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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never been on one of these sites before. But I felt because of what happened recently in my life, I needed a second opinion.

We have always been very committed to our relationship. In fact, my wife and I just got back from our 20th anniversary trip in Europe and had a wonderful time. However, one day, due to a scheduling error in our train trip, we didn't get to sit next to each other for the two-hour train ride. I didn't think anything of it until later when she confessed that night that a hot guy was flirting with her the whole time on the train, wanted to take her with him, wanted to do stuff on the train with her, even leaned in and kissed her. She told me she said no, but that it was hard for her and she didn't want it to stop either. She said she was flattered by a guy 8 years younger hitting on her and it made her feel good. She also said that she didn't want to say no, but said what helped her was our two kids, family and the fact we were on our 20th anniversary vacation.

She's been hit on or whistled at in years past, and I've just laughed it off because she has. But this was the first time I felt really hurt mainly because she actually had to contemplate the situation and really didn't want it to end. She never thought to get up and find a different seat, because she didn't want to.

We've talked about this several times since it happened and have had open, calm communication which I feel has helped, even though it has hurt to hear some of her feelings. In fact, the other night she confessed to me that she really didn't want to forget that memory because she liked the way she felt. That's what really concerns me.

She feels so bad about it, how it makes me feel and knows I have always been a true and loving husband and father. We feel it could be due to a lack of passion, spark, intimacy, that may tend to fizzle through the years of marriage. I shower her with affection daily. I don't know what more I can do to reinvigorate the electric passion we had when we were dating 20 years ago. Am I over-reacting to flirting or is this a genuine red flag for a deeper emotional disconnect in our relationship? Any thoughts or suggestions?
 

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I think it could be a positive thing to realize just how attractive and sought-after my wife is. My wife wasn't at all bothered when I told her about the time in CVS, just before Christmas a few years ago, I had somehow gotten into a conversation with a very attractive woman just a bit younger than I (definitely in an eligible age range though) about airline travel & issues and she asked me out for a drink. Had not had that happen before. It did make me feel pretty good. It didn't make my wife feel inadequate at all. I think a little bit of that sort of thing isn't such a bad thing for the ego... for either the person it happens to or their spouse.
 

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She was kissed, enjoyed it, didn't want it to stop, didn't get up, let it continue for two hours and wants to keep the memory. Then she did the cool stuff cheaters, I am calling this cheating do, feel guilty and blame it on everything, but themselves. I mean she did tell you the kids saved her from...... from what exactly? So, if you were just married and no kids she would of left you on the train and gone with unknown guy?

No, you are not overreacting.


I think it could be a positive thing to realize just how attractive and sought-after my wife is. My wife wasn't at all bothered when I told her about the time in CVS, just before Christmas a few years ago, I had somehow gotten into a conversation with a very attractive woman just a bit younger than I (definitely in an eligible age range though) about airline travel & issues and she asked me out for a drink. Had not had that happen before. It did make me feel pretty good. It didn't make my wife feel inadequate at all. I think a little bit of that sort of thing isn't such a bad thing for the ego... for either the person it happens to or their spouse.
Hunh? They kissed, she didn't get up and didn't want to. No, just, no. There is nothing positive about this situation except he knows his marriage is in trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think it could be a positive thing to realize just how attractive and sought-after my wife is. My wife wasn't at all bothered when I told her about the time in CVS, just before Christmas a few years ago, I had somehow gotten into a conversation with a very attractive woman just a bit younger than I (definitely in an eligible age range though) about airline travel & issues and she asked me out for a drink. Had not had that happen before. It did make me feel pretty good. It didn't make my wife feel inadequate at all. I think a little bit of that sort of thing isn't such a bad thing for the ego... for either the person it happens to or their spouse.
Any other time, I wouldn't have thought about it and I haven't in the past. But this seemed different, based on her emotional attachment to the situation and to this strange man.
 

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Hunh? They kissed, she didn't get up and didn't want to. No, just, no. There is nothing positive about this situation except he knows his marriage is in trouble.
He leaned over and kissed her. "They" didn't kiss. Maybe they did, we don't really know, but you're reading more into this than the OP gave.

There is one unusual thing though. Wouldn't the wife have been nervous about her husband coming back and checking up on her from time to time? I would have, just to see how she's doing and say hello.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
She was kissed, enjoyed it, didn't want it to stop, didn't get up, let it continue for two hours and wants to keep the memory. Then she did the cool stuff cheaters, I am calling this cheating do, feel guilty and blame it on everything, but themselves. I mean she did tell you the kids saved her from...... from what exactly? So, if you were just married and no kids she would of left you on the train and gone with unknown guy?

No, you are not overreacting.




