Is this an unhealthy marriage?

wifey1281November 10, 2012

have been lurking here, reading, and trying to decide if I should seek help here. This is the best forum I have come across so far, except there do not seem to be daily readers, so I hope someone sees this and can help give me some insight.

A little background on my marriage: I am married to a sports personality that is in the public eye, although he has never played professional sports. To give an example of how well known he is, he has just over 900,000 twitter followers. That's all I feel comfortable in divulging without giving away his identity. If he had any idea I'm posting this he would be LIVID. We have been married for 9 months and known each other over 2 1/2 years. I met him at a sporting event. He is 14 years older than me. I am over 25 and under 35.

I hope this is not TMI because I think its crucial in what is tormenting me. I was raised as a Christian and constantly drilled to keep my virginity for marriage. When I met my husband, before we really had a relationship, and would just hang out sometimes (we lived in different cities about 90 miles apart) I told him that's exactly what I intended to do. I never dreamed our relationship would go anywhere because he was a womanizer and had his selection of women. As we continued to see each other when time permitted, I began to fall in love with him which was painful in itself because I knew how he felt about marriage and he knew there would never be sex between us before marriage. To make a long story short, you can never imagine how SHOCKED I was when we were at his family's 4th of July bbq and he proposed to me in front of them. I was crying, smiling, jumping up and down and just flat-out elated. And yes, I did keep my virginity til the wedding. One thing I forgot to add is that because of this vow, I never had a relationship with another man. Had a few dates but as soon as they knew what was up, it was quickly over. And for some reason, men in church just were not interested in me.

So here are the things in the marriage that are troubling to me. He has a very large personality and it intimidates me at times, although I try to hide it. But I think he knows and because of that he bosses me around terribly. The other thing is, the city that we live in is just his base city, but he travels all the time. I am struggling so terribly with this because I miss him so much when he is gone that I almost feel sick. Nights in bed without him I sometimes cry myself to sleep. And it does not help that he rarely even calls me when he is gone, so I don’t call him either. If I want to communicate with him I just text and he does respond. He also never tells me when he is going out of town until the night before or sometimes even the day of. He says its because he can’t stand to see how depressed I get when I know he’s leaving. He never, ever take me with him. He also does not take me to sporting events in town because he says he’s working so it’s too distracting to have to worry about me. Even though he knows I’m an avid sports fan. He also says that he doesn’t want me into the “seedy” environment that he is in. He doesn’t even want people to know I’m married to him because he is afraid they will attack me as people tend to attack wives of famous people in social media. So he told me to shut down my twitter and facebook accounts when we got married and I did.

So you can see the extent to which he bosses me around. We get to spend so little time together that whenever he is home, he, and only he, determines what we do. He wants me with him all the time that he is home, and since I never know when that will be, I can’t plan to do anything with my friends or family because if he is home, it’s not happening. If I protest at all he will just yell “you better just be ready when it’s time to go.” And I submit to it because I just love him so much I am so afraid of being a nag, being high maintenance, arguing a lot that he will walk away from the marriage. I could not bear the thought that I would have saved myself for this man and then it would be over.

There are some good things about our marriage. Because he is away so much, I tend to be very clingy when he is home, always touching him, hugging him, rubbing his back or something. But it doesn’t seem to bother him and he will usually always just usually caress me back like he knows I just need it. LOL! He is very sweet to me, very loving, very affectionate. He tells me he loves me all the time. Sometimes I just wish he wasn’t so sweet to me, and then maybe I wouldn’t love him so much, and miss him so much. He takes care of me even though I work full time, (I’m surprised he hasn’t TOLD me to quit) but he gives me an allowance so that I rarely spend any of my own money. Because I never had a relationship before him I have to admit that I had low self esteem because men did not want to be with me unless sex was involved, and Christian men were just not interested. But he tells me how beautiful I am, how sweet I am, and how much it means to him that I had never been with another man. I know there are two things I have going for me is my figure, because I love sports and working out, and my personality because people usually always like me. But I feel that where beauty is concerned on scale of 1 to 10 I am maybe a 5. It is troubling to me that he is ALWAYS around beautiful and famous women, some of whom are not married. So I am insecure in the marriage as well. I don’t THINK he has ever cheated on me but for all I know he could be doing that during his frequent time away from home. But our love life is so off the charts that I don’t know how he could be cheating and we have a sex life like what we have. I tried to express this to him and he asked me if I was asking if he is cheating on me. But I would not answer because I was afraid he would look at that as nagging. So he just ended up just caressing me and hugging me and telling me he would never cheat on me, that if he wanted to do that he would never have gotten married. He also tells me he thought he would never get married because he would never want to have just one woman, but I changed all that.

So how does this sound to you all? I feel like a clingy, intimidated, wife who just lets my husband boss me around, call all the shots in the marriage, never asks my advice on anything, but then because of how also treats me so sweet in other ways, that this marriage is almost torture. Any ideas on what I could do relieve some of this stress? It is no way I’m leaving him, but if that’s what you think, please tell me. Thanks.

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Hi Wifey!
Well, I think it is lovely that you saved your virginity for your wedding night. I know that is very meaningful to many religious people.

I will just flat out tell you what are the red (warning) flags to me. You are so isolated from your family and friends and left to the whims of your husband when it comes to making plans and going out. He does not tell you when he is leaving or coming home. He has told you to shut down your FB and Twitter. He doesn't want anyone to know you are his wife. That's very shady.

