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He was, but so was I. I'm more like your wife, @Rus47
I'm friendly with everyone. I love people, much more than he does. He does attract others. So what are you thinking? These women are just attracted to him and he's not responsible for anything beyond that? Easy to imagine he's cheating because he's loved and admired? I have considered this. But he seems to encourage it all!!
Hi Status Check...maybe there's friendly (the innocent kind where someone just has a great personality) and then there's "friendly" (the not so innocent kind, with ulterior motives).

Which type do you think your husband is? Because I've met both types. A person can be friendly and have others assume they are flirting, but they are not.
But there are also people who seek out attention (in a bad way) and then claim they are just being "friendly". So which one do you think he is?
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Wow, all of this sounds bad. His behavior, the way that girl acts around you, and this..."he's on excellent behavior in public and around more distant family and all friends".

If he treats you differently in public than he does in private, that doesn't sound good. Not saying it's proof of anything...but it doesn't sound healthy.
I should add that he treats our kids wonderfully - is a great dad other than poorly modeling how to handle love/marriage/attraction etc. So other than this marriage bond-busting behavior he doesn't have the other vices - doesn't drink much, no drugs, no gambling (although this other behavior is risk-taking).

He is pleasant and supportive with me much of the time at home. He wants to do things with me - hiking, biking, lunch dates etc (as said before though hardly ever sex). Asks me about my day etc. Problems solves with my work/school situations (as I do for him).

But he slips into dark modes where he's simply nasty and undermining. I've wondered if these are times he's feeling emotionally connected to someone else. That's what it feels like. His last one lasted a long time - 2.5 weeks - when our oldest was leaving for college and we were all sad to say goodbye and needed each other for support. He did not talk to me for half of this time. Literally walked out of the room if I entered it. Because I told him to stop patronizing me and being condescending. It was building up and I snapped- and did tell him to stop that behavior. That's when he stopped talking to me. This was his worst bout ever and he was awful. And he seemed torn and tormented. This is also when the barista/coffee shop owner (such a cliche!!! how embarassing) started her hostile behavior.

I'll add that he has a high profile policy role (community volunteer) where we live. It would be extremely risky for him to get involved with someone in our small community like that b/c word would get around so fast and people would love to know our unified front has such cracks in the foundation. Still many of these flirtations are local. So then I wonder if he has a mental health issue to risk his reputation like that (not to mention his sons') but maybe such self-absorbed people don't think about that?

Being warm and super friendly is natural for him but tires him out (introvert). So at home he's more natural, including showing manners and grumpiness he would never show strangers or acquaintances. Yes that's true. And it's true the flirting (like the ex. I gave re. the woman who said she lives across the street from where the kids practice for 2 hours) also seems natural and very shockingly sickeningly comfortable to him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Hi Status Check...maybe there's friendly (the innocent kind where someone just has a great personality) and then there's "friendly" (the not so innocent kind, with ulterior motives).

Which type do you think your husband is? Because I've met both types. A person can be friendly and have others assume they are flirting, but they are not.
But there are also people who seek out attention (in a bad way) and then claim they are just being "friendly". So which one do you think he is?
well @MichelleMyBelle I've told myself all these years its the former. @jlg07 was spot on when they said he has boundary issues. I've always reasoned w/ myself that his easy-going social presence combined with boundary (lack thereof) issues makes him a prime target. I've focused on telling him to be aware of being a target b/c of this and he's sworn up and down over all the yrs that he is very clear with everyone he's happily married and taken (this is what he tells me). The creepy behavior I catch glimpses of though and am learning to see shows me he's fully employing the lack of boundaries to manipulate, lead on and entice.

I'd say I'm the friendly type that some people could wonder if it's flirting, but my husband has never in 27 yrs of marriage accused me of flirting and in fact says the opposite, that I'm just warm and friendly and that's pleasant.
 

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I should add that he treats our kids wonderfully - is a great dad other than poorly modeling how to handle love/marriage/attraction etc. So other than this marriage bond-busting behavior he doesn't have the other vices - doesn't drink much, no drugs, no gambling (although this other behavior is risk-taking).

He is pleasant and supportive with me much of the time at home. He wants to do things with me - hiking, biking, lunch dates etc (as said before though hardly ever sex). Asks me about my day etc. Problems solves with my work/school situations (as I do for him).

