I've been married for four years but we have been living together for 14. For the past two years my marriage has been going downhill since my husband met this girl at his workplace. Everything has become a secret — the lies started, and all the promises he made to me have not been fulfilled. We argue all the time about him hiding things from me and I have to search to find things out, then he just looks at me and denies it. Sometimes when he goes to work his phone is off for the entire night and I can't get to him. When I complain, he tells me his phone was dead. He does not take me out. During this year he also moved out and moved back in. I suggested counselling and he agreed, but that's it. I ask which day we are going and there is no answer. He is not interested in this marriage but IS just stringing me along. Whenever I find out things and he gets caught he says I should stay out of his business. I suggested that we just move on with our lives and call it quits because this is not a marriage.
What do you think?
Some men who were unfaithful to their partners during the pre-marriage period would find it very difficult to discontinue the practice after marriage. So despite the public declaration to “forsake all others” they still continue with business as usual. There is this false notion that the moment the ink dries on the marriage register the cheating behaviour will cease.
Was your partner unfaithful to you during the 14 years? Was he secretive and tended to twist the truth? Did he do these things then, but you ignored them hoping that when he walked the aisle in the church and put the ring on he would change his wayward ways? If that is the case, then his behaviour should not surprise you.
If, however, he was faithful all this time and just in the last two years he has been distracted by the girl at his workplace, then your concerns would be justified. The excuses given do sound suspicious with the classic one being the phone battery died or the phone was turned off. Most people don't turn off their phones but would put them on silent or vibrate mode and with numerous phone-charging options and longer battery life of smartphones, those excuses are lame.
It's strange that a husband would instruct his wife to stay out of his business. Who else has the legitimate right to be in his “business”? In other words, there should be a level of openness and transparency infused with respect and honesty.
If it is that your husband is giving more attention to the co-worker than he gives to you, then a conversation must be held with him to ascertain the reasons and motivation for developing an emotional attachment to her. Neglecting to take you out is certainly a sign of ignoring your emotional needs.
Since he is not opposed to counselling, I suggest you take the initiative to identify a marriage counselling agency and make the appointment after a mutually accepted date and time is established.
Arising out of those discussions you should be in a better position to decide the way forward. Take care of yourself. All the best.
Wayne Powell is a relationship counsellor. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com . Check out his work on www.seekingshalom.org and his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MFTCounselor/ .