I'm sorry, but his excuses are lame. You are a grown woman and I'm sure you could handle any press situations that come your way. Your a big girl and no how to say "No comment". Just what is he afraid of in regards to that? If he is living a faithful life in regards to your marriage-he shouldn't be concerned with the press trolling you.

Before I married my current husband I had a long term relationship with a very high profile person as well and none of these demands were made/asked of me. It sounds as if your husband is taking advantage of your naivete'.

What do you think would happen if you did not agree with or give in to all of his requests? Why are you so afraid he will leave you if you disagree? You sound quite lovely and I'm not sure why you are feeling so insecure except that you are kept so isolated and alone?

Ultimately you have to decide if you will be satisfied in a marriage where you are not an equal partner and are kept secret and unaware.

I get the feeling you are thinking this is not what most marriages are like-and that would be correct.

Please don't believe his being High-profile has anything to do with any of his silly demands and excuses. I think he is controlling and this is just the start.
What do YOU think? What does your gut tell you?
What do YOU want out this marriage?

Don't beat yourself up because you saved yourself for someone you thought was the one. It happens. You have got to toughen up and decide how you want to live. Right now you are like a caged bird and that is just not fair.

If I could tell you one thing it would be this: You are a heck of lot stronger than you think you are..Hugs.

BTW-if you are looking to keep these posts discreet please make sure to clear your cache and delete your browsing history, just to be safe. Even though you sign in and out your browsing history can still be viewed if you don't take precautions.


    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 2:15AM
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As I read it, your husband is probably happy with the situation the way it is and unlikely to change. Basically he spends long periods of time away from home, living the life he's lived for years before he met you. During that time, for all intents and purposes, he's single.

Who knows if he's cheating on you or not? The quality of your sex life is irrelevant to the choices he makes when he's away.

It is particularly fishy that he does not take you to venues related to his career; nor does he share the fact that he's married.

Meanwhile, you sit at home putting your life "on hold" waiting for him to return. You sound more like a mistress or other woman than a spouse. I'm sorry to say that but you have about 1/4 of a marriage.

I am very concerned about your total dependence and increasing isolation. It is not healthy to miss him so much when he is gone that I almost feel sick. It's natural to miss your partner, but in a balanced life you would have friends for support and engaging activities outside your home. Your life is not balanced.

Definitely do not give up your job. It is a lifeline to an independent life. Also, re-activate your Twitter and Facebook accounts and re-join the world.

And if you haven't done so, find a faith community that nurtures and uplifts and encourages your development as a whole person.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 4:00AM
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Thanks for both of your replies. It was like a kick in the stomach, and my stomach is still reeling. But I can't argue with anything you all have said. There were a few things that I didn't exactly explain right, though. It's not that he doesn't want anybody to know HE's married. He just doesn't want anybody to know he's married to ME. Actually one of his colleagues over the air congratulated him when we got back from the honeymoon. They teased him for maybe a minute and then moved on. But just those couple of minutes caused his twitter page to blow up about him now being married; some congratulatory, some down-right vulgar. It was a cold welcome to his world for me and I was just bewildered and thinking what in the world have I gotten myself into. That's when he asked me to take my twitter and fb down and I did (even though I had never posted one thing about who I was marrying, just that I was getting married).

And about him never taking me to sports events I was just talking about games where he is working (which is every game he goes to). We have been to 3 formal events over the course of our 9-month marriage with his employer and a type of red-carpet event. We took a picture at that event which I have never seen anywhere on the internet, but someone apparently snapped a cell phone picture while we were posing and put it on twitter kind of like a milk carton "have you seen this girl" insinuating that he had kidnapped some kid and saying I looked jail bait. (I'm already 14 years younger than him, and plus I do have baby face which makes me look even younger than I am). Again I was shocked at some of the vulgar things that were said about me and him. It was rather small-scale though compared to when it was announced that he was married.

And as for being with my family, anytime I plan to spend time with them it has to be long-range because the majority of my family is about 8 hours away. I have few family members in the city where I lived before we got married which is about two hours away. But I have lot of friends there that I could easily take Saturday to go visit and have made plans to do that -- those are the plans he usually ends up wrecking. I am very close with his family, though and most of them are here where we live. I visit his Mother and his sisters a lot. One of his sister I am particularly fond of and she seems fond of me too. It's kind of like a big-sister relationship. But I certainly don't trust her enough to confide in her about our marriage.

I was a change of life baby and my 3 sisters are a lot older than me as well, but I can't confide in them either because they don't really like him. My brother is just not the type that I could confide in; he would be ready to get somebody to rough him up, LOL!

I have found a church though, which attend pretty regularly and I did this morning. That really helps. I guess though it really hurts to read your replies and see myself described that way -- as his mistress and not his wife. I guess it hurts because that's what I really feel like. I just feel like a fool thinking that he's away as much as he is, doesn't call me, but I'm suppose to believe he's not cheating. Then he comes home and tells me how much he missed me and I just melt.

I really don't know why I feel like he would walk away if i confront him with any of this. But I know I just can't keep on this path the way it is now. I've been thinking about how to even bring it up, and I don't know how so won't yet. The only thing I feel like I can do as a first step is to stop him from controlling me as much as I allow him to do. I made that step today. I had joined the choir at the church I belong to but because they rehearse on Saturday's I had allowed my husband to pull me away from so many rehersals that I apologized and got out of the choir. Today after church I signed up to join again and wrote them a note on the signup sheet that this time I will be committed.

