My husband of over 20 years left me six years ago and lived with another woman for many months.
When we got back together he accused me of sleeping with someone else when we were on vacation with friends.
I had actually not left our room, but he’s the one who couldn’t be located and didn’t answer my calls and texts all night.
Earlier in our relationship, he’d moved out with other women several times, then later returned. I always stayed in our home with our then-young children. I didn't even date.
I recently found very sexual texts to co-workers. He said they were just joking around, but that’s not how they read.
He’s since changed the password on his phone and never lets it out of his sight. We also have a car tracker that monitors location and vehicle health. He changed that password too.
On the phone bill that I checked, there were up to 100 texts and over 120 minutes of calls to one of three women – that’s just in one day.
He’s been accused of sexual harassment twice at his job (he claims he was wrongfully accused).
He’s become distant, won’t kiss me, sleeps as far away in the bed as possible.
I’ve asked if he wants a divorce and he says he’s just busy working and focused. But we rarely even eat in the same room or watch TV together. He’s constantly looking at and texting from his phone.
He accuses me of looking at other men wherever we are (I’m not).
Is it true what my instincts are telling me, that our marriage is over? That he’s certainly cheating, at least emotionally, if not physically?
Your husband is obsessed with the whole range of cheating – his past affairs, current constant texting/phoning women, accusing you, and hiding from the marriage in your shared bed.
I’ve written about “guilt transference” recently (April 10), noting that it’s common among people who refuse to take responsibility for their own misbehaviour.
That’s why one of the first signs of an affair come from spouses, like yours, who begin accusing their innocent partner of being the cheater.
You already know this. Get pro-active, for your self-respect and security in the event of a divorce.
To that end, learn your legal rights. Then tell your husband the facts of life should you separate – division of marital property, financial assets, etc.
Say that you won’t accept this marriage of lies and cheating. Either he gets counselling, makes a commitment to your union, or leaves.
FEEDBACK Regarding the couple divided over whether to get a dog (March 30):
Reader - “Foster a dog. The time commitment’s shorter and fostering can be avoided during travel times. Fostering can save a dog’s life.”
Reader #2 – “For her, her babies are gone, there won't be grandkids for a while. She wants something on which to shower her affection/care.
“For him, the kids going represents freedom for them as a couple.
“Options: Would it ruin everything for him to get a dog? Couldn't she volunteer at an animal shelter?”
Reader #3 - “The answer? A kennel!! My friends took their dog to the kennel as soon as they got it.
“A night here and there, and when the time came for a longer time period (their travels) he was ready and familiar with the kennel.
“Also, the breed of the dog is a very important choice. Some breeds need more attention and care than others.”
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the wife who donated her eggs 20 years ago but doesn’t want to tell her children about potential half-siblings (April 12):
“I’m the product of artificial insemination from the sperm of an anonymous man, born in 1952. I discovered his identity in middle age. He sired hundreds of children.
“I’ve identified 30 of them, and have relationships with most of them, as well as a larger number of their children and increasingly, their grandchildren.
“The half-siblings I know may be as few as 5% of the total. I made documentaries seen on CBC-TV (in 2001 and 2002) and around the world about this.
“And I have campaigned for openness in this practice, which is full of secrets and lies.
“All this is to provide context for a simple comment: Your advice to this man (the woman’s husband) was absolutely correct.”
Ellie – For those interested, there’s a Canadian-related website, www.donorconceivedalliance.ca.
Tip of the day:
Unfounded accusations of cheating are often indicators of the accuser’s own guilt.