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Wedding Woes

He's a 'wonderful' person, except for this laundry list of problematic behavior.

Dear Prudence,

I am at rock bottom. I love my husband more than anything in this world, but I cheated on him. I kissed another man—twice. He wants a divorce. I want to spend the rest of my life with him, but things between us have been frayed for some time now. For the past six months, every conversation we have had has been filled with irritation and defensiveness. It doesn’t seem like he likes me at all. We both have been preoccupied with our phones and no longer communicate at all. He doesn’t seem interested in me and I have often wondered if he wanted to leave me. The only time he seems happy with me is when I do my chores and contribute to the housework. He is very stressed and overwhelmed, but we both work full-time and I do my best to help around the house.

He has a wonderful daughter whom I love dearly. There has always been pressure on me to be her full-on mother, and I think those expectations are stressful for both of us. He never seems satisfied with my level of contribution or participation, and as a result, my relationship with his daughter can feel strained. I have communicated that I want to be a trusted adult she can have fun with and am his backup support when he needs me. I want to cook for her, take her shopping, and watch movies. He needs me to be her June Cleaver.

My husband is a wonderful person, but we both come from traumatic backgrounds. While he doesn’t have a drinking problem, he is a bad drinker, and all of his trauma comes out in a way that is upsetting to me. I have expressed my discomfort with his drinking many times over the years and he brushes me off. I felt alone, unliked, and unwanted, and I looked to someone else to remind me that I am a person worth talking to. My husband and I only talk about chores and money. We are capable of so much more, and there is a real, profound love between us. I made a huge mistake in kissing someone else, and I feel disgusted that I could hurt him like this. I would never do this again. He has agreed to counseling, but every day he changes his mind and says he wants a divorce. He wants to talk to the man I kissed, and I agreed—but actually I think that would be unwise and unhelpful. I want to prove to him that I love him and am committed to rebuilding our marriage. Prudence, he trusts you and listens to your podcast/reads your column regularly—what do I do?

—Desperate for Forgiveness

Re: He's a 'wonderful' person, except for this laundry list of problematic behavior.

  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    How does "bad drinker" NOT = drinking problem?

    