But he slips into dark modes where he's simply nasty and undermining. I've wondered if these are times he's feeling emotionally connected to someone else. That's what it feels like. His last one lasted a long time - 2.5 weeks - when our oldest was leaving for college and we were all sad to say goodbye and needed each other for support. He did not talk to me for half of this time. Literally walked out of the room if I entered it. Because I told him to stop patronizing me and being condescending. It was building up and I snapped- and did tell him to stop that behavior. That's when he stopped talking to me. This was his worst bout ever and he was awful. And he seemed torn and tormented. This is also when the barista/coffee shop owner (such a cliche!!! how embarassing) started her hostile behavior.

I'll add that he has a high profile policy role (community volunteer) where we live. It would be extremely risky for him to get involved with someone in our small community like that b/c word would get around so fast and people would love to know our unified front has such cracks in the foundation. Still many of these flirtations are local. So then I wonder if he has a mental health issue to risk his reputation like that (not to mention his sons') but maybe such self-absorbed people don't think about that?

Being warm and super friendly is natural for him but tires him out (introvert). So at home he's more natural, including showing manners and grumpiness he would never show strangers or acquaintances. Yes that's true. And it's true the flirting (like the ex. I gave re. the woman who said she lives across the street from where the kids practice for 2 hours) also seems natural and very shockingly sickeningly comfortable to him.
He could have some kind of mood disorder like bipolar or something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Question: is it a common type of cheater who plays the victim? So they claim they didn't encourage it but the other person through themself on the cheater? This would be what my husband is telling himself.
When confronting my husband as I did recently he said "I don't like the person you're describing." He will also say "That is not me!"
So he's clearly rationalizing his behavior and flirting somehow. These women need him (not the other way around), etc. Wow that would be quite a narccisist... I wonder what all will come out with counseling. Yikes
 

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He is pleasant and supportive with me much of the time at home. He wants to do things with me - hiking, biking, lunch dates etc (as said before though hardly ever sex). Asks me about my day etc. Problems solves with my work/school situations (as I do for him).
So he would be a pretty good roommate. Husband, not so much. I have to say IMO if he were draining his tank elsewhere you would know. He would be after you sometime, at least between conquests. Maybe he enjoys the attention from strange women. But he is like dog chasing a car, would have no idea what to do with it if he caught one.
 

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People like him — and I was engaged to one — may believe what they say. Whether they actually do believe it or not they absolutely want you to. They don’t stop because they see no reason to. It’s who they are. I ended my engagement and I’m very glad I did. My opinion? He’s playing you and you’ll get burned one day.
 

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I should add that he treats our kids wonderfully - is a great dad other than poorly modeling how to handle love/marriage/attraction etc. So other than this marriage bond-busting behavior he doesn't have the other vices - doesn't drink much, no drugs, no gambling (although this other behavior is risk-taking).

He is pleasant and supportive with me much of the time at home. He wants to do things with me - hiking, biking, lunch dates etc (as said before though hardly ever sex). Asks me about my day etc. Problems solves with my work/school situations (as I do for him).

But he slips into dark modes where he's simply nasty and undermining. I've wondered if these are times he's feeling emotionally connected to someone else. That's what it feels like. His last one lasted a long time - 2.5 weeks - when our oldest was leaving for college and we were all sad to say goodbye and needed each other for support. He did not talk to me for half of this time. Literally walked out of the room if I entered it. Because I told him to stop patronizing me and being condescending. It was building up and I snapped- and did tell him to stop that behavior. That's when he stopped talking to me. This was his worst bout ever and he was awful. And he seemed torn and tormented. This is also when the barista/coffee shop owner (such a cliche!!! how embarassing) started her hostile behavior.

I'll add that he has a high profile policy role (community volunteer) where we live. It would be extremely risky for him to get involved with someone in our small community like that b/c word would get around so fast and people would love to know our unified front has such cracks in the foundation. Still many of these flirtations are local. So then I wonder if he has a mental health issue to risk his reputation like that (not to mention his sons') but maybe such self-absorbed people don't think about that?

