Talk About Marriage banner

1 - 20 of 573 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The change seems to coincide with the pandemic, so I am sure there is an element of stress of the unknown and instability that this pandemic has brought. I understand we tend to take our stress out on those closest to us, I am guilty of this and get snippy and irritable when it's not warranted.
Coming up on 24 years married, the last few years have felt pretty good relationship-wise. We've made new friends and have had a full social life filled with trips and vacations etc. Recently husband is distant, can't engage him in a conversation, is irritable and responds with one or two words or simply doesn't respond to me. No longer is interested in being intimate, hasn't initiated any type of physical connection (not even a side hug) in almost two full months, probably longer. He does a lot of his own scheduling and finds a reason to travel more days during the week for work. He used to talk about me traveling with him, that hasn't come up at all lately. He used to talk about missing me, and text me to connect personally (not just business or family stuff.) Can't remember the last time he asked me how my day was, or how my book was, or how my walk went, or really anything personal. My attempts at drawing him in or showing an interest are met with little to no response, or more likely irritation. Sometimes he is just down right mean, his tone of voice or what he says showing clearly that I am a nuisance. I understand he wants/needs space, and the more he pulls away, the more I want to fix it, feel a connection, but the more I try, the more irritated he gets. I'm trying hard to give him space to work through whatever is eating at him. He's withdrawn from other things as well, not wanting to participate in most of the socializing our friends have been doing online. (there really hasn't been much in person due to the pandemic, but we were invited to go see friends later this month and without asking me, he turned them down.)

I asked him point blank the other day if he was mad at me or tired of me. I called him on his behavior and let him know that the way he was talking/not talking to me made it seem as if I had done something wrong or needed to fix something. He refused to answer any of my direct questions, just looked at me and said there was nothing I could do to fix it, and he refused to talk about it any further, he literally said "we are not having this discussion" and told me that I just needed to go about my business.

He was raised by a mother who showed her displeasure by withholding affection and he parents or has parented that way, having a hard time separating his emotions when he's disappointed or hurt or trying to correct what he thinks is bad behavior or choices (all the kids are mostly grown) so when he does it to me, it's really hard NOT to read that as displeasure on his part and something I am somehow supposed to fix.

Anyway, if I take him at face value, and there is nothing I can do, despite how it feels, how long do I carry on like this before the space he is requesting is something we can't come back from? How long will we just be roommates, occasionally crossing paths or sharing a meal. Letting that continue for too long can't be good, right? On the other hand, to ignore his request and keep striving for a connection is to show him disrespect, and I really don't want to do that. Besides, he just shuts down and/or tells me I am hovering.

Anyone been through something similar or have any insight?
Thanks in advance,
AlmostEmptyNester
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,018 Posts
I asked him point blank the other day if he was mad at me or tired of me. I called him on his behavior and let him know that the way he was talking/not talking to me made it seem as if I had done something wrong or needed to fix something. He refused to answer any of my direct questions, just looked at me and said there was nothing I could do to fix it, and he refused to talk about it any further, he literally said "we are not having this discussion" and told me that I just needed to go about my business.
I'm sorry but he's a married man, when you're married you don't get to behave like this and then dismiss your spouse's justified concerns when they try to raise it with you.

It could be anything - he could be cheating, he could be depressed, he could have a gambling problem...the biggest problem of all though, is that until he tells you, there's not much you can do. Other than go underground and start investigating without telling him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I'm sorry but he's a married man, when you're married you don't get to behave like this and then dismiss your spouse's justified concerns when they try to raise it with you.

It could be anything - he could be cheating, he could be depressed, he could have a gambling problem...the biggest problem of all though, is that until he tells you, there's not much you can do. Other than go underground and start investigating without telling him.
I can't force him to share, maybe he doesn't know what the problem is?