Pray for me please because he is coming home tonight after a 3-day trip. For the first time ever I am dreading him coming home because I am going to tell him that I re-joined the choir and I'm not going to miss rehersals like I did before. I'm really really scared but I have to start somewhere, right?


    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 2:10PM
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Yes, you do have to start somewhere. Congratulations on re-joining the choir. That is a brave move. His response to your choice may be revealing.

Why not set aside the cheating issue for now? Maybe he is but maybe he isn't. As he's older, he may just be somewhat set in his ways and/or not particularly attuned to your needs. Anyone who's reached middle age as a singleton will have developed certain habits and patterns they are loathe to let go of. It may be he doesn't know how to be married.

Since you have plenty of time on your hands and a good sense of the days he's most likely to be gone, why not consider individual counseling? Don't work on him, work on yourself, learning ways to communicate and present yourself as an equal in this marriage.

It may be that your church has avenues for counseling or human resources through your work may provide some recommendations. You may need to shop around to find someone you feel attuned to and confident in.

And without being disrespectful of faith, if a church-connected counselor is of the "submit to your husband" bent, then I'd recommend a non-sectarian therapist for now. Submission is not your issue. Learning to believe in your self as a woman of substance and worth is.

I second the recommendation about clearing your cache whenever you leave your computer.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 6:16PM
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I forgot. The online world is rife with people who are protected by anonymity and therefore feel free to say things they would never consider face-to-face. You will have to develop a hard skin and learn to block those kinds of comments out. After all, what does it matter what some stranger says?

As for Facebook, given your family's distance, it can be an important communication tool. You can establish a new account under an identity difficult to connect with your personal life and marriage. By using the privacy settings it's possible to have a Facebook page accessible only to your nearest and dearest. If you don't know how to do this, I'm sure there's someone within your circle who can assist.

Yes, a cracker can break into anything, but if your page is not identified by any name trolls would connect to you, it's not going to be an issue.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 7:04PM
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readinglady thank you SO SO much for your response. You just don't know how encouraging it was. And I truly had to laugh out loud when I read this: "it may be that he doesn't know how to be married" because I don't think either one of us does. I don't even know what to do with a man much less a husband.

But one thing though: I have absolutely no sense of the days he may be gone, especially while basketball AND football are in full force. To be fair to him, he really doesn't either.

Again I thank all three of you. Although I'm still scared, a feel a little bit of the weight coming off of me already just talking it out. Can y'all be my counselors? LOL. Just kidding.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 7:06PM
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Oh honey, so many red flags. Even with your clarifications it still does not look like you have a healthy marriage and certainly not an equitable one.
"He just doesn't want anybody to know he's married to ME". Which begs the question, Why not? Is there some reason he should be embarrassed to admit you are his wife? Would he prefer you looked like a trophy wife? I can't help but wonder if his proposal was prompted by your unattainability, as it were, just one more mountain he had to conquer and if marriage was the price.....of course it must be very flattering to his ego to know how in love with him you are, and that he is your "only".
You say your older sisters don't care for your husband...have a talk with them to find out why. Too often family members get the vibe of a person better than the one in love with him/her- precisely because they are not in love with him/her and are more dispassionate observers. Perhaps they will have some insight, perhaps they won't, but asking them to define why they dislike your husband may give you some food for thought.
Don't let him isolate you. Is there some hobby you could take up/club you could join which happens on nights when your husband is more likely to be away and not require you to be with him? (And that's so wrong, as if you were a dog he could order around. Why should your previous plans always be cast aside for him? Why can he not call you, at least the day before and ask if you have plans?)
Since you are working I imagine it wouldn't be convenient for you to just up and go with him on every trip. But really, he should take you on some, even if you go off and do your own thing while he's working- I'd expect you to want to do that anyway. At the least it might settle in your mind your misgivings about his faithfulness.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 3:08AM
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Not sure what to make of this...obviously this guy does not view a marriage as a partnership, that's for sure. Lots of what he is doing reeks of ultra-controlling behavior. And the insistence on not taking the OP with him on trips, for her own protection...sorry not buying that for a second. Many if not most famous people have spouses that are at least somewhat in the public domain...never taking a trip with him? Come on....seriously....

Well, seems like this is what she signed up for, so she better just learn to make the best of it. Surely all these traits where there before they got married, so if she expected them to change once they got married, she was a very naive. Men who are the type AAA personalities, who are generally the one's who rise to the top of whatever profession they are on, be it business, politics, sports, entertainment, whatever....are generally NOT the type to look at a marriage as an equal partnership based on trust and respect. With these men (and I am a man, not some bitter woman with an axe to grind...) it is just not how their personalities are wired. Haven't we seen this a million times already? Men with these personalities generally look at everything in life as a challenge, a competition...why else would we see so many of these educated, intelligent men (at least in the political and business fields), throw away their marriages and sometimes their careers and legacies for some bimbo? Because she was there, and it was the 'next challenge" for him.....

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 11:46AM
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mkroopy, why are you talking about me like I'm not in the room?

