I mean: the affair has been a collision between his anger with me, need for more attention and his high standard of morality.
I don't know whether I have been good sexual partner; he's not complained; I don't refuse. However, the demands of our expanding business has occupied both of our attentions, business is the first thing talked about in the morning; the last thing talked about at night; conversations are little more than checklists "did you do this, did you do that?" He then apparently reflects on the business-only relationship and feels lonely.
Can't trust me because I failed to realize that he was lonely. A good wife should know these things.
The Jerry Springer sordid nature of this whole ordeal is that she is (now "was") the manager of our business. Lawyers told me that I can't fire her; she could claim sexual harrassment. So I have had to work with her, face to face, for nearly a year. I put on my happy, professional face every day, knowing where my husband goes at night. Oddly enough, he and I would meet privately for long conversations with me as a "therapist." He would tell me about her explosive, jealous behavior, how he can't stand her kids, how self-indulgent she is; wonders if he is just a sugardaddy. I listen, try not to react; try to reason with him. Yes, I will work on the shortcomings in our relationship. I learned quickly that there is nothing to be gained by my defending myself or pointing out all the things I've done for him. In one explosive rant about my failings, he went so far to claim that I never cooked a meal except when we had company. REALLY???? Raised three children and I never cooked. His need to find fault has veered into nonsensical allegations. So I just listen; try to examine myself honestly, admit that I must have wounded him grieviously and I'm sorry. He has apologized for his actions but then adds: "but you must ask yourself, 'why would, after 32 years, would I need someone else.' you needs to ask yourself..."
My husband has a PhD and is world renown in his field. She has a high school education. We hired her as an regular employee; she quickly was advanced into a management position and I became her mentor. I told him that she reminds me of the movie "My Fair Lady." He has taken on a "project." He's helped her file a restraining order on the previous boyfriend, helped her find a more upscale place to live (within her budget- on our payroll), bought her more professional clothing; picks up her child from daycare, taught her how to pay her bills, helped her get a checking account. He admits that he likes to feel needed. I remarked that my independence has become a liability (?) and is no longer an asset. He swears that physical attractiveness has nothing to do with it (double-D implants). We three have had some hours-long arguments. For 7 days of consecutive no-call/ no-show, I fired her. He had made an occasional rent payment but no she has no job. Can't find one that pays like we did. Looked a couple of places. My husband is surprised that the experience she claims to have (law office, bank teller and us: as an assisted living facility manager) she can't find a job. Now we are supporting her even more. Once again I'm the bad guy.
I have tried to be affectionate. But in the last 3 years he has grown cold. Walks out of a restaurant without me; doesn't look back. I've pleaded for him to hold my hand. His reply: if you want to hold my hand then catch up with me. No kiss, no words of affirmation; 2-4 times per month he tells me to "Close the door." to our bedroom; that's the cue that it's time for sex. I've bought books, read some of them out loud, about the need to have an affectionate attitude all day; there would be no awkwardness about that orientation continuing into the bedroom. My repeated analogy is that I'm a plant that is dying for lack of water. I've been clear about my needs. It would seem that the all-business relationship we have, harmful as it was, was really the only place I got fulfillment. It's hard to feel affectionate when I am told on a regular basis that I am an ineffectual manager, lousy wife, bad mother, never cooks. However, I am efficient, organized and well respected by staff and the community. My husband is my biggest critic. I am finally able to sleep when he falls asleep. No telling when some point of irritation pops in his mind and he has to berrate me (10 PM, 2AM) Why do I continue to hang on? I guess it's because I have always been the fixer in our relationship. Dealing with rejection is still more painful, difficult than trying to placate each round of complaints. I think I can do it. I can and will be the missing piece to his puzzle- I just need to be given the chance. Betrayal and rejection are crushing. I have lost 30 pounds- actually look more attractive and have bought new, sexier clothing. Don't know how to approach the single life; I've been a wife and a partner for too many years. Friends/family tell me to move on; I don't deserve this and there are better men out there. All of this brings me around to the start of my request for help. I think the source of the unhappiness is him. We used to joke about his lack of contentment and how that will never change unless the summers in Arizona cool off, there is peace in the Middle East etc. He is chronically unhappy. He thought about that question posed in the movie "Bucket List" : Do you bring joy into anyone's life; is there joy in your life? He wasn't sure. His sister and brother-in-law, both MDs, think he is severly depressed. But no one can tell him anything. I've ordered 5 books about anger management/toxic anger from Amazon
I am an RN and founded/established our assisted living facility- now three locations. He was an aerospace engineer who exposed fraud, whistle-blew to the top and was promised corrective action to the offenders. Corrective action never came. His leave of absence ran out and he had no choice but to take early retirement. He has moved his attentions/drive into MY business where (he was once my biggest fan) now I am incompetent. I am recognized to have some competence in the medical arena but he has claimed dominion over Human Resources, thereby making her bullet-proof. Current status: she's been out of work for a month, my husband continues to live with her but admits that her kids drive him crazy, although she sent two away to live with the father of one; she's willing to send the other two away. Has promised for months to break it off because he sees no future with her but adamantly refuses to set a time, or be pushed. He has been waiting for the right time when she might blow up and he can then walk out. He feels that if she returns to the ghetto, then HE failed. I told him that she is a "project." He disagrees. He says he wants to leave her but wants her to be successful and not too mad at him. Doesn't want her to accuse him of leading her on. In truth, he has a reason for everything. His own family doesn't know what has happened to him.
I have bought the book you recommended and have started reading. I spoke to my husband about you and he is interested in your advice. How do we proceed? Seems like one of the "Ask the Expert" captions mentioned a monthly fee. He admits that you described him well. So now the question to me is "So, what does your expert say about how to get out of this relationship?" this is good news.
Thanks for the reply.
I don't want to have my husband use my email address to communicate with you. He could look back at our correspondence and may be derailed by the way I put him in a nutshell. His name is XXXXX XXX his email is XXXXX@XXXXXX.XXX- I don't know what your professional boundaries are, but an invitation to dialogue may be helpful; from you to him. Hopefully he will contact you. Don't be surprised if he wants a second opinion. He wants advice but it must come packaged in a way that doesn't make him rush to defend his damsel-in-distress, by saying "she's no good...." He tunes out the family member who tell him that. He also tunes out when he is "reassured" that separating from her is "easy...say a few things...and it's over...she'll be fine...you weren
't the first and won't be the last"
Thanks again for your speedy replies.
Hopefully he will be contacting you soon.
P.S. Can our dialogue be deleted from your bank of previous responses (that is open for others to read)? He'll recognize me.