It is incredibly frustrating to know something is wrong and be kept at arm's length. It is very difficult not to feel hurt and depressed, and then resentful and angry, and then I go on the fun rollercoaster again. If he's polite to me, bordering on nice, I get all hopeful, only to be crushed later when he gets irritated at me, for simply existing. This is so far from our typical dynamic, I am so baffled. In late January we took a great trip together with friends, completed a goal we set together, had some great intimate moments that didn't feel routine. THINGS WERE GOOD, like GOOD GOOD. How did we get here? Four months ago and now we are here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Have you asked him outright about an affair?
Yes, I asked him about 6 weeks ago if he was having an affair, more for the shock value and to emphasize just how odd his behavior was, because I really didn't think he was having one, I felt that his behavior was so unlike him.

He said no, or at least he didn't say yes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,912 Posts
I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I don't think you should outright ask him if he's having an affair. Chances are, if he IS having an affair, he'll deny it. Sadly, this sounds like an affair to me. What can you do? Well, to begin with, I'd start checking his phone. After that, I'd suggest a VAR for his car. You have to get evidence that he is seeing someone else before confronting him. Have you considered asking a mod to transfer your thread to "Coping With Infidelity"?

I'm not saying that is for-sure what is going on, but lots of folks on TAM with experience in this area can advise you on how to proceed in finding out what is going on if it's suspected infidelity. Unfortunately, that's what it sounds like to me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Anastasia6

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I don't think you should outright ask him if he's having an affair. Chances are, if he IS having an affair, he'll deny it. Sadly, this sounds like an affair to me. What can you do? Well, to begin with, I'd start checking his phone. After that, I'd suggest a VAR for his car. You have to get evidence that he is seeing someone else before confronting him. Have you considered asking a mod to transfer your thread to "Coping With Infidelity"?

I'm not saying that is for-sure what is going on, but lots of folks on TAM with experience in this area can advise you on how to proceed in finding out what is going on if it's suspected infidelity. Unfortunately, that's what it sounds like to me.

I asked him about an affair about 6 weeks ago, so it's too late for that.
What is VAR?

He has a work vehicle and he travels all the time for work, if he's not where he's supposed to be, I would know it because I also work for the same company. He's also meeting up with other employees, so if he were bringing someone along, that would be pretty awkward & obvious. Although he did de-select the sharing "my location" last week and I received a notice, so I asked him if he meant to do that. Apparently he did mean to do that, and then went back in and re-instated it. However, the other day I was curious about his location and he wasn't showing up...so he must have gone back and changed it again. I KNOW IT SEEMS SO suspicious and falls right in line with an affair, but I am still leaning towards NOT.

I could simply show up at one of his hotel stays. I know where he's making the reservations when he goes out of town, and he knows I can access that info.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,921 Posts
@AlmostEmptyNester Are you guys on lockdown stuck at home or is he off working?

It could be a number of things

1. Worry over his job or finances (now with Covid many companies affected) and the future.
2. He has got himself involved in an affair EA or PA or was in one and with lock down is irritated as he doesn't have the same freedom as before, changing the phone tracing, etc is all very suspicious.
However the switch in behavior is worrying.

You have to stop asking him anything or begging for his attention. Eyes open, mouth shut. If necessary document his behavior and the odd things he says. Keep an eye on his coming and going. Do the 180 on him and back off, see how he responds. Stop doing things for him or being so available. Try and live your life without him in the picture, he has made it clear he does not want to be involved, then don't involve him.
Put a VAR (voice activated recorder) in hiswork vehicle, tape it under the seat with strong double back tape and one in the home office if he has one. You do not have enough evidence at this stage so wait until you find some.

If you and your friends are all close, would anyone in your group know what is going on with him. Can you confide in anyone?

What kind of work does he do?
How old are your children?
Do you work or is he the sole breadwinner?

Yes you could show up at his hotel stays but be careful. it might be better to do surveillance or hire a PI to do it for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
@AlmostEmptyNester Are you guys on lockdown stuck at home or is he off working?