Well anyway, that first step went well - NOT! I decided to just go for it and bring up everything on my list. Turned into knock down drag out to the point that neighbors came over (we live in a condo) and said out of respect for him they came directly to us first before calling police, but could we please knock it off. We apologized and out of necessity for him to get enough sleep for work just went to bed. (I'm off for the holiday). I really can't believe some of the words that came out of his mouth (and don't really know what words came out of mine). It was as if we were both watching a different movie. I got up with him like I usually do while he gets dressed, made his coffee, sat on the couch waiting for the goodbye hug and kiss. Only this time I handed him the coffee, patted him on the back and said have a nice day. When he responded "so no hug, no kiss" I gave the stare of death that I didn't even know I was capable of doing, walked away and went back to bed.

Honestly, I don't even know what I'm feeling now, except "don't you dare try to go status quo on me." I have no idea where this is headed. We'll see.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 12:53PM
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Oh, Colleen, also meant to thank you for your post. Everything you've said I've thought at one time or another but dismissed it.

I already know why my sisters don't like him, but none of this came out until AFTER we were married. I still think I would have gone ahead with the wedding though.

Oh, and guess what came out somewhere in the midst of the fight? He's leaving this evening for another trip, that he found out about a couple of hours before his flight home. He had actually texted me about it but I had forgotten to turn my cell phone back on after church yesterday. Again, I feel absolutely nothing about him being gone again. I guess I'm numb to feeling right now.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 1:29PM
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"mkroopy, why are you talking about me like I'm not in the room? "

Sorry, I did not mean it out of a lack of respect or anything...I guess it's just sort of how some of us talk around here...I think we are so used to a lot of people dropping in, posting something, and then disappearing, leaving some of us regulars to discuss things amongst ourselves, that I have just become accustomed to talking "about" the OP instead of "to" the OP....

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 2:15PM
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mkroopy, no worries. I actually was going to put "LOL" after that sentence but I don't feel much like LOLing today.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 2:51PM
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I did say his response to your choice might be revealing. I guess you got more of an answer than you anticipated. I am glad you found resources in yourself you didn't know you had.

I was not trying to let him off the hook, just allowing for the fact that there are often other possibilities. It does sound as if he's been accustomed to running his own little fiefdom and isn't relishing the thought of a spouse who wants a more equal role.

I wanted to mention that as you're not spending much or any of your own salary right now, I hope it's being kept in a bank account only you can access. This is just a preventive, as IF you need to take further steps, it's crucial to have access to your own resources. I don't see this as anything more than taking reasonable precautions, like any other form of emergency preparedness.

I do hope you'll consider the counseling. If it doesn't accord with his schedule, so be it. But it can be invaluable in helping you sort through what's going on in this relationship and in developing a stronger sense of self.

Deep-seated insecurities can haunt you and taint any relationship. I am not particularly religious, but I don't see how a deeply devoted Christian and a child of God can do anything but value herself. What's that line from Proverbs about prized above rubies? It begins with prizing yourself.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 6:22PM
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Thanks readinglady. I'm grateful for any and all responses because somehow it's just really helping to take the stress off. I'm just so grateful that I'm not going through that usual stuff I go through when he's away.

And yes, readinglady my check goes to an account he has no access to. When we first got married I tried to talk to him about handling our money, separate versus together, etc. But his solution to that was 'I'm going to give you $___________ for groceries, utilities, and your spending money. If you need more than that we have a problem" It is very generous and there has never been a month that I've spent all of it. I tried to give him back the amounts left over but he just tells me to keep it.But I do keep that money in a separate account which I gave him a bank card to access if he wants to. He didn't seem interested.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 8:52PM
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Well, I'm about to end my work day so just thought I would give myself a dose of therapy by putting this down to paper.

I texted my husband today and asked him to please call me. He did call and let me know right away that he had about 15 minutes to talk now. I asked him what was his assessment of our marriage. He said he really didn't know how to answer that after our argument. The only thing he knows for certain is he loves me, he wants to be with me and he wants to make me as happy as I make him. He also added that he does not know what he can do to assure me that he has never cheated on me and never will. He said that before we were married, sex was sex, sometimes fantastic and sometimes average, but often left him with an empty feeling inside. But since we have been married he says its so fulfilling and intimate that he can't imagine ever going back to that empty feeling by sleeping with somebody else.

I believe him on the cheating issue. When I tried to bring up the controlling issue he said he really didn't want to talk about that on the phone and we would talk about it when he gets home. I really got mad at myself while I was telling him that I was doing a lot better with coping with him being gone. I feel like that was just putting myself out there in a vulnerable position so I don't know why I did that. That statement was pretty much answered with crickets.

I squeezed in one more question before he had to go and that was "you said you wanted to make me as happy as I make you. So, then, how do I (meaning me) make you happy." He answered with no hesitation "just being you."

There goes my heart melting again. I'm hopeless.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 5:23PM
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Don't go just melting over his sweet talking just yet.
Stay on topic and continue the conversation when he gets home, perhaps after he has few hours to unwind and you are both in a good frame of mind and not overtired.

I agree that you need to make time for doing the things that make you happy and spending time with your friends. Don't just run and drop everything because he came home unexpectedly.

Enjoy your time together but enjoy your time apart as well. Yes people can say cruel things in the press or online about public figures, so what? You're a big girl, You can handle it. I'd insist on attending public functions or games that you have interest in attending- if he balks remind him this is a marriage not a dictatorship.

There may be hope but as others have pointed out He's older, set in his way and most likely would prefer you to do the compromising. You are re- negotiating your marriage and it won't be easy. I also strongly suggest counseling by yourself first and then couples when you feel strong enough.

