Three months after our wedding, everything changed. One night I tried to initiate sex (this was something he said he wanted me to do). He said that he didn't want to have sex with me because I had gained weight and he was no longer attracted to me.
I was hurt and humiliated.
First of all, I had only gained five pounds and was at a completely normal weight. But I went on a diet and lost it all. I tried to be the perfect wife so he would accept me.
When I was pregnant he wouldn't come near me. He is a good man. He is home at night, helps around the house and has been a good provider, but these rejections continue to affect me deeply.
I have managed to put this issue aside, and we have had some wonderful years. But it has caused me to feel insecure, especially because after childbirth and aging my body has changed. I don't want him to see me naked. He doesn't show any empathy, even at our counseling sessions.
He told the counselor that he married me because I was beautiful. I suppose that's a compliment, but I feel ripped off. I married this man for love and emotional security.
How do I deal with this?
Holding On: As a newly married man, your husband was showing you who he was. He may love you deeply, but his relatively narrow sexual preferences are quite obvious.
Your shame over his rejections means that you have spent the last quarter-century justifying someone else’s superficial and unkind assessment of you.
This armchair psychologist wants to look you in the eye and remind you that no one else has the right to define you!
At this point, your goal should be to find ways to reframe your reactive emotions and find a way to fairly assess this relationship. Do you want to stay with him?
I hope a day will come when you can stop pinning your personal self-esteem to your husband’s narrow metric, and quite honestly love yourself for everything that you are, and exactly as you are. When you do, you will come into your own power, and the balance in your marriage will shift. Individual counseling would be very useful for you.
Dear Amy: My husband's cousin "Jonathan" is extremely well off. Jon and his wife invite us to many of their parties for their four children, and we attend every single one, bringing a gift each time.
Recently we attended a baby shower for their fourth child, bringing an expensive gift and a blanket I had knit for them. We never got a thank you.
We bought our house last year and invited family and friends over to celebrate. Jon and his wife said they would attend with their four children but did not show up.
We saw on social media that the two of them went out to a nice dinner that same night. We were hurt.
Today my mother hosted a beautiful baby shower for our first child.
My husband's extended family (including Jon's wife) were invited. She declined.
I'm now very tempted to decline any of their gift-giving invitations from now on, but my husband says we should be the bigger people. Am I being petty?
Confused: I don’t think you are being petty. I think you are being proportional.
It is natural to consider pulling back from people who don’t appreciate or reciprocate. What you shouldn’t do is proactively decline all future invitations.
Their behavior toward you has released you from feeling 100 percent obligated to accept every invitation they issue. From now on, you should spend time with them if/when you want to.
Dear Amy: "Finding My Way" described life after discovering her guy was talking to other women, receiving nude photos and was registered on a dating site.
I know it sounds crazy, but I actually put up with this when we were dating and then went on to marry the guy!
I hope she doesn't make the same mistake.
Learned the Hard Way
Learned the Hard Way: Reading the signs, accepting the truth and making rational choices will help “Finding” to avoid your fate.