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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi TAM -- I'm here for others' stories and to read opinions of my situation, which I realize is far from unique. So...
How do we tell if our SO of 27 years 1. simply loves the thrill and ego boost of flirting; 2. is somehow outrageously attractive to amorous women (in other words does nothing to encourage them); 3. is a philanderer who is so accustomed to picking up women he's getting sloppy and spouse is finally having to see/accept it.

about him: He was supposedly in love with me our entire growing up time before we dated; he's professionally successful; Phd; nice looking; on the shorter side; losing hair; other women seem to swoon over him; highly intelligent; awkward social skills; grew up around wildly successful men who all cheated shamelessly; we've known each other since 6th grade but dated after college.

about me: I must be decent looking - men aren't wild over me but I get respectful looks; had gained weight probably from lack of sex but now am back in shape (still mostly without sex); kind and friendly; resuming career work after taking time out of workforce to parent; working on masters degree; described as "sweet".

I've always puzzled over all the ruined female relationships/friendships I've had where the common denominator was husband "acting weird" with them and them then becoming weird and awkward towards me. It's to the point that I have to warn him before we go to a party or event, to please don't do anything to "accidentally" attract female flirters. Are some men that appealing? That they can do nothing but dote on their SO but women are still drawn helplessly to them like moths to a flame? Could he be that innocent and are women that sex-starved and aggressive? This is where I want to begin with ya'lls opinions. THANK YOU

p.s. most recent example: at parent gathering for our teenager's hobby. I was facing my husband across a hallway. A slutty looking mom who'd been lingering near us earlier was also on my side so could see him from the same vantage point, asked the question of the organizers, "Is it ok for my son to just walk here? You see, I just live right across the street...." I decided this is a sensible question but then my alarm bells went off. And holy **** I realized she may have said that to signal to interested dads that yes she just lives across the street while they have two hours to kill waiting for their kids to finish up with rehearsals. Right? Or am I just paranoid? Welcome to my daily inner dialog/dilemma/torment.

So my eyes flash to husband who no longer looked like a bored detached parent. He's suddenly smiling a smug smile of obvious warmth, head tilted, eyes scanning her body. I watch his eyes; they seem to settle and squint while scanning her mid-section, then perhaps glance back up to her face and down again. I wanted to vomit. Then his eyes jump to me and he realizes I can see him! His squinches up his face and suddenly looks intensely serious and intent on hearing the organizer again, in an upright posture (and yes he looked worried now). Later he tells me he has no idea what I'm talking about and doesn't remember any person of her description asking that question or being present. Swears he does not know at all what I'm talking about and it's as though we were at two different events.
 

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A slutty looking mom who'd been lingering near us earlier was also on my side so could see him from the same vantage point, asked the question of the organizers, "Is it ok for my son to just walk here? You see, I just live right across the street...." I decided this is a sensible question but then my alarm bells went off. And holy **** I realized she may have said that to signal to interested dads that yes she just lives across the street while they have two hours to kill waiting for their kids to finish up with rehearsals. Right? Or am I just paranoid? Welcome to my daily inner dialog/dilemma/torment.
Honestly, that's does sound paranoid. A short, balding, 50-something year old man is a chick magnet? Doubtful.

Him "acting weird" with these friends, are you sure that's not him being a creep? I highly doubt your husband is just innocently going through life while women throw themselves at him.

It's not healthy or normal for you to have this sort of worry on a daily basis.
 

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Hmmmm - I’d be concerned on so many levels…
He’s a liar even when you see the evidence
He’s paying attention when a woman is a viable/potential candidate for consideration

No trust. No way to make it a happy union.
What do YOU plan to do? Just nothing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Welcome to TAM -- sorry that you are having these issues with your H. HE is the one who has to enforce the boundaries that are acceptable to you and your marriage -- and he sounds like he really is NOT doing that.
Have you gone to any Marriage counseling (MC)???
Yes you're precisely right re boundaries! Its always been his biggest weakness (besides maybe women too). With MIL, friends, everyone. He's a people-pleasing type. I'm just beginning counseling and will then bring him in too. He has not wanted to over the years but we recently hit the bottom and discussed divorce and he said he'd try counseling. He swears he loves me and wants nothing other than to stay together; that he loves/wants no on else; etc etc.
I worry that it's not me he wants as much as our arrangement -- I make him look good and take excellent care of him and have been oblivious -- he has it all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hmmmm - I’d be concerned on so many levels…
He’s a liar even when you see the evidence
He’s paying attention when a woman is a viable/potential candidate for consideration