Keep up the good work and take care not to overwhelm him and yourself
With everything all at once. Change is hard, pick what's most important to you first and start there, and perhaps a counselor can best help you to decide where to go from here..a strong disagreement and words aren't always a bad thing. Pardon my typo's, typing on the phone.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 8:06PM
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"Don't go just melting over his sweet talking just yet."


An old friend, a policeman, once told me something so simple & so profound:

Don't pay so much attention to what people say.
Pay attention to what *happens*.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 10:01AM
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OK just gonna chime in here with one observation...any guy who says something like this:

"But since we have been married he says its so fulfilling and intimate that he can't imagine ever going back to that empty feeling by sleeping with somebody else." just telling you what you want to hear...I almost spit up my coffee when I read this. Let me first say that yes, I am a guy, and I was faithful in my 10+ year marriage (she cheated on me twice..that's why we divorced), and have been faithful in my almost 5 year relationship with my GF...and would never cheat on her (especially since I know what it's like to be on the receiving end of it), but is the desire there? Of course!

The above statement is a bunch of crap....99.9 % of men don't think that way, I will admit that. I have had this discussion with other guys, and also countless times with my GF...trying to get her to understand this, and why if we are like this, why do we bother to get married and stuff. I tell her because we do value our relationships immensely (well, some of us...) and do enjoy the closeness of a loving relationship, and the good things that come along with it (family, etc). But...all that said...most men would have sex with other women if they could be 100% sure that there would be no adverse affects from doing so...that's just the way it is.

I tell my girlfriend all men (ok 99.9% of them) feel this way, it's the good ones who have the strength to not act out on it and f*ck up their lives over some meaningless sex.

To the OP...I am in no way accusing your husband of cheating on you, that is not my point. I just wanted to give a man's point of view on that statement...which I am sure countless numbers of men have said over the years, all the while biting their tongues...

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 10:25AM
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Mkroopy I really appreciate your candor. Since I have never had another relationship before my husband, I have no idea whatsoever how men really think about anything. And since almost half of my short marriage has been spent apart from each other, I have bearly cracked the book on what I need to learn on this subject. Much (well, probably all) of what he says, I buy. So he could probably sell me some swamp land in Florida and I would be willing to pay over purchase price.

To clarify my level of naivete a little, I know that men will whisper sweet nothings in your ear in a heartbeat, but I always associated that with relationships outside of marriage, and relationships where I man was using a woman for money and other favors. I guess I just thought that there was no need to do that in marriage. Okay, and to be honest I felt like if a man is taking care of you, he doesn't have to sweet talk you because he's not getting anything from you.

This is really very discouraging. Lately I've been thinking I would have been better off never getting in a relationship at all and just live out my days as a spinster. LOL! (sort of). I mean one of the things I've prided myself on is that in life, I'm not a quitter. Having been involved in sports and the arts as a kid growing up, throughout college and grad school, in my career, I always prided myself on that. It's just men that have always been where all the self-doubt and low self esteem have come into play.

Anyway, for anyone who made it through this rant, thanks for letting me vent.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 12:15PM
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Men are people too, and believe it or not, 99% of what works in a marriage is what works with anyone.

I'm noticing a tendency to black-and-white thinking where it's one way or the other and nothing in-between, when the truth is life is nothing like that. People are complicated.

So maybe a good beginning is avoiding all-or-nothings like I would have been better off never getting in a relationship at all and just live out my days as a spinster. Even as a joke there's probably some truth for you at the bottom of things.

Marriage takes a lot of work from both parties. It's probably the most important job you'll have in your life. To succeed it takes 120% commitment from each partner. There is no easy way out and there are no quick fixes. If you don't have challenges at the beginning, you'll have challenges somewhere along the way, so you may as well learn how to resolve them now.

It seems you have this romanticized and narrow view which limits your understanding of the issues. And it may be that one reason your husband married you is because of this naivete (as you describe it). But at some point you have to put away childish things to be a fully-realized happy adult. Whether your husband finds that OK or not, who knows?

I have been married over 40 years, and believe me, sexual fidelity matters to me also. But I think your concern about your spouse's faithfulness is just the tip of the iceberg. It's like worrying about a drafty window when the foundation is crumbling.

I am going to return to my original recommendation re counseling, because there are root causes for why you feel the way you do about yourself (the labels you apply), why you chose this man and why he chose you that are all playing into what's going on. Long-term, without addressing root causes, you're just applying band-aids.

I think forums like this can be very helpful and I think posters' responses are mainly generated by concern and a desire to help, but beyond the quick-fix you have to establish a relationship with some real person who can assit you in developing effective interpersonal strategies and in building a strong sense of your worth.

I hope this doesn't sound unkind. It isn't the intent.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 3:40PM
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readinglady it does not sound at all unkind. Forty years, wow! That's really impressive and I guess you could tell me a thing or two about marriage since you've been so successful at it.

I know that marriage takes work, I guess I just didn't realize the type of work it takes! I mean I was all prepared for dealing with leaving dirty socks on the floor. But this other stuff, whew!

Anyway I am going to counseling at my church. There is no appointment available until after Thanksgiving but that's probably just as well. My husband will not be home until this weekend and then I'm leaving to visit my family for Thanksgiving alone (first time I've left HIM at home for a change!) I'll probably leave off posting until I can let you all know how the counseling went. Hey but anybody want to post any more advice I'm willing to listen!

