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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi ladies. I would very much like to share my situation and welcome any comments or suggestions. So, here goes...
I have been married for 28 years and was very comfortable with my marriage and myself until last April. My husband had become increasingly unhappy and uncommunicative. I had suspected for some time that he was depressed, but he refused to get help. Then one day in April, about a week before our anniversary, he told me he thought he wanted to be single again. I was taken completely by surprise. He had taken two trips out of town alone recently, to see his old childhood friend. These two things combined made me suspect an affair, so I started looking for answers. What I discovered was a telephone relationship with an old female friend that had been going on for over a year without my knowledge. Needless to say I demanded the truth and I eventually got it. There had been no physical affair (I am 99% certain of that), but in my opinion he was emotionally cheating on me, not to mention deceptive and secretive. He seemed to think he hadn't really done anything wrong, but claimed he understood why I felt the way I did. He apologized, got help with the depression, and we moved on. But here we are 8 months later, and I still think about it a lot. I find myself now very insecure about things such as my weight, the effects of aging, etc. I need and want him to understand what he has done to me but I don't want to bring up the past. I would like reassurance from him that he really does love me the same as always, but I am not sure what it would take or how to ask for it. Can anyone help? I am 52 and he is 59.
 

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Hi Nonnie

Sounds like you have dealt with the situation really well.

I guess it sounds like you need to work on two things- one is working on your own self confidence and the other is working on the relationship.

I wonder would it help with your self confidence if you were able to do some new things such as different hobbies or even restart old hobbies again which would allow you to meet other people and grow in confidence. If YOU are concerned about your weight then perhaps you could start an exercise programme or have fun planning low fat menus as I find the more confident I am with how I look and feel the less I bash my self esteem down!

Probably just by building your own self esteem up your relationship anyway will feel more secure. Possibly you have already been doing this but have you been spending quality time with your husband rebuilding your relationship and having shared experiences again together? I think that will help build the intimacy that you had again together which of course was broken down by what has happened and hopefully through that he will give you the compliments and confidence you need and deserve.

Sorry if none of the above makes much sense but either way I think you should be proud of yourself with the way you have dealt with the situation so far as it sounds like you have been very strong.

L
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the words of advice. I think what makes it so difficult is that I had been so very confident in our marriage before this. The one thing good that came out of this is that I no longer take our relationship for granted. I will work on my self esteem as you advice, as it has been damaged by this. Not that he complains about my weight or looks. Just can't help but wonder if it makes a difference. Thanks again.
 

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I think that you are absolutely right that the things that you don't like about yourself are not even noticed by your husband as I think we woman are much tougher critics of ourselves than men ever are!
 

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work on the self confidence, I think it's a very attractive part of someone, it feels great inside as well to know you are worth all that life has to offer, it's tough but forgiveness and positivity in the relationship is everything. 28 years of marriage is worth it, don't let 1 year of drifting ruin the rest of marriage, she didn't really have him, you did, otherwise he would be gone by now.....
make the rest of your marriage the best it has ever been and that comes with a different outlook and confidence, you will see he will notice and respond to that......good luck honey
 

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Did you post this in another part of this site? I feel like I answered it already; maybe not.

One thing I forgot: you need to get tested for STDs. You may feel certain he didn't get physical, but you have no guarantees and I find it hard to believe he has visited the OW twice (that you know of) and didn't have sex. Even without that, I'd say get tested.

Someone told you not to bring this up to him b/c he'd be blaming himself already. I disagree: you need to let him know you are having self-esteem issues b/c you don't know what lead him to make the choices he did. I suggest counseling b/c he might not really know what lead him to the affair and a good therapist will help him identify that, with you as part of the equation. A breakdown in the marriage needs to be thoroughly investigated so both people know what they contributed. It isn't about assigning blame--it's about knowing what needs to be fixed in the attitudes and behaviors of both parties. How will you know what to work on if you don't get to the root of the issues? Maybe it had nothing to do with the things you are doubting about yourself, and you may be working on the wrong things (in the relationship) to get good healing for both of you. Right now you are assuming it was about your age/appearance, but maybe it had nothing to do with that.
 
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