I'm having a hard time dealing with an upcoming event. My husband, "Rob," and our nephews are planning a night out visiting the local all-nude strip clubs. I walked into the room just as one nephew was inviting him. Abby, he jumped at the chance! When I asked what they were talking about, Rob said, "Nothing," and changed the subject.
I don't want him to go. This isn't a new occurrence in our more-than-30-year marriage. After we were married seven years, Rob came home from work and told me he wanted to be with other women. The men he worked with all had girlfriends on the side and were always talking about how great it was, and my husband thought he was missing something. Since Rob's sister and young son were living with us at the time, I moved out. Every day he called me at work to see how I was, and on the third day he called, crying, and begged me to come home. He had decided I was what he really wanted.
Twelve years later, Rob had a stress breakdown. While he was in the hospital he confessed that he'd had a three-year affair with a woman he worked with and had paid for her to have an abortion. He said it was over and promised there would be no more women. It was his idea, not mine. I never mentioned the subject again. Now this.
Abby, I'm having a lot of trouble dealing with this. The "boys' night out" is in three weeks. I have decided to tell Rob that I wish he wouldn't go -- not can't go -- and leave the decision up to him. Am I just a jealous wife, or insecure, or unreasonable?
Wounded in New York
I'd say you're insecure with good reason. Your husband's history of fidelity and stability is poor, and it didn't help matters that when you asked what the men were talking about, he was evasive. You do not appear to be jealous. It would not be unreasonable to air your feelings about his behavior, past and present, when you tell him you wish he wouldn't go. Considering his past, the request is understandable.
I have been married for 10 years. We have two beautiful daughters under the age of 7 whom we adore. We put them first, before anything. My husband and I come from divorced parents, and we don't want to put our kids through it. Lately, we have been fighting and our sex life has stopped. I don't find myself even remotely attracted to him, and I wonder what I ever saw in him. I am on the verge of an affair or divorce. What shall I do?
Distancing in Washington
Neither of the above. Every marriage has its ups and downs. For your children's sake, as well as your own, you owe it to yourselves to make the effort to figure out what has caused the two of you to drift apart. One effective way to do this is a program called National Marriage Encounter, which has helped many couples to fall in love all over again. Contact them by calling 800-828-3351, or visiting the Web site at www.marriage-encounter.org.
I'm engaged to a man who is a really good friend of mine. We have great times together watching movies or just hanging out.
The problem is I want to be intimate more than he does. He's a once-a-month kind of guy. I'm a once-a-day kind of girl. We have had many arguments about this because it seems like he doesn't want me. He says that's not true, that he is just tired, or stressed, etc. -- the list is never-ending. We get along in every way except this one.
Am I being a baby, or is this not the relationship for me?
Needs More in Moline, Ill.
Much as you may wish otherwise, he is not the man for you. You have a larger appetite than he can cater to. Marrying him will only compound your problem. Keep him as a friend if you can, but don't marry him.
(c)2004, Universal Press Syndicate