It could be a number of things

1. Worry over his job or finances (now with Covid many companies affected) and the future.
Thank you for your input & explanation. While I am going to do my best to go about my business and quit involving him in my daily life and give him space, I'm just not there with the affair. I would be more inclined to think he's been diagnosed with some awful disease and he's mad at me because he visualizes a future where he's not in the picture (dead) and I've moved on with someone else. THAT BEHAVIOR would be just like him, an affair would be really really wild.

We have a small business, owned together, we've worked together almost our entire marriage. I have tried, when the opportunity presented itself, to NOT work together, but he said the company needed my help and he said he feels more at ease knowing that I know details, he trusts me.

While he is the main breadwinner, I also work, we have been true partners. Our lives are so intertwined logistically speaking. I would prefer not to go into too much detail about our lives for the sake of staying somewhat anonymous, however we have 4 children, two together, two from his first marriage, ranging in age between 31-20.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,667 Posts
He’s the only one who knows whether or not he’s having an affair (hopefully he isn’t) but just keep your eyes open and your mouth closed. Don’t dismiss the possibility but don’t continue to ask because cheaters lie and some lie very, very well.

Unlikely people cheat. The truth is that you never know what someone is capable of. If he is, sooner or later he could slip up. But plenty of cheaters never are caught. It took years for me to catch my husband and I could have just as easily have missed the subtle clues that finally confirmed it. That’s true for many.

There may be other reasons for his behavior. Keep looking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
627 Posts
can you hide a GPS in his work car,?

hide a VAR in the house where he takes his calls, hide a VAR in his
personal car.

check phone bill for any new numbers that shows an increase in calls
since his behavior changed. clue to who his AP is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,305 Posts
I can't force him to share, maybe he doesn't know what the problem is?

It is incredibly frustrating to know something is wrong and be kept at arm's length. It is very difficult not to feel hurt and depressed, and then resentful and angry, and then I go on the fun rollercoaster again. If he's polite to me, bordering on nice, I get all hopeful, only to be crushed later when he gets irritated at me, for simply existing. This is so far from our typical dynamic, I am so baffled. In late January we took a great trip together with friends, completed a goal we set together, had some great intimate moments that didn't feel routine. THINGS WERE GOOD, like GOOD GOOD. How did we get here? Four months ago and now we are here.
Wow this sounds emotionally exhausting. I am so sorry. No one deserves this.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,102 Posts
That your husband seems dismissive and annoyed by you all of a sudden, then turning off the phone GPS and MEANING TO, turning it back on,then off again,the increased traveling, and especially that he didn't say no when you asked him if he was having an affair are all red flags that he might be indeed having an affair.

Maybe it's not physical--maybe it's emotional. When a long-ago live-in boyfriend of mine was cheating on me, he all of a sudden was irritated by my mere presence, found fault with the most innocuous things, went out with his "friends" more, and liked to pick nonsensical arguments with me. It was truly odd behavior. One minute we were so happy. 24 hours later he was a changed man and not for the better. Guess what? He was cheating on me with a nurse he hung out with at a work party.

I'm not saying your husband is cheating. What I'm saying is you're being mighty naive to discount that and not consider it along with all the other things. He could be having some medical issues, sure. Let's hope not! Let's hope this is just maybe a touch of situational depression due to the state of our world today.

Someone else mentioned hiring a private investigator. I second that idea. In the meantime, take a look at your cell phone logs and see if theres a number you don't recognize that comes up alot.

