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Ask John-Michaels Your Own Question
John-Michaels, Counselor (LPC)
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 615
Experience:  25+ years helping resolve relational issues.
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My husband has been trying for months to find the girl he

Customer Question

My husband has been trying for months to find the girl he first "loved" in high school. It all started when he found some of his old HS friends online and found out that she is divorced. He found her old pictures on a yearbook website and saved them to his computer and his phone. He has tried contacting her at her work, bought several subscriptions for people searches to find her, and searches for her nearly everyday on the computer. I only know this because we share a computer. I even saw a letter he wrote to her. When I asked him about it, he said he misses her and wonders what life had been like had "he chosen a different path." He said he was over it and wouldn't search for her anymore, but I just saw another charge for another people search subscription on the credit card statement. It's been 30 years since he saw her. We've been married for 20 and have 3 kids. I feel like I am not good enough for him anymore now that he's found out that she's single again. He says I am being stupid and I need to get over it, but it hurts to think that I am his second choice. I think he would leave me in a second if she was to come back into his life. The kicker? They never even dated... Am I being stupid? Is his behavior inappropriate? What should I do?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Relationship
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
He deleted her pictures and info when I told him I didn't think it was right to save them, but then used our computer recovery system to retrieve them. He asked her former friends for pictures of her, too. He brags about her career: "I almost dated a hot engineer!" He has been listening to/posting old songs that remind him of her. I guess I am just not worth his while anymore.
Expert:  John-Michaels replied 8 months ago.

Hello. It is rather normal for men about your husband's age to look up old flames. What isn't normal is for him to obsess over her so much. You can find some comfort in knowing she doesn't seem much more interested in him now than she did then. I would figure word has gotten to her through her friends he has been trying to get in touch. with her. she seems to have chose n not to respond.

That said, you have made it clear to him this bothers you and he has apparently ignored you. This reveals to me there are deeper issues in your marriage, I would guess this is just another issue or symptom of maybe a deterioration in your relationship.

My first recommendation would be to seek marital counseling. Beyond that, you need to put your foot down, You don't need to ask or request he discontinue his search. You need to demand it. You need to make it very clear how this makes you feel, demand he cease, and let him know the consequences if he doesn't. Whatever you say the consequences may be, you need to stick to your guns.

I reiterate though I believe this to be a symptom rather than the problem. Ultimately, you need to seek outside counseling. I am available for a phone call if you wish. If you are satisfied with my response, please let it be know with a positive rating. I really hope I have been a help to you.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thanks for the answer and the offer, but I prefer electronic communication.I understand what you are saying. We have tried therapy for a spell in the past, but it went nowhere. The therapist never got into our inability to communicate. The weird thing is, we seem to be doing great. If there is a problem, it must be with me because I am so insecure. I try to be a good wife, but he seems to want other women's attention soooooo badly. Before this latest obsession with his high school love, he was texting a co-worker very frequently - more than he was texting me and at odd hours (things like offering to meet her for coffee/lunch, calling her "beautiful," saying she was "one of the few people" in his life that he "actually cares about". Like the high school girl, he would talk about her all the time. I asked him about her - totally calmly - and he flew off the handle. He yelled at me, called me names, told me I was crazy and that I "always" accused him of cheating. I don't. I did about 18 years ago when he was secretly meeting another co-worker while I was out of the state with the kids for a family thing. Up until the latest bout of my jealousy, I was fine. He is understandably angry that I went through his correspondence. I feel really, really stupid about that. I guess I thought that since he was hiding things from me again, I needed to find out somehow. I just wish I was happy and easy-going all the time. I feel like that is the only thing that will make me acceptable. Maybe then I would feel less... what's the word... expendable? Less like he would leave me as soon as the opportunity arose? I have worked so so so hard for him - planned my life around him and the kids. But now I feel like his pathetic second choice. He only married me because the other woman wouldn't have anything to do with him. I feel as though it's all been a lie on his part. If I were just better...
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
It's getting to the point that I just don't want to try anymore. If I tell him how I feel, he will get angry and leave anyway. He will just say I'm crazy and paranoid. Maybe I am.
Expert:  John-Michaels replied 8 months ago.

I so apologize for taking so long to get back to you. No offence but from what I am rea ding you are not the problem. Your husband is being very inconsiderate. You are right. You do have insecurities. That is likely why you have put up with his indiscretions this long. It is time you put your foot down and demand it stop. Tell him he needs to choose you or find someone else. He very well may take you up on it but you don't have him now anyway. it is time you start valuing yourself and quit allowing him to treat you like yesterday's leftovers. You are better than that, Does that make sense to you?