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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My H and I have been married over 20 years. We have 2 children, the younger about to go to college next fall. He is 54 and I am 50. My problem is dealing with gut instincts that tell me he is heading towards an EA or PA. For over a year now, he has been increasingly moody, irritated and distant. Mid life, right? Has issues with daughter going to school too far away, business (self-employed) is lousy and he's lost interest in it, spends lots of time riding bike or climbing mountains -- personal challenges. He's also become more outward socially, introspective to others and spends most of his day away from home. We have always respected each other's individuality and freedom to socialize/travel with friends (of same sex).

He became friends with one of my acquaintances, who was going through a divorce with a rotten H. She (OW) is very personable, athletic, witty, humorous, and has lots of friends, including guys. He helped her become interested in cycling, and they became closer friends over the first 3-6 months. I was not uncomfortable, as she was kinda just "one of the guys", although she is attractive.

A couple of months ago, the gut feeling arose after hearing that she had breast augmentation, and friends told me she never looked happier. I have not seen or spoke to her since before her surgery. The phone calls with H seemed to be on the rise, so I checked my H's cell phone records. I learned that they have talked on the phone over 25 hours during the last 8 months, and lots of texts as well. They have also had occasional lunch dates and a few social encounters in the eve with other friends.

I decided to confront him and let him know it was out of bounds and hurtful to me that he would call her first thing after leaving the house, after saying almost nothing to me. He shrugged it off completely and reassured me that they are just friends. I have seen a few colorful and flirty emails, but nothing that would indicate true EA. Since our talk, the calls have dropped off dramatically, but he has made several calls to her from his office line that I'm aware of.

Aside from all this, there is another younger single woman that he has recently built a friendwhip with who has got him on a vegan kick. He is now contacting her more frequently, and my gut instincts tell me that he is definitely attracted to her, but outwardly insists again that he just likes having these friends, and doesn't want to give them up.

Our marriage, in hindsight, was on auto-pilot, and not in really great shape. Ironically, I pledged to reinvest in our marriage several months ago, and we have made progress in communicating, as well as in the bedroom. There is so much more to this situation, of course, but my trouble is trying to understand his "need" for outside attachments of the opposite sex, particularly younger single women. I have researched all about EA and infidelity on the web, but just need to "journalize" my feelings now and find out if I'm distorting the realities, or if my gut (which is wrenching with every cell phone call) is right on (and it usually is).
 

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There is so much more to this situation, of course, but my trouble is trying to understand his "need" for outside attachments of the opposite sex, particularly younger single women. I have researched all about EA and infidelity on the web, but just need to "journalize" my feelings now and find out if I'm distorting the realities, or if my gut (which is wrenching with every cell phone call) is right on (and it usually is).
Very astute of you to recognize there is a "need" here. Almost all affairs (EAs in particular) start because the WS perceives there is a void in the relationship with their spouse. In your husband's case that need may be to receive complements, to feel younger, ego strokes or to present himself as a mentor. Speak to him openly about your wanting to understand that need and what you can do help fill that. Your gut is correct that he my be or soon be involved with one of these women in a relationship that is detrimental to the marriage. The slow down in the cell calls and increase in the office calls to OW#1 indicates he is already trying to take the relationship below the radar. Address and understand the marital issues first and then the other women.

OBTW My marriage survived then thrived after the discovery of my wife's EA. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so much for the reply. Strange how my rediscovering my H has also uncovered these threats. I have also noticed frequent online searches for porn, as well as missing Viagra pills. Also suspect porn activity on his cell phone, as there are bouts of large data usage (300-500KB) typically early a.m. when I'm up and out of bed.

If I were to psychoanalyze him, I would point to attachment issues from childhood, where there was no affection between parents, father was alchoholic, etc. I have never seen him cry or pray. I am beginning to conclude that, in his perspective, love = sex.
 

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i have a very similar situation as yours LadyinRed. it is very frustrating..and it hurts.

i too have found lots of texts and calls to other women on my husbands cell..from looking at the bill. i don't check his actual phone anymore. he doesn't even want me touching his stupid phone. i noticed that there would be ONE text from me to him and he would ignore my text while texting the other women..even texting them for a couple of hours off and on each day for a few days in a row. i have confronted him a couple of times. he stops talking to that woman at the time..but then finds another to talk to shortly after i confront him. sometimes it's random women he meets..like the lady who cuts his hair..well she doesn't anymore.
yes, we have problems in our marriage. we do have a great sex life..outside of our problems..as far as i know. i am NOT ugly or overweight (in fact just lost 25 or so lbs in the past 3 yrs) and am VERY OPEN to talking about anything and trying new things. so i don't understand the need for the other women so much.
my husband tells me it is someone for him to talk to who doesn't know both of us and is bias to the situations he is talking to them about..our problems. and why go to lunch with them..instead of me? i called one of the women and she told me that. she was actually honest with what he told her and the fact that they DID go to lunch once. he says they are JUST friends. i just don't believe that.
yes, everyone needs SOMEONE to talk to..but really? WHY the opposite sex? and why so often? i thought ppl talked to their best friends or family about their problems. is that not true for some ppl?
 