Oh, how about this! One of my friends from my former city emailed me and asked me if I wanted to spend Thanksgiving with her and her husband. She said it might help to get away. Since I had told her none of what I've been going through lately (or anybody else for that matter) I was wondering why she said that. She emailed me back that I must have forgotten the last email I had sent to her back in August so she forwarded it back to me. She had asked how is married life, and I replied "it's a heartbreak waiting to happen."

I had forgotten all about that.

Anyway I hope and pray that everyone has a blessed Thanksgiving and for all of us who are little bit troubled in our marriages right now that we will have some peace of the holidays. Thanks all!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 6:13PM
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Something to think on:
You said in a previous post, "I'm not a quitter." Please don't let this apply to a bad marriage.
I am not telling you you should leave. But, if after counselling and consideration, and discussion with your husband, you come to the conclusion that this marriage is not what you want and that it is not going to improve, then unless you plan to commit to a lifetime of unhappiness, it will be time to move on.
Like the song say, "You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em". If you're beating your head against a brick wall, that's no good for anyone. Stop (it will feel so good) and use your experience to make better choices next time.
(My 30th anniversary is next June :-) .)

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 8:31PM
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I haven't been here in a long time. I have one thing to say....
Don't ever stop singing in the choir.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 9:50PM
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One benefit of a counselor is they are bound by confidentiality. As your spouse is in some sense a public figure, you are constrained in what you can safely or wisely disclose online. A counselor offers you a private forum to discuss/explore anything you need to.

I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving in the company of your family. Sometimes distance can offer a new perspective.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 4:25AM
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I know you said you and he talked and a lot of things came out, but I can't be certain what those things were. I don't need to know of course. I am just concerned for stating any obvious points you already know and have already addressed with him.

I'm really glad you had the courage to tell him some things that were on your mind. It is apparent you're bothered, hence the name of this thread and what you have expressed. And, you're right to be bothered. What is more, you're not sweeping these things under the rug, and that is so very commendable because most women do, which isn't good at all. It appears your naivete is working in your favor. Depite your fears, you approached him and addressed your concerns. You're really on the right road. Even if it means he doesn't like it, continue to stand your ground. You know you cannot imagine living this way indefinitely.

I know one of the members is very keen on suggesting you seek counseling, and she's right for the most part. You do need counseling because when it comes to relationships and marriage, I think almost all women need counseling, so please don't neglect that. The problem is, all too often, women do exactly as you have been doing, which is to live their lives by their guy's permission and approval and then not addressing their issues for fear of losing him. Where the need for counseling is concerned, I'm saying you are just like most in this respect and while that surely will help with your self esteem, your sense of worth, and, thereby, your confidence, counseling will not provide you with what is needed for your marriage. As has been stated, marriage is a lot of work, and it takes a very unique skillset. For that, you need are a plan and some tools to work with. You're new to some things - those that you missed along the way of not experiencing the usual dynamics, machinations, and negotiations of relationships, so you're at a slight disadvantage and in for sort of a crash course.

For starters, his responses to you, as were here referred to as "a line" or "a bunch of crap," are exactly that. They are empty statements, especially to say "just being you" in answer to your question. Empty because it neither defines nor determines anything specific. He said that for lack of anything else to say. I got over statements like these around 16 years old and determined I needed something more concrete. The flattery is always nice, but I want some REAL answers. After that, I want actions to back up those words. You, your needs, your opinions, your comfort level, and your wishes are to be respected. That's where your plan comes in.

Determined what you don't like, and list them, then tell him one by one. Your marriage shouldn't be everything he wants, everything he says, and the way he says it has to go. Stop allowing him to be the sole conductor.

Determine what you want from him and your marriage, and list them, then tell him one by one. He has to know that you also have requirements he is expected to live up to. If yours clash with his, then the two of you have to work toward a mutually acceptable compromise without you feeling short-changed in the deal because that will be no different than you feel right now. He has to give too. You cannot live feeling the onus for the success or the failure of your marriage is on your shoulders alone. Nor can you live as if you are his child. Tell him what you don't like, and tell him what you want. Be determined, demanding, and intolerant of anything less if you must, but don't settle to be relegated to the background any more.

And, on the same note, he is to afford you the respect of way more than a moment's notice when he's going to be traveling and the respect and consideration of a phone call when he is away. It is inconceivable and unbelievable that he doesn't call you when he's gone. He's living the life of a single man, but you have to let him know you are going to hold him responsible to you because that is what marriage and having a wife are all about, and you deserve to be considered and respected as his wife.

Don't let him fool you anymore. He has an itinerary and although there may be unexpected changes occasionally, his whole life is not lived at the spur of the moment. Think about it, games are scheduled far, far in advance, aren't they? Honestly, the way he's living, the way he has you living, and what he has you believing is as if he has another wife somewhere. I say that only HALF jokingly. You have the resources to find out, and you certainly should find out. I would hire a detective. Don't be so naive that you will fall for anything and everything. I know you feel like a schoolgirl, in love and infatuated. You can enjoy all those feelings while being wise, prudent, and discerning at the same time. You know it's time to listen to your intuition. You've known it for a while now apparently but decided to swap your gut feeling for bliss. You know it's time to find out what the pit of your stomach keeps trying to tell you even though it's scary. Talk to people that will fortify your resolve, like this forum.

Next are the tools you need to strengthen your bond and help you and your husband create the marriage you both desire yours to be. For that, you need marriage counseling (not individual counseling) and/or websites, books, and articles that help you both understand what marriage is all about and what is required from each of you.

