I discovered, 18 months ago, that my husband was cruising women online, and had a two-year affair with a client.
He swore nothing physical happened with anyone, begged forgiveness, and vowed never to repeat.
In the last six months, he shows signs of cheating again. He’s been distant with affection, rarely interested in sex, critical, and short-tempered with me.
If I see him texting, he closes the phone screen. I found several Viagra pills that his friend gave him. Now they’re no longer there. He hasn't used them with me.
I’m tempted to call his friend to ask how many pills he’s actually given him. I also found new messages on the old email account, which he’d used for cruising.
Am I just being paranoid? I tried to discuss why he’s distant. He says he’s just stressed, and that his distancing and shortness with me are just his way of dealing with it.
I’m now three months pregnant after a year of in-vitro fertilization (IVF). His behaviour is what I’m assuming is making me so disappointed and sad.
He’s not supportive about the baby, even though he says he wanted this, too.
I’d already said that if he cheated on me again I’d tell all his clients, family, and friends. But now that I’m pregnant, I don't want to be in that position.
Yet if he’s cheating, I don’t think I’ll get over it, and I’ll resent him greatly.
What To Do?
Deal with the big issues – specifically: you’re pregnant; he’s distanced, unaffectionate, and unsupportive. Even if not cheating, he’s behaving unkindly. You need to know why.
Insist on marriage counselling. Base it on preparation for this long-awaited baby, but once in therapy, mention these current signals that remind of his cheating not so long ago.
Threats to “tell” his clients and chasing down Viagra pills only demean and depress you. If you believe he’s cheating again, say so, in the counselling process.
If he IS cheating, talk to a lawyer privately, and then inform your husband of his responsibilities. It’s a sure-fire wake-up call to consequences.
My wife, of 30 years, has a learning disability, attention deficit disorder (ADD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Yet she’s a great wife, best of friends to anyone, a wonderful mother, and dedicated employee (her issues, including feelings of inadequacy, prevent her remaining employed for long).
However, she has a firm opinion on everything – though the opinions are most often completely wrong, baseless, without merit, or thought. She never reads anything to support these statements, simply pronounces it, and then defends her opinion to the death.
Once she’s losing, she changes to any topic that comes to mind, in an effort to win.
She complains that I’m always right. I say, No, I’m not always right, nobody is. I simply only choose to express an opinion about subjects that I have knowledge of so it may appear that I’m right more often.
Please suggest a different coping mechanism for me... one that leaves her feeling happy and self-satisfied.
Need New Trick
Avoid the obvious pitfalls. When she expresses a “baseless” opinion, move the topic to something she does know about.
Ask her advice about matters that she’s good at, or cares about – e.g. how she responded to one of her friends’ issues, or handled something with your children.
Do NOT be condescending or dismissive of her opinions. Instead, divert, and stop having discussions you know are useless to you and destructive to her self-confidence.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman, 27, with a boyfriend, who’s fantasizing about her colleague (Sept. 12):
Reader – “I’ve been married to a wonderful guy for 27 years (dated for five years). Periodically, I’d meet a male colleague to whom I was strongly physically attracted (maybe half a dozen over the years).
“There was often body language that indicated his interest in pursuing something. It felt great.
“My attraction would gradually fade as the draw was mainly physical. I never acted on it, but I fantasized about it during sex with my husband whom I love.
“It made sex better. I know my husband has fantasized about women as well, and not acted on them.
“A healthy fantasy doesn’t hurt anyone, as long as you don’t act on them.
“A long-term relationship is based on love and lust, whereas the co-worker is just lust, which is fun to fantasize about - but not worth throwing a relationship away.”
Tip of the day:
Don’t waste your energy on snooping for “proof” when you already know something’s wrong.