Regardless of what's happening, your husband needs to stop treating you like crap. Don't stand for it. I would stop giving him any creature comforts-no laundry, no meals. Let him fend for himself. He's not deserving of your comfort or respect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I'm not saying your husband is cheating. What I'm saying is you're being mighty naive to discount that and not consider it along with all the other things. He could be having some medical issues, sure. Let's hope not! Let's hope this is just maybe a touch of situational depression due to the state of our world today.
...
Regardless of what's happening, your husband needs to stop treating you like crap. Don't stand for it. I would stop giving him any creature comforts-no laundry, no meals. Let him fend for himself. He's not deserving of your comfort or respect.
I know I sound naïve, I know I do. I re-read what I have written and I think If It were someone else's post, I would be thinking that poor lady is in denial. LOL. I get it. I talked with a close friend today, actually a few. One has known us over 12 years and agrees that she just can't see him having an affair, he's got (or had) integrity and standards for himself. Of course, the world has gone crazy now, so who knows how easy it might be for someone to say F-it and abandon long-held values?

This space and distance definitely opens things up for an affair if it continues on (again, assuming he's not already)

I'm psyching myself up for appearing as if I'm great, I'm good, I'm confident, I'm attractive, I've got places to go and things to do and friends to see. THE ONLY PROBLEM is this freakin' pandemic. If I do go places, where the hell am I going to go? Hardly anything is open, how am I going to take up a new hobby, or mysteriously have places to go? Even if I can't figure out what to do, I'll go do something, and I'll be upbeat, and look nice, and be mysterious. I hate that I have to play a stupid game, but I feel like I need to. SO STUPID to be playing games at my age, but I know confidence is attractive. Sitting around feeling sorry for myself, even if I don't say anything, gives off the wrong vibe for sure. He told me to go about my business, so that's exactly what I plan on doing.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,667 Posts
Be careful of relying on what friends and family say. No one really knows what someone else will do. Hopefully, you won’t have to live it but I did. Everyone who knew my husband was absolutely positive he would never cheat because he was so wonderful in every way, blah, blah, blah. Wrong. He did cheat and he wasn’t the first or the last “wonderful” person to see what he could get away with. Don’t ask him again because he’s not likely to tell you if he is but continue to be observant. And accept the fact that you may never know one way or the other what’s going on because sometimes you just don’t.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,018 Posts
Although he did de-select the sharing "my location" last week and I received a notice, so I asked him if he meant to do that. Apparently he did mean to do that, and then went back in and re-instated it. However, the other day I was curious about his location and he wasn't showing up...so he must have gone back and changed it again.
Whoa! If I'd known that earlier my advice would have been completely different. That is a HUGE red flag honey. HUGE.

You need to go covert, VAR's (voice activated recorders) in his home office and his car. Check his emails, your phone logs, everything.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,721 Posts
Agree, SNOOP! Snoop as deep as you possibly can. Him turning off the location sharing is the biggest red flag here, above everything else! Most other things could be explained away by stress and/or depression. The location thing is key.

Get a PI, have him followed. Get to the bottom of this. His refusal to discuss this with you is blatant disrespect to you as his partner, and cancels out his right to privacy.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Whoa! If I'd known that earlier my advice would have been completely different. That is a HUGE red flag honey. HUGE.

You need to go covert, VAR's (voice activated recorders) in his home office and his car. Check his emails, your phone logs, everything.
It is a red flag, I agree. We have spent a lot of time in our relationship dealing with the fallout of his first marriage (she cheated) and him having a hard time trusting me while he was busy traveling and working, even though I have been nothing but transparent. So for him to pull the plug on the location sharing is like a real slap in the face. I'm thinking to myself, "you've made such a big deal about this in the past, why would you even go there?" This is a 180 from the man I know, who would surely want to be able to locate me, but when I went to reciprocate the sharing (which I already thought was on both ways to begin with) he told me that he did not need my location.

So there isn't any subtlety, there is no sneaking, there is outright being mean. He's not pretending everything is OK.

And I'm not at the VAR yet. I'm just not. I'm not sure I want to hear conversations not meant for me. I know I say things about others and would be horrified and mortified to know they had heard things not meant for them to hear. So if he's NOT cheating, I would be violating a very sacred part of our marriage. I'm not there.

I would like to attempt a real conversation with him before it all comes to that.
 
1 - 20 of 573 Posts
Top