Hunh? They kissed, she didn't get up and didn't want to. No, just, no. There is nothing positive about this situation except he knows his marriage is in trouble.
I didn't think I was. But at the same time, I'm looking for more of a constructive approach to this situation, which is why I am here. Is there something that happens at 20 years of marriage that tells one to "check-out" emotionally? What specific constructive advice can help, is it lack of passion, desire, spark, intimacy, etc.?
 

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You had better start keeping an eye on her close now . with what she said it has put the cheating aspect in her head now . so i would start watching her closer . now that she got a taste of it . she will more than likely start looking for more . watch her phone and any social media . and do not fall for any girls night out . and if she works don't fall for any co-workers going out for drinks . watch for sudden changes in mood or actions .
 

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I didn't think I was. But at the same time, I'm looking for more of a constructive approach to this situation, which is why I am here. Is there something that happens at 20 years of marriage that tells one to "check-out" emotionally? What specific constructive advice can help, is it lack of passion, desire, spark, intimacy, etc.?
Wait until you get to 40 years!

This vacation- was it a place she really wanted to go? Was this her time, or was she accompanying you? I make sure to take my wife someplace she really wants to go once a year. It's all about her. Not where I'd like to go, but I enjoy it because she enjoys it, and she knows it's all about her. Hmm. It never occurred to me that "all about her" could be helping her fulfill a fantasy with a stranger on a train! OK, sorry, cheap joke. But what do you normally do for fun? Does she get to help plan things? Otherwise, I can see the "checking-out emotionally" being a problem.

For my wife and I, at 20 years, we were in the very busy stage of raising kids and running a business, basically a separate life for her (raising kids) and me (running the business). She has now repeatedly reminded me that this was all my doing and not a good thing because it forced her to become independent of me and today, she has retained a bit too much desire for independence. So I think you're good looking into this now, taking it reasonably seriously (not what happened on the train so much as the checking-out thing in general). You don't want to be 40 years in and looking back, thinking about the things that should have been taken care of 20 years ago.
 

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She was kissed, enjoyed it, didn't want it to stop, didn't get up, let it continue for two hours and wants to keep the memory. Then she did the cool stuff cheaters, I am calling this cheating do, feel guilty and blame it on everything, but themselves. I mean she did tell you the kids saved her from...... from what exactly? So, if you were just married and no kids she would of left you on the train and gone with unknown guy?

No, you are not overreacting.




Hunh? They kissed, she didn't get up and didn't want to. No, just, no. There is nothing positive about this situation except he knows his marriage is in trouble.
I didn't think I was. But at the same time, I'm looking for more of a constructive approach to this situation, which is why I am here. Is there something that happens at 20 years of marriage that tells one to "check-out" emotionally? What specific constructive advice can help, is it lack of passion, desire, spark, intimacy, etc.?
I think it more the lack of excitement the unknown the unexpected . you have fallen into the same routine over the years . you might try something different in the bedroom . like maybe blindfolds and stuff like that .

But be very worried about what has happened
 

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I didn't think I was. But at the same time, I'm looking for more of a constructive approach to this situation, which is why I am here. Is there something that happens at 20 years of marriage that tells one to "check-out" emotionally? What specific constructive advice can help, is it lack of passion, desire, spark, intimacy, etc.?
People check out for multiple reasons excitement, aging, midlife crisis, weight change, time apart etc etc. There are hundreds if not thousands of reasons.

If you want targeted "constructive" help, you are going to want to provide more of a marital history. General advice is not going to help because you may be doing these things already and it is a bigger issue than you believe.


Playing catch up is hard at anytime and after 20 years it is going to be rough.
 

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I don't know why everyone is being so negative about this conversation. Your wife came to you wanting to communicate and has had multiple conversations about this issue to help you feel better. She was open and honest....even though what she said isn't what you wanted to hear, she still respects you enough to be upfront with you. She doesn't sound like a terrible person. If anything she sounds like someone who loves you and wants that feeling with you. Who wouldn't feel good being hit on by an attractive person? Women want to be pursued so this isn't surprising that is was a thrill. The point is she didn't want to trade her whole life for a fleeting moment of passion with a stranger. Cheaters do not behave this way. Cheaters hide things and manipulate situations in order to not get caught.

I suggest reading a book related to reigniting the spark in marriage or even ask her what her idea of a perfect romantic night is. Its so easy to fall into a routine and lose sight of what drew you to each other in the first place.

Also, congrats on 20 years!
 

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Presuming all was good in the marriage:

I think she was overwhelmed by a young, good-looking, con-man/player who does this regularly to see what he can get. It was a game to him. She, otoh, was excited, feeling attractive and sexy--a touch of limerence there. SHE should have cut him off, but did not.

Yet, she told OP and made the choice to honor her marriage vows. Now they need to work together to bring 'those loving feelings' back to their marriage. He needs to focus on her needs for intimacy and connection; she needs to focus on him feeling appreciated and sexually fulfilled.

Sounds like @Casual Observer could give him/them some pointers.
 