Being warm and super friendly is natural for him but tires him out (introvert). So at home he's more natural, including showing manners and grumpiness he would never show strangers or acquaintances. Yes that's true. And it's true the flirting (like the ex. I gave re. the woman who said she lives across the street from where the kids practice for 2 hours) also seems natural and very shockingly sickeningly comfortable to him.
It's good to hear that he is a good father to the kids. That is one positive thing. And you say he enjoys spending time with you in other ways, but the sex life isn't so hot.
I went through something like that myself a few years ago (thankfully it changed). OK...so you've named some positive aspects of your marriage. Maybe not all is lost.

My husband often gives me the silent treatment lately too, but he isn't nasty about it. He simply shuts down and acts weird.
And like you, sometimes I wonder if somebody else may be the cause of this behavior. Some people can't talk about feelings in a healthy way...so they resort to doing that. I know it hurts, but try not to react when this happens. That might make matters worse.

The barista sounds like a b*tch, to be frank. If you've never said or done anything bad to her, she shouldn't be treating you that way.
I have met those types before...they are "friendly" to your husband, not so nice to you.

As to his position in your community, it sounds like he feels the need to uphold an image to impress others, but acts very different at home.
As an introvert myself, it drains me sometimes to be friendly and chatty. I can do it to a point, but it's not really my style, you know?
So without knowing your husband, I can't say what his deal might be. But some of what you say does sound concerning, most definitely.
Keep your eyes open.
 

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well @MichelleMyBelle I've told myself all these years its the former. @jlg07 was spot on when they said he has boundary issues. I've always reasoned w/ myself that his easy-going social presence combined with boundary (lack thereof) issues makes him a prime target. I've focused on telling him to be aware of being a target b/c of this and he's sworn up and down over all the yrs that he is very clear with everyone he's happily married and taken (this is what he tells me). The creepy behavior I catch glimpses of though and am learning to see shows me he's fully employing the lack of boundaries to manipulate, lead on and entice.

I'd say I'm the friendly type that some people could wonder if it's flirting, but my husband has never in 27 yrs of marriage accused me of flirting and in fact says the opposite, that I'm just warm and friendly and that's pleasant.
I'm new here too, and jlg07 seems to have pretty good advice in most of these situations! Your husband sounds similar to mine in some ways (except mine is tall and gorgeous with nice thick hair 😄).
But yes...a friendly social presence and boundaries that are not firmly in place can sometimes make a person more vulnerable to temptation.

Your husband might be a charming fellow in his own way, but boundaries are key. People have mistaken my friendliness for flirting before ☹ so sadly...I'm not as friendly anymore.
I don't want it to be taken in a way that was not intended. It's one thing for him to be friendly and talk to people, no harm in that, but what you said about his interactions with women/girls (the teenager with the lollipop?) he needs to know that is not OK.
That is unacceptable.

And in his position in the community, he needs to watch it or somebody could accuse him of something. Boundaries are key.
 

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Question: is it a common type of cheater who plays the victim? So they claim they didn't encourage it but the other person through themself on the cheater? This would be what my husband is telling himself.
When confronting my husband as I did recently he said "I don't like the person you're describing." He will also say "That is not me!"
So he's clearly rationalizing his behavior and flirting somehow. These women need him (not the other way around), etc. Wow that would be quite a narccisist... I wonder what all will come out with counseling. Yikes
Sometimes, yes...it can be denial and blame-shifting. We can't say if your husband is a narcissist or not. But what you're describing is denial, it sounds like. Maybe trying to convince you that he doesn't flirt or act inappropriately when in fact he does.
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
So he would be a pretty good roommate. Husband, not so much. I have to say IMO if he were draining his tank elsewhere you would know. He would be after you sometime, at least between conquests. Maybe he enjoys the attention from strange women. But he is like dog chasing a car, would have no idea what to do with it if he caught one.
Yes great roommate you've got it. Right - you don't mind if your roommate lies to you on occasion as you assume they have their own private reasons. not ok in a marriage...
He does suggest sex every once in awhile so then I think we're going to now have an active sex life.
Then I'll initiate and he's not ready. Can't. Do. It. This causes the most alarm bells for me. He may have already had sex recently in these cases??
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
People like him — and I was engaged to one — may believe what they say. Whether they actually do believe it or not they absolutely want you to. They don’t stop because they see no reason to. It’s who they are. I ended my engagement and I’m very glad I did. My opinion? He’s playing you and you’ll get burned one day.
Do you know this is my fundamental worry. I'm happy to hear you ended the engagement!! I should have!
He did cheat on me while we dated - he was overseas and somehow I found out her name and country of origin and tracked her down! I actually called her and talked to her. She told me I was an absolute idiot and that we were too young to worry about this stuff. She told me to go have some fun and lighten up.... They'd had their fun and it seemed he was a blip on her radar and who the heck was I to question they're fun...she's Australian.