Following are websites I know about that offer lots of articles on marriage, communication, and understanding. Yes, that means he has to do the reading too. Require that of him. He doesn't get to skate by any longer with you doing all the work however he tells you to do it. It can be fun to read, discuss, and implement the principles you're both learning. They can be read at yours and his leisure, but there has to be a time frame, such as "this particular article (or these particular articles) have to be read between this date and that one" (select an article or two and then give a week or two weeks allowance for reading). Schedule a day for discussion after that time period. Apply the principles in your daily lives together. Then begin again to plan other articles, another time frame for reading, and scheduled date for discussion. Make it a big day of driving or going out to dinner.

The 10 Marriage Commandments
This is a Christian marriage site with lots of helpful articles, but this particular article will help you both establish some rules in your marriage - the boundaries of respect and consideration that neither of you should cross against the other. You might not devise all the rules at once. Some will make themselves known later when they actually happen. Instead of getting irritated with each other, recognize that you didn't know it would be something the other person did not or would not like. One rule you might consider establishing is that he call you (at least once a day) while he's away. Another might be that he gives you a copy of his itinerary a month in advance. I'm sure you have other rules you would like to establish. He, no doubt, has some too. Again, compromising may be in order. Read and put into practice the other articles at that site too. There's are lots of articles on Communication and Conflict for you each to improve your communication skills.

The 5 Love Languages
This book is extremely valuable to help you both become familiar with your own and each other's love language. As the aricle explains, love language is the "primary way of expressing and interpreting love." For example, it seems your love language might be Words of Affirmation since you gush and melt when he says things that make you feel special. His love language might be something different. There is a questionnaire - a kind of test - you each can take to learn your profile type. Once you both know each other's preference, you can begin communicating in that language. If you find that Words of Affirmation truly is your preferred way of interpreting love (or whatever you learn your love language is), he is to make a habit of expressing his love to you in that manner. Whatever he finds his preferred method of interpreting love is, you are to make a habit of expressing your love to him in that manner. This can help make your life together a wonderful dance of love and mutual reciprocation.
This is my favorite site and is a treasure chest of informative articles (and books) and priceless information. You will literally have dozens and dozens of Ah Ha! moments. Begin with Basic Concepts and move on to the Love Bank and so on. Many of the articles also have a questionnaire at the end. Print out two copies of the questionnaires after you both read the articles as scheduled (as suggested above). You each complete a questionnaire and then schedule a day to sit down and discuss each other's answers. You have to make the effort to stop doing the things he says irritates him, and he has to make the effort to stop doing the things you say irritate you. This way, you avoid getting on each other's nerves, while applying the principles you learned in the articles.

There now. You both will be very busy working on yourselves to build a healthy marriage, create a stronger bond, and learning the best ways to communicate. See the kind of work that goes into marriage? A heck of a lot more work than picking his socks off the floor, isn't it? LOL

Truthfully, couples don't normally do all this work. But then, look at the divorce rate and consider how many truly are not very happily married. You look at couples and from the outside, you think they are happy. Those who know you would never know of your concerns either though. No one can tell from the outside looking in. Most don't know they NEED to work and don't know the work to do. Lucky for you that now you do know.

Incidentally, this will also help in the area of your confidence. It will be a lot less required that you have to build up the confidence to broach these subjects with your husband since the articles are prompting and directing you. You won't have to worry that he will feel criticized or questioned by you because it's all laid out for him in black and white (most of it anyway), and you don't have to worry that he might leave you for making such an effort to please and be pleased.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 8:19AM
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Wow, River, thanks so much for taking the time to provide all of that information!

But I guess I do need to try to clear up something as best I can. His itinerary is not as simple as you think and the only thing consistent about it is it's inconsistency. I guess the most I can say about it is being at games is just one facet of what he does, and it is not even close to being the greatest part of his "visibility", if you will. And indeed he has traveled to one city on the basis of a planned itenirary only to land and be sent immediately to another city because of a breaking sports story. Exciting life as a single man, but it sucks for married life.

But anyway the sites that you suggested were very interesting. I have been looking at them all morning at work because our computer system is down. It's kind of hard to manipulate them all on a cell phone, but I get the gist of them. The love languages were especially interesting. I knew immediately that I was both affirmation and touching. I also am pretty sure that my husband is touching.

As I was looking throug the sites, I was chuckling and thinking "there is not a snowball's chance in H____ that my husband would even give this a look." But I'm going out on a limb and trying to see if he will at least do the love language assessment. I thought it was actually kind of fun.


It was really a coincidence that River mention counseling as a couple. At church yesterday I spoke with the minister who will be counseling me (the appointment was actually made through someone else). She asked me if I thought my husband would consider coming as a couple. I told her I didn't know if I could even handle that so she didn't push the issue. But she asked me to consider it over the holidays. Somehow in our conversation it came out that we were not going to be together for the holidays, and I was quite happy with that. I think she was trying to tell me in a subtle way that that seemed counterproductive to working on our marriage, but again it was a short conversation and she wasn't pushy one way or the other. There was really a connection there so I'm hopeful that this will really be helpful; if not for my marriage at least for me personally.