No trust. No way to make it a happy union.
What do YOU plan to do? Just nothing?
I hear you. I have an appt with a lawyer to find out my options. I would actually love a divorce but hadn't planned for this and do not have my own means after being a stay at home parent, although getting my MS now and have decent, but part time job. Do not want to move our teenager. Husband would have to agree for me to stay in house with teenager and he will likely not do that. I wish he's simply fall madly in love with someone else so going to live with her would make him the most happy. He is absolutely maddeningly snug and happy in our home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Honestly, that's does sound paranoid. A short, balding, 50-something year old man is a chick magnet? Doubtful.

Him "acting weird" with these friends, are you sure that's not him being a creep? I highly doubt your husband is just innocently going through life while women throw themselves at him.

It's not healthy or normal for you to have this sort of worry on a daily basis.
yes he says that, "Right, women are throwing themselves at me! I'm so good looking haha."
He thinks I'm paranoid from early childhood trust issues.
This is why I've questioned myself for 27 years. But is he a chick magnet? I don't know! He somehow is! One time at our friends' house (their kids were teens at the time) the eldest daughter - a gorgeous girl of then 17 - stood about 8 feet from him (all parents and others present) and slowly tongued and licked suggestively a long lollipop (from an easter egg hunt). He stared at her smiling. I kept waiting for the parents to get embarassed and say something! They didn't. She just stared him down and kept sucking and licking. It was disgusting. No one wanted to admit what was going on b/c she was just a girl. HE should have stood up and walked away. I finally said, "Ok,, ok, that's enough!" and stood between them. Everyone acted like this was all innocent silliness. But yet another example of how females behave with him. I suspect he does something intentional, learned and effective to trigger their interest.
But yes I do also keep open the idea I could be paranoid or imagining. I try to stay opened minded and self-aware.
Do things like this happen with everyone and maybe I just notice too much?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Has your husband ever said you were making false accusations t words him or said that you are saying things that are untrue about him? Has he ever been the one initiating these occurrences?
He always says I'm making false accusations. He's never admitted to instigating. He's admitted a few times when the evidence is overwhelming to foolishly going alone with someone else's attentions/advances. In these cases he said, "well it was your friend/cousin/niece/and I didn't want to be rude! What was I supposed to do?"
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
He always says I'm making false accusations. He's never admitted to instigating. He's admitted a few times when the evidence is overwhelming to foolishly going alone with someone else's attentions/advances. In these cases he said, "well it was your friend/cousin/niece/and I didn't want to be rude! What was I supposed to do?"
*going along
 

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I hear you. I have an appt with a lawyer to find out my options. I would actually love a divorce but hadn't planned for this and do not have my own means after being a stay at home parent, although getting my MS now and have decent, but part time job. Do not want to move our teenager. Husband would have to agree for me to stay in house with teenager and he will likely not do that. I wish he's simply fall madly in love with someone else so going to live with her would make him the most happy. He is absolutely maddeningly snug and happy in our home.
So he's a meal ticket? You don't want to be with him and you wish he'd fall in love with someone else and just leave, so long as he keeps paying your bills and puts a roof over your head?
 

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Honestly, that's does sound paranoid. A short, balding, 50-something year old man is a chick magnet? Doubtful.

Him "acting weird" with these friends, are you sure that's not him being a creep? I highly doubt your husband is just innocently going through life while women throw themselves at him.

It's not healthy or normal for you to have this sort of worry on a daily basis.
yeah so.....from your post it sounds like you lost friends not because your husband is so attractive but that he is so inappropriate-- is that more accurate?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So he's a meal ticket? You don't want to be with him and you wish he'd fall in love with someone else and just leave, so long as he keeps paying your bills and puts a roof over your head?
Hmmm.
I feel that's quite a leap you've made! Goodness!
I've been best friends with this person all of my formative years and most of my life. We share much history and unusual things in common. We have mutual friends going back decades. We've traveled the world together and lived in foreign countries and volunteered together and raised wonderful kids together.
Meal ticket -- yikes.
I won't go into my financial and other contributions to the household/relationship. They're significant. All I said was that I had not planned on making my own way in the world as we'd planned our days and future together. We've always planned out our life together, as a unit.
In fact I will always love him and be his friend. If he's a philanderer though I simply want out of the daily planning and living.
 