right I could hem and haw all these years and he ultimately goes for the younger version of me, when I am not as attractive anymore to fully start over as well. I've also thought he's waiting until our parents are gone because there will then be less accountability re. his reputation. He and my dad have much respect for each other and I know my dad would feel someone ripped his heart out of his chest if he found out H were cheating on me and we divorce. It will truly break his heart and my husband knows this.
 

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Yes great roommate you've got it. Right - you don't mind if your roommate lies to you on occasion as you assume they have their own private reasons. not ok in a marriage...
He does suggest sex every once in awhile so then I think we're going to now have an active sex life.
Then I'll initiate and he's not ready. Can't. Do. It. This causes the most alarm bells for me. He may have already had sex recently in these cases??
I know your comment was in reply to Rus47, but I'll bite. It could be that he has had sex with somebody else, but it's also possible that maybe not.
Does your husband view porn? That can sometimes be the problem. What about his health? There can also be conditions like ED or some other issue that can cause a decline in sex drive.
 

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Then I'll initiate and he's not ready. Can't. Do. It. This causes the most alarm bells for me. He may have already had sex recently in these cases??
No. Doesnt sound like that at all. Was he ever in your long marriage (27 years) wearing you out? My impression is the answer is NO. I mean if he just drained his tank, he is more likely to avoid you until the tank fills back up than to suggest something he knows he wont be able to accomplish.

Is it conceivable that the pressure in the moment deflates him. He suggests sex so then you initiate? Why doesnt HE initiate?
If I waited for my wife to initiate we would never be together. Her version of initiating is to ask “wanna go lay down?”

This almost sounds like a man who psychologically isnt able to consummate. I mean you have kids, so he obviously managed to do the deed a few times. Maybe he really in his head wants to take care of his duties but isnt psychologically able.

Is it possible he was an abuse victim sometime in his early life.

Honestly this doesnt IMO sound anything like a husband who is cheating on you. Ok just read about his fling with Aussie woman so obviously he was able to perform when young in the service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
I know your comment was in reply to Rus47, but I'll bite. It could be that he has had sex with somebody else, but it's also possible that maybe not.
Does your husband view porn? That can sometimes be the problem. What about his health? There can also be conditions like ED or some other issue that can cause a decline in sex drive.
He may view porn I can't tell at all. I've asked and he says no. In desperation for even exposure to sex at some point in our marriage I watched some and told him about it, and he did not seem to know what to do with that. I told him why I was watching it and he really didn't react. If anything he thought it was weird, so I stopped talking about it.

His health is great. Another reason he would want to stay married to me in this roommate/mother/caregiver/friend arrangement. I keep our family very healthy and am great cook. He loves my cooking. And it's healthy - i do a lot of research and careful shopping for our food and it is good.

I can only compare him with my high school and college boyfriends b/c after that there's been noone else. These were all consuming sexual relationships - everything revolved around very passionate sex. I wondered how anyone can become a functioning adult thinking so much about and having so much sex. So toning that down in marriage seemed ok to me, because he was never that passionate with me or eager. so in that there's not been much change, I don't think its ED or his health. He may have been cheating all these years and just not be attracted to a wife -- maybe to him a wife is a functional thing, like having a mother around still. I know that sounds weird but its plausible and I've asked him and pressed this over the years. He swears he's incredibly attracted to me and thinks we have a fine sex life....🙃...
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
No. Doesnt sound like that at all. Was he ever in your long marriage (27 years) wearing you out? My impression is the answer is NO.

Is it conceivable that the pressure in the moment deflates him. He suggests sex so then you initiate? Why doesnt HE initiate?
If I waited for my wife to initiate we would never be together. Her version of initiating is to ask “wanna go lay down?”

