I’ve been in a relationship for 22 years, married for 12. We’ve had many difficult situations.
I’ve been holding a grudge for many years.
My husband is temperamental, always right, doesn’t like compromise, is insecure and very jealous.
And he treats all our children differently.
He’s like a detective when anyone wants to do anything without him or his opinion. Usually, we don’t go anywhere or we lie and not let him find out what we’re doing.
I’ve been getting counselling for a couple of years and had decided to end the marriage last January. He refused to leave.
He started some counselling and I’ve seen some changes but then I see slip-ups.
When I was determined that it was over, I decided that if someone else came into my life, I’d see where things might go.
I met another man online. Now I don’t know what to do.
I’m trying to find the good and see the changes in my husband but wonder if it’s worth it. Or should I move forward with a new relationship?
It’s scary to think of starting something new when I’ve never met the man in person yet.
How can I throw away 22 years for the Unknown? But what if this new mystery man is the missing piece to my puzzle and what I’ve been searching for?
If I decide to give it a try again with my husband, how do I end it with the online man?
Bad Past vs. Unknown Future
It’s a common pattern among both women and men, that the minute a spouse decides to separate, she/he then tries online dating.
Inevitably, the whole situation gets muddled:
1) Saying “it’s over,” is often the most solid motivation for the other spouse to finally get personal counselling.
2) The new online dating interest is still, actually, a stranger. Unmet, untested as to actual physical attraction, having unknown character traits.
Just when you were considering giving your husband a chance based on his apparent willingness to try to change, you’re talking about a “mystery man” possibly being the missing piece in your life.
No, the “missing piece” would be a couple-centered effort to work on what you already describe as some changes in your husband. At least a try.
Yes, he was very difficult. But, for now, support him in finding out why.
It may help him improve his ways with the children. It may move you past your old anger to a current wait-and-see a while.
Or, it’ll help you know with certainly what to do.
Meanwhile, there’ll always be men online to date if you and your husband split up.
But remember, they are mystery men. And it takes more than wishful thinking to turn online chats into the relationship of your dreams.
Readers’ Commentary “My husband of 32 years enjoyed being in the company of women and was uncomfortable with men.
“When younger, he flirted and loved female attention. It was great for his ego. I was uncomfortable a few times. But since then, I’ve noticed the difference between “men” and my husband.
“His conversation isn’t about dominating/winning/being the best. He listens. He enjoys hearing about and discussing social issues. He likes hearing about relationships, and trying to understand them.
“He believes that women should be given a chance to run (not rule) the world. A lot of dealing with this kind of man comes down to trust and communication.”
Dear Readers - The following is from the writer of the May 26 column who was abused/tormented from childhood by a narcissistic mother (and unprotective father). Until finally, at age 61, she ended all contact.
About seeing her story published:
“I keep running into others who’ve had similar situations. It’s great that the issue (of abuse) is getting some public attention, as it’s needed. No one deserves to be treated this way.
“I sat down to read the paper and when getting up to go check the oven, I saw the headline in your column and thought, ‘interesting… must read.’
“Then I started to read and I realized it was mine. I kept saying ‘OMG, OMG.’
“My 22-year-old son came running to see if I was okay. He read the letter and kissed me and thanked me for being ‘so awesome.’
“I continue to help others who’ve suffered this type of abuse. Thanks for giving it a voice.”
Tip of the day:
Not all marriages will/should last. But once there’s an attempt to improve one, give it a supportive chance.