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Hmmm.
I feel that's quite a leap you've made! Goodness!
I've been best friends with this person all of my formative years and most of my life. We share much history and unusual things in common. We have mutual friends going back decades. We've traveled the world together and lived in foreign countries and volunteered together and raised wonderful kids together.
Meal ticket -- yikes.
I won't go into my financial and other contributions to the household/relationship. They're significant. All I said was that I had not planned on making my own way in the world as we'd planned our days and future together. We've always planned out our life together, as a unit.
In fact I will always love him and be his friend. If he's a philanderer though I simply want out of the daily planning and living.
None of that negates the fact that you'd love to divorce and would love it if he fell in love with someone else, but you can't because you can't support yourself.

That's not love.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
yeah so.....from your post it sounds like you lost friends not because your husband is so attractive but that he is so inappropriate-- is that more accurate?
yes maybe -- I don't really know.
That's why I'm asking total strangers what they think!
So thank you :) everyone for trying to understand and weigh in...

But I'm telling ya'll - women do find him attractive. He does have very handsome features and a nice voice and I guess a sophisticated air about him? That sounds cheezy but he is worldly and multilingual and has a nice build. But yes he's been inappropriate -- absolutely. So we've talked about his social skills - which he admits are awkward. He's an introvert. Growing up he was always the most playful person and everyone loved him for this. He was very popular. Maybe he thinks he's just being playful but now it's slipped into something more (so to speak) because he seems to tap into women's vulnerabilities and neediness.
Then I feel sorry for the women because perhaps he's become very manipulative too with practice. Perhaps they imagine they can have something from him he's not planning to give? It's gross how women seem to think they've snagged him.
There have been many instances of
None of that negates the fact that you'd love to divorce and would love it if he fell in love with someone else, but you can't because you can't support yourself.

That's not love.
you're zeroed in on that so I'll consider your point, but I think we don't share the same view of love. I love him very much. None of this is easy. It's terribly painful. And much more multifaceted and complex than money. I can make it sound easy, which I'm doing so I don't lapse into a dangerous mental health state.
 

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Sorry your man is a swivelhead. He doesn't sound very attractive, to be honest, losing hair, short. But I guess it depends on the crowd you're playing to.

Could you leave and be on your own, or would you rather just stay as things are now? You say he's your SO, so wouldn't be much hassle to leave if that seemed best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
yes maybe -- I don't really know.
That's why I'm asking total strangers what they think!
So thank you :) everyone for trying to understand and weigh in...

But I'm telling ya'll - women do find him attractive. He does have very handsome features and a nice voice and I guess a sophisticated air about him? That sounds cheezy but he is worldly and multilingual and has a nice build. But yes he's been inappropriate -- absolutely. So we've talked about his social skills - which he admits are awkward. He's an introvert. Growing up he was always the most playful person and everyone loved him for this. He was very popular. Maybe he thinks he's just being playful but now it's slipped into something more (so to speak) because he seems to tap into women's vulnerabilities and neediness.
Then I feel sorry for the women because perhaps he's become very manipulative too with practice. Perhaps they imagine they can have something from him he's not planning to give? It's gross how women seem to think they've snagged him.
There have been many instances of

you're zeroed in on that so I'll consider your point, but I think we don't share the same view of love. I love him very much. None of this is easy. It's terribly painful. And much more multifaceted and complex than money. I can make it sound easy, which I'm doing so I don't lapse into a dangerous mental health state.
Hi TAM -- I'm here for others' stories and to read opinions of my situation, which I realize is far from unique. So...
How do we tell if our SO of 27 years 1. simply loves the thrill and ego boost of flirting; 2. is somehow outrageously attractive to amorous women (in other words does nothing to encourage them); 3. is a philanderer who is so accustomed to picking up women he's getting sloppy and spouse is finally having to see/accept it.

about him: He was supposedly in love with me our entire growing up time before we dated; he's professionally successful; Phd; nice looking; on the shorter side; losing hair; other women seem to swoon over him; highly intelligent; awkward social skills; grew up around wildly successful men who all cheated shamelessly; we've known each other since 6th grade but dated after college.

about me: I must be decent looking - men aren't wild over me but I get respectful looks; had gained weight probably from lack of sex but now am back in shape (still mostly without sex); kind and friendly; resuming career work after taking time out of workforce to parent; working on masters degree; described as "sweet".