This almost sounds like a man who psychologically isnt able to consummate. I mean you have kids, so he obviously managed to do the deed a few times. Maybe he really in his head wants to take care of his duties but isnt psychologically able.

Is it possible he was an abuse victim sometime in his early life.

Honestly this doesnt IMO sound anything like a husband who is cheating on you. Ok just read about his fling with Aussie woman so obviously he was able to perform when young in the service.
maybe in the very beginning only. Then we moved abroad for a short time and should have had an incredibly romantic time. Instead we argued and he got in the weird sort of entanglements I've described with women he was interviewing for his work projects. In one case I was supposed to begin volunteering with one of them (they had great need for people to work with kids and I was excited to help) and she kept calling him and leaving messages for him -- not for me! And she somehow lost interest in me helping her.
Fast forward to right now. My cousin's wife became smitten with him 10 or so years ago. When we were all together she behaved like an absolute idiot. Crushing so hard. My cousin was rightly very irritated - not with her but with my husband. Maybe he saw something I didn't? So we stopped seeing them. But she will sometimes come to where I work and be very superficial asking about our kids. Then she always adds in a very saucy voice - usually on her way out the door - "Tell my husband's name here I said hi"
She and my cousin drove down our street two days ago and she practically jumped out of the car while it was moving waving so excitedly. This was not for me because she an easily see me any time where I work and does not visit. Ever.

So she's crushing on him then and still just because he's cute and nice? Their flirting when we would see them back in the day was extremely uncomfortable and full of sparks. It infuriated me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
No. Doesnt sound like that at all. Was he ever in your long marriage (27 years) wearing you out? My impression is the answer is NO. I mean if he just drained his tank, he is more likely to avoid you until the tank fills back up than to suggest something he knows he wont be able to accomplish.

Is it conceivable that the pressure in the moment deflates him. He suggests sex so then you initiate? Why doesnt HE initiate?
If I waited for my wife to initiate we would never be together. Her version of initiating is to ask “wanna go lay down?”

This almost sounds like a man who psychologically isnt able to consummate. I mean you have kids, so he obviously managed to do the deed a few times. Maybe he really in his head wants to take care of his duties but isnt psychologically able.

Is it possible he was an abuse victim sometime in his early life.

Honestly this doesnt IMO sound anything like a husband who is cheating on you. Ok just read about his fling with Aussie woman so obviously he was able to perform when young in the service.
Abuse victim or some other kind of trauma yes very possible - not sexual abuse though. I know the whole family and life although people can bury things away its true.
 

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He may view porn I can't tell at all. I've asked and he says no. In desperation for even exposure to sex at some point in our marriage I watched some and told him about it, and he did not seem to know what to do with that. I told him why I was watching it and he really didn't react. If anything he thought it was weird, so I stopped talking about it.

His health is great. Another reason he would want to stay married to me in this roommate/mother/caregiver/friend arrangement. I keep our family very healthy and am great cook. He loves my cooking. And it's healthy - i do a lot of research and careful shopping for our food and it is good.

I can only compare him with my high school and college boyfriends b/c after that there's been noone else. These were all consuming sexual relationships - everything revolved around very passionate sex. I wondered how anyone can become a functioning adult thinking so much about and having so much sex. So toning that down in marriage seemed ok to me, because he was never that passionate with me or eager. so in that there's not been much change, I don't think its ED or his health. He may have been cheating all these years and just not be attracted to a wife -- maybe to him a wife is a functional thing, like having a mother around still. I know that sounds weird but its plausible and I've asked him and pressed this over the years. He swears he's incredibly attracted to me and thinks we have a fine sex life....🙃...
In my experience (and this might just be me) most guys won't admit to using porn. But that's just the relationships I've had, your mileage may vary.

His reaction to you watching it is interesting, though. Maybe because viewing porn is often thought of as a man's activity? I wonder. Or he might have this idea that you're not "that" type of woman, so he is uncomfortable with the idea of you watching it.
As you stated, some men see their wives as more of a "good girl/mom" type (even if that isn't always true). It's weird, but that is how some people think. And then they see other women in a different way.

How you describe your ex-boyfriends...I was like that with one former boyfriend many years ago (he died). Have you told your husband that you want to feel more intimate, more connected to him sexually? It could also be a compatibility issue.
Maybe your drive is much higher than his.
 
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