Well, I can honestly say that after being apart for almost 10 days (with the exception of that one night, for which we were arguing most of that time), I really was looking forward to him coming home. I really missed him, but not in that love-sick way, just missed his companionship. We had a really good weekend together, even though it did involve him going to a game, it was mostly while I was at church so that worked out okay. I have to admit that after that horrible argument, and then him being away for another week, I was just not feeling any kind of troubling of the waters.

We actually kind of went with the flow in the time we spent together; I wanted to start looking at Christmas decorations since this is our first Christmas together. He kind of made a face at that suggestion and I joked okay, when I decorate the condo in a Santa's workshop theme, I don't want to hear a word about it. I braced myself with that comment but he just laughed and agreed to us doing that. Knowing how much he could care less about Christmas decorations, and for him to agree to do that with me, I made an internal decision that anything else he wanted to do I would go along with.

We almost hit a snag when I reminded him I was going to choir rehersal, he said this was his first time hearing that I planned to re-join the choir (which might be true, I was so mad during our argument that although that was the main thing I intended to talk to him about, when I changed the script, it may not have even been brought up). I reminded him that it wouldn't make or break our day since it was only 2 hours. I didn't feel like getting into anything deeper than that (you know, about his control issues) so he reluctantly went along. the rest of the weekend was just extremely relaxing in our time together, one of the most relaxing times I have had with him in quite some time. It kind of felt like a warm blanket.

It's probably the proverbial calm before the storm, but if it is, I feel like I'm gathering strength to deal with it. Like several of you have said, continuing the way we were is just not an option. I think the stress of it alone would kill me, and I mean literally.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 12:27PM
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wo - a Christian forum I belong to has someone with similar issues. I wanted to tell her to come here - but...Her husband is very controlling and she sounds very unhappy.

Going thru counseling and all that, too.

I wanted to tell her the relationship sounds bad as from HER side of the story. Not sure WHAT she is looking for? If she isn't getting it from #1 Her Lord, #2 Her Husband, #3 Counselor, #4 the Forum...she probably isn't going to get the answers she seeks.

Poor thing. Good luck to you. :) I am sorry if I gave the impression of diagnosing any personality disorder. I am NOT a doctor.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 11:07AM
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Yep, that was me; never tried to hide it as you see I used the same screen name. And when I read up on narcissim (which I got from you), it did seem to fit his personality, so I really was worried there. I needed a Christian perspective, and got it. But you are right as far as being my side of the story only. He might have something different to say if you ask him. Did you notice that I gave this board credit for helping me a lot also? Are you on the TAM board also? That one gave me a whole new appreciation for my husband.

And I am not in counseling, by the way, only did two sessions. Waste of money as far as I'm concerned.

It was/is difficult for me, with so little experience with relationships as it is, to be married to (1) someone with his personaltiy and (2) someone in the public arena. At first I felt like I was constantly feeling my way blindly, but now I can see a lot clearer. Issues don't disappear overnight, but we have made some giant strides in a very short span of time. Of all the different relationships that exist in this world, marriage appears to be the most risky and volatile, but also one of the most fulfilling in its best state. Parents might disagree with me, though!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 12:15PM
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Wifey, I wouldn't give up on counselling so quickly. If your experience was not good, it means you didn't find a good counsellor with whom you had a good rapport. After all, the Ford Pinto is not proof all cars are bad ;-)
And I think you said earlier your counsellor was connected with your church? Not to dis your religion or anything, but I'm not convinced church-affiliated counsellors are as well qualified as they might be (or at all in some cases) or as dispassionate as they should be.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 10:57PM
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Oh my God, wifey. Wake up and smell the coffee!

My priest was the one that told me there is a "side" to each relationship. God does NOT want me to be unhappy and stay with someone that I feel is causing me pain! I chose to stay in a relationship with a man quite like yours because there was a child involved. And to leave with her would have meant making decisions that involved HER happiness, HER life, HER friends, HER school, etc. Because I made a BIG mistake - she has to pay? So, I made it work for as long as I could. Now, it is time to stop the lie. The divorce will be final in March and I cannot wait. Thanks to Fr. Mark for his help in my decision. I won't burn in hell. I was living a lie while being married! For we did NOT love -- we were just serving a purpose in each other's lives.

I don't know what Church you belong to - but is he going to make you wear a long black covering from head to toe if you go out in public without him?

Is this what you always dreamed of? A man that is never there even when he is physically? Because you can be sure you are gonna get old real fast. You are NOT his equal. He is 45 and a womanizer. Of course he has his fun on his "away games" work. That's why you are not "allowed" to go with or have a facebook or a twitter but it is alright for him. sheesh.

If only I could go back to being 31 with a master's degree I certainly wouldn't tie myself down to a guy that did NOTHING to support my wants and MY dreams/goals/wishes/ambitions. Something?!?

He might throw you a bone here and there, big deal. But where is YOUR life? Would he do anything to accommodate YOU? Go anywhere? Just for you? Or is it YOU arranging and changing and saying no to friends to suit HIM?

Ok. This is what you desire. You are gonna be the martyr and stay in a marriage where you have NO say so. He has all the control. So be it. You aren't that naive.

This is YOUR choice to stay and make it work. Good luck. Really. Hope the red carpet events are worth all the trouble. Hope you find something to keep you warm while he is....away. :)

"...He just doesn't want anybody to know he's married to ME"

Doesn't sound like newlywed bliss to me. You are his property. YOU WILL OBEY. Have fun :)

This post was edited by worriedone on Sun, Jan 20, 13 at 22:04

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 9:59PM
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