I've always puzzled over all the ruined female relationships/friendships I've had where the common denominator was husband "acting weird" with them and them then becoming weird and awkward towards me. It's to the point that I have to warn him before we go to a party or event, to please don't do anything to "accidentally" attract female flirters. Are some men that appealing? That they can do nothing but dote on their SO but women are still drawn helplessly to them like moths to a flame? Could he be that innocent and are women that sex-starved and aggressive? This is where I want to begin with ya'lls opinions. THANK YOU

p.s. most recent example: at parent gathering for our teenager's hobby. I was facing my husband across a hallway. A slutty looking mom who'd been lingering near us earlier was also on my side so could see him from the same vantage point, asked the question of the organizers, "Is it ok for my son to just walk here? You see, I just live right across the street...." I decided this is a sensible question but then my alarm bells went off. And holy **** I realized she may have said that to signal to interested dads that yes she just lives across the street while they have two hours to kill waiting for their kids to finish up with rehearsals. Right? Or am I just paranoid? Welcome to my daily inner dialog/dilemma/torment.

So my eyes flash to husband who no longer looked like a bored detached parent. He's suddenly smiling a smug smile of obvious warmth, head tilted, eyes scanning her body. I watch his eyes; they seem to settle and squint while scanning her mid-section, then perhaps glance back up to her face and down again. I wanted to vomit. Then his eyes jump to me and he realizes I can see him! His squinches up his face and suddenly looks intensely serious and intent on hearing the organizer again, in an upright posture (and yes he looked worried now). Later he tells me he has no idea what I'm talking about and doesn't remember any person of her description asking that question or being present. Swears he does not know at all what I'm talking about and it's as though we were at two different events.
Sorry your man is a swivelhead. He doesn't sound very attractive, to be honest, losing hair, short. But I guess it depends on the crowd you're playing to.

Could you leave and be on your own, or would you rather just stay as things are now? You say he's your SO, so wouldn't be much hassle to leave if that seemed best.
We've been married and together for over half my life and we know each other's lives/families/friends so I can't imagine being on my own, but how do you stay with someone doing these things? I thought it was his work, but part of him always feels opaque or inaccessable in spite of our common bonds. It's frustrating. It affects our intimacy. Or at least that's what I thought affected our intimacy. Now I'm realizing our lackluster sex life might be all because he's having it elsewhere, all this time. I thought he just wasn't really into sex. But maybe he actually is! And has been. With others! Then I can't stay married to him. Not for my physical or mental health. So many layers and dilemma.
 

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We've been married and together for over half my life and we know each other's lives/families/friends so I can't imagine being on my own, but how do you stay with someone doing these things? I thought it was his work, but part of him always feels opaque or inaccessable in spite of our common bonds. It's frustrating. It affects our intimacy. Or at least that's what I thought affected our intimacy. Now I'm realizing our lackluster sex life might be all because he's having it elsewhere, all this time. I thought he just wasn't really into sex. But maybe he actually is! And has been. With others! Then I can't stay married to him. Not for my physical or mental health. So many layers and dilemma.
I feel bad for you. He may be restless. He probably doesn't actually want to lose you either, but might just prefer if he had you and whoever else he can attract or something like that. It's not uncommon. That would cause bad feelings for most, though. You have a long relationship. Only you and he can decide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I feel bad for you. He may be restless. He probably doesn't actually want to lose you either, but might just prefer if he had you and whoever else he can attract or something like that. It's not uncommon. That would cause bad feelings for most, though. You have a long relationship. Only you and he can decide.
yes I think you're right. He seems to want me and them - whatever them means - flirting/sex/maybe someday I'll find out for sure. He may wait to reveal this stuff when I'm much past my appeal to other men and more past my ability to find a new fulfilling life without him.
He knows I am 100% monogamous. He has no questions there. But he feels he has some right to play. He also knows, from knowing me most of my life, that I am incredibly loyal.
There was something to how we grew up. I felt the boys in our neighborhood felt there were women you marry and women you ____. I swore I wouldn't marry any guy I grew up with. He seemed different though and we both have foreign relatives so I thought we transcended parochial norms. Perhaps not in his case.
 
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