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...but my trouble is trying to understand his "need" for outside attachments of the opposite sex, particularly younger single women.
This is generally regarded as normal male sexual interest. The fact that he can pull their attention probably means that he is still an attractive man.

Missing Vigara pills is a fairly good sign he is using them somehow.

If I were to psychoanalyze him, I would point to attachment issues from childhood, where there was no affection between parents, father was alchoholic, etc. I have never seen him cry or pray. I am beginning to conclude that, in his perspective, love = sex.
Most men experience feeling loved by a woman via sex. This is fairly normal male reaction. There's not really a need to psychoanalyze this. Men like attractive women.


I believe your course of action is to get yourself more into the game and start interacting with him more. It sounds a little like you ignore him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well stated, and thanks for your comments. You're so right, and I have been back in the game, and finding many pleasurable rewards :) Trying to deal with some confidence issues arising from his obvious outside attractions, which I am trying to accept within boundaries. Read your blog post re: sex rank, and I see us neck-in-neck for our age. Also read about the body agenda, so that helps me understand the midlife thing much more clearly. Thanks for breaking it down from the man's perspective. Aside from morphing into a hot 35-year-old vegan, I'll do my best to keep the fires burning at home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Jinx, I definitely can relate, although I don't suppose my H is discussing our marital problems so much as just toying with other interests, such as cycling and veganism (yuk!) All I can offer is that, in my case, I can only control my emotions and actions. I decided that I must be the change I want to see in our relationship; be confident, willing to communicate, and attentive to his needs without smothering. I have learned from lots of research lately that many emotional affairs evolve from friendships very similar to your H's, particular if there is a sexual attraction. My H and I are having better luck at rekindling the sexual intimacy than discussing other problems, but I'm finding that as the sex improves, so does his willingness to engage more in our communication. I wish you luck, be strong and know that you have tried your best.
 

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Read your blog post re: sex rank, and I see us neck-in-neck for our age.
I'm glad you're getting some insight from this, but I suspect you're not quite grasping that your Sex Rank is likely lower than his now.

Female sexiness peaks earlier than men's does. Women are probably at their hotest around age 20-25 and then they have a slow decline as they age. Men can slowly gain Sex Rank up into their 50s even as they get wealthier and more socially powerful. I'm sure you completely get the idea / fear that he might just "replace you for a younger model".

In anycase your solution is going to be the same. Work on physical appearance, both in terms of body shape and clothing. Pay him attention and be with him. Give him sexual attention and be playfully fun / try new things in bed. Stroke his ego / admire him. (You might really like "His Needs, Her Needs" btw) If he's out with other women, you should probably intercept that too.

So no you can't turn yourself into a 35 y/o vegan, but you can maximise your attractiveness.

You might be interested in;
Married Man Sex Life: Male Mid-Life Crisis Is A Myth
Married Man Sex Life: Female Mid-Life Crisis Is A Myth
Married Man Sex Life: So What Can She Do To Keep Him Chasing Her Skirts?
YouTube - SMBC Theater - Cosmotopian
 

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sounds like you may be on the right track. hopefully your husband will see that you are trying to make things better and he jumps on board with you.

All I can offer is that, in my case, I can only control my emotions and actions. I decided that I must be the change I want to see in our relationship; be confident, willing to communicate, and attentive to his needs without smothering.
i agree with you here. these things as well as changing my attitude. i have been implementing it all in my life and relationship. so far it seems to be helping. my hubby has been coming home again after work..instead of going to hang with his buddies.
of course..my husband giving the other women more attention than me is what bothers me most. happens mostly while he is at work. i have told him that it bothers me and it doesn't seem like he understood. not sure he actually does even tho he has been home more, lately...the past 1 1/2 wks. i may be wrong here..but i feel that even tho he may be playing his PS3 for a couple/few hours after he gets home..at least he is home and talking to me a little. he doesn't get on his cell much at all when he is home..so that is good as well.
has been 3-4 months since we have done anything outside of our home. we do have a daughter and only 2 of my friends who offer to watch her. so that's hard for us being able to spend quality time alone.
 
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