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The only way to stay faithful is to be faithful in actions and words... if one loosens the boundaries by choosing which desire is permitted the slope steepens quickly and before long the boundary becomes the cliff.

I have never witnessed "harmless flirting" from married people be anything but harmful unless both are in agreement with the behavior, and it does not sound like this is the case here.

Attraction to poor choices are poor choices in themselves...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
People check out for multiple reasons excitement, aging, midlife crisis, weight change, time apart etc etc. There are hundreds if not thousands of reasons.

If you want targeted "constructive" help, you are going to want to provide more of a marital history. General advice is not going to help because you may be doing these things already and it is a bigger issue than you believe.


Playing catch up is hard at anytime and after 20 years it is going to be rough.
I tend to think (as well as her) that the disconnect is lack of excitement. We're too busy with the day-to-day mundane stuff (work/kids/etc.) that it tends to crowd out time just to have a one-on-one conversation, Because by the time we do in the evening, we're too tired and want to flop in front of a TV or go to bed.
I'd like to think our marriage is solid. We have always been faithful, been respectful, appreciative and supportive of each other. She has been an excellent mother and I am so grateful to have her. We tell each other we love each other, everyday. We feel we have such a strong relationship already, which is why it's so concerning to me.
 

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I don't know why everyone is being so negative about this conversation. Your wife came to you wanting to communicate and has had multiple conversations about this issue to help you feel better. She was open and honest....even though what she said isn't what you wanted to hear, she still respects you enough to be upfront with you. She doesn't sound like a terrible person. If anything she sounds like someone who loves you and wants that feeling with you. Who wouldn't feel good being hit on by an attractive person? Women want to be pursued so this isn't surprising that is was a thrill. The point is she didn't want to trade her whole life for a fleeting moment of passion with a stranger. Cheaters do not behave this way. Cheaters hide things and manipulate situations in order to not get caught.

I suggest reading a book related to reigniting the spark in marriage or even ask her what her idea of a perfect romantic night is. Its so easy to fall into a routine and lose sight of what drew you to each other in the first place.

Also, congrats on 20 years!
I mean I guess you could read it that way. I read it that if OP wasn't on that train, she would have been all over the guy and I think OPs words support that way more.
 

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I don't know why everyone is being so negative about this conversation. Your wife came to you wanting to communicate and has had multiple conversations about this issue to help you feel better. She was open and honest....even though what she said isn't what you wanted to hear, she still respects you enough to be upfront with you. She doesn't sound like a terrible person. If anything she sounds like someone who loves you and wants that feeling with you. Who wouldn't feel good being hit on by an attractive person? Women want to be pursued so this isn't surprising that is was a thrill. The point is she didn't want to trade her whole life for a fleeting moment of passion with a stranger. Cheaters do not behave this way. Cheaters hide things and manipulate situations in order to not get caught.

I suggest reading a book related to reigniting the spark in marriage or even ask her what her idea of a perfect romantic night is. Its so easy to fall into a routine and lose sight of what drew you to each other in the first place.

Also, congrats on 20 years!

Wow, thank you. I loved your comment. I tend to agree with you in this, as I do not believe my wife had any deceptive or malicious intent in this situation. She was flattered, like the attention of being pursued and liked being in the position to say no.
I do believe our "routine" has contributed to our decline in marital spark.
 

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Only been married 15 years...so not entirely an expert. If you want some advice, I can recommend the "Married Man's sex life Primer" and also "Women's Infidelity" by Michelle Langley to find out a little more what is going on in your wife's head. Her words might as well be quotes from Langley's book.

Not gonna lie though, your response just seems odd to me. Your wife says essentially she wanted it to go further, but because you were in the vicinity it didn't...and you want to delve into the "disconnect"? There is a time for that but I really think you are glossing over the implications of what she did and what that means for her as a person, your relationship, and the next time she finds herself away from you getting hit on by a younger guy.

I'm gonna throw this out there, your initial and further responses reek of a certain level of validation seeking from a Wayward Wife and not the typical questions/response a Betrayed Husband has.
 

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I mean I guess you could read it that way. I read it that if OP wasn't on that train, she would have been all over the guy and I think OPs words support that way more.
I totally agree it could be read that way. I guess I interpreted the situation as being flattered by being hit on, getting a bit of a thrill, but then pumping the breaks when it crossed that respectful boundary. She missed that feeling and told her husband straight away. I have been hit on numerous times of flights but its not like I would ever act on it or leave my family. But its nice to know you still got it? Its fun getting to flaunt that you are spoken for.

Actually, I literally had the same situation happen while we were engaged. I was at a girl's night out, was hit on, guy tried to kiss me, I said I was engaged and went on with my night. I totally loved the feeling of still being desired, but I never once thought about engaging in a kiss. If anything it made me feel good that I was only interested in my husband and didn't want outside affection.

I guess that is just my opinion. The state of the marriage is something to think about as well.
 
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