if he really wants to work on your marriage, he should limit his partying to the friends that invite you along.
I am sensitive and my feelings are easily hurt. I know this weakness and I try to be objective to criticism, but right now... there's no input from him and he has claimed its "nothing about me".
I could have written this. I actually have to pull information out of him because if I ask in general he says it's not you, you're great, etc. But if I ask "When I get upset and shut down, does it make you feel that you can't talk to me?" Then he will start to talk. And did say that he's sometimes afraid to say things to me because he doesn't know how I will take it.

I can see now that it was easier for him to talk to someone else about our marriage problems. Someone that was not involved and would not be hurt by his venting. Unfortunately, the person he opened up to was not a friend to him, but rather encouraged him to get out and that she was a better option. I'm glad he saw the light before it was too late.

We both realized we need to talk when things bother us so we don't build up resentment towards each other and I work hard at making sure he can say what he feels without worrying about hurting me. Part of it is me thinking about the issues within our marriage and bringing them up to him as suggested above so he feels that if I'm already thinking that, I can handle talking about it without getting upset.

I am also working on telling him why something he says hurts my feelings but at the same time tell him it's ok and I'd much rather know how he feels and possibly get hurt than create distance between us because he's afraid of my reaction. And if I am doing something that bothers him, there's no way for me to know unless he tells me.
But it feels to me like my life came to a standstill since the incident and I'm focusing every ounce of my energy into trying to fix things with him... but he still finds it possible to go out with his pals... its like nothing has changed for him other than some new reporting responsibilities.

maybe I'm being unreasonable but I wonder why he can be so happy out there with other people when I'm sitting here by myself fighting off tears.
I have not experienced this with my husband other than to say that since we've started working on our marriage we have both been fully vested and it's never been better. However, I did go through points of thinking he did this horrible thing, hurt me terribly and the result is he gets this happy marriage while I still struggle. Waaa Waaa (stomping feet) it's not fair!

But I love him and I love seeing him happy and smiling and excited to walk in the door. I definitely don't want him to feel my pain. One night he just broke down in tears and it really stood out for me because I wasn't having a bad day, bad thoughts or bringing up anything. He just said he was so sorry he hurt me like that. I do think it's important that he shows remorse for the hurt he caused you.

Edit: Is it because he doesn't respect me? Am I being too much of a pushover. Sometimes I wonder if it would work if I really let loose and got angry, and made demands. All this "nice girl" thing has never brought me anything in life but pain.
I could have written this as well. I really took a good look at myself and decided what I wanted for my life and my marriage. I will never be a nagger/yeller, that's just not who I am. But I was sure to tell him my expectations going forward and at the same time made sure he knew that our marriage was my top priority and a big part of that was making him happy. I told him if he couldn't imagine spending his life with me (and not give in to the temptation of cheating) then he should move on, that an open marriage was not in my plans.

I could look at almost every area of my life and started to feel every man in my life has totally taken advantage of my kindness, as if kindness = stupid blonde swede (ok I am a blonde swede, but not stupid!), and I really started to get stronger with these people and speak my mind and stop the constant giving. The fallout is the confrontation...that I hate, but at least I don't feel used.

Don't change the good qualities that make you who you are. Do look at what really makes you happy and put your energy there. Feel good about yourself from day to day. Happy, confident people are attractive. I know right now it will be somewhat forced, but thoughts drive our emotions so the more you can force your thoughts into positive things, the better you will feel.

I hope the best for you. Hang in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Reading your post made me smile, Swedish. :) Yes, I don't want to change who I am either, but I know I gotta learn to spit it out when I'm unhappy, and not just keep it inside. Your response and that of happilymarried67 gave me the courage to come out and say what I was feeling.

So what happened that night was I told him outright when he finally came home at 4 am (2 hours after he had promised) was that he was not respecting me when he broke his promises like that. I also said that I was not going to sit at home all my life while he did things that consciously or subconsciously excluded me.

Basically, without going into the drama, he admitted that he had lost track of the time while under the influence of a little alcohol and the company of his friends. On his own, he told me that he was sorry he disappointed me again and he now realises that its hard for him to control himself in such a situation, and so he said that he will not put himself in a situation like that again. Aka, he won't go out for drinks without me, for any reason. I was surprised that he did that really, I didn't expect that he would do something that drastic so suddenly, but I was touched.

Here's hoping this works out... also we're getting better at communication... I'm hopeful. :)
 

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I am so glad to hear you were able to open up and especially that he was so understanding :)

When something is bothering you and it's difficult for you to speak up, just remember the result you had this time. You won't regret saying the things you need to say if you know they will help your marriage. You will only regret the things you failed to say.

My best to both of you going forward & we are always hear to listen as things come up for you. I know it has helped me to hear how others are moving forward.
 

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Hi Healing
I strongly feel for you on your predicament. You are surely a woman a sane minded man would love to have as a wife. What i am about to tell you i mean from my heart and from experiences of people i am so very close to: MOST MEN WHO TAKE THEIR FRIENDS MORE SERIOUSLY THAN THEIR FAMILY (I.E WIFE AND CHILDREN) END UP BEING A WRECK AT OLD AGE, and if care is not taken they completely drain the family of valuable savings that could have been used for more purposeful things later in life. I am sure you have heard of the saying that ' A SHEEP THAT WALKS WITH A STRAY DOG EVENTUALLY EATS ALL THE RUBBISH THAT THE DOG EATS i.e your husband strayed and had a one night stand because he moved with bad friends.
Honestly speaking, i dont think your husband is ready to be married, and if you were my sister, i will think of having a plan B. If he is not ready to change and own up to been a married man, then i think you should let him know you've got friends and choices as well. This way hopefully, we will know whether he truly loves you or not.
take good care, and i seriously hope that he changes.;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all so much for your advice. I'm far from a perfect wife myself to be honest, but I suppose I'm just more "domesticated" mentally than he is. :p

I wish I knew before we were married the things I know now. So much pain could be avoided if people were fully prepared for marriage and knew what it would entail. I feel like lots of people aren't prepared for marriage, they aren't conscious of the sacrifice it entails (and it does entail personal sacrifice) which to me is outweighed by the wonderful happiness and benefits that a couple gains as a COUPLE.

I guess if I were to try to rationalise, while he a strongly independent and self-sufficient person, I'm happier with a companion than alone, and I would rather please someone else than please myself. I guess you can say I'm more dependent. I guess while we don't need to change our innate natures he needs to learn to start thinking in terms of "WE" and "SHE" instead of always "I", and I need to learn to sometimes think about "I" and "WE" instead of always "HE".

Drax: He has confessed that he probably wasn't ready to be married. However, he says he wants to make this work. Thank you for your insights, I found them very true and hopefully useful. :) Fingers crossed.

I am hoping we will find more mutual friends who promote our couplehood rather than individual friends who divide us.
 

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As for your Mutual and Individual friends..I feel that they are must. I am having Martial problems right now and they stemmed alot from My wife not liking my friends...and Visa Versa so we drifted. She still has her friends (which hate me at this point) but I told her I am welcome to being around them now.
Mutual Friends are good and a Blessing, there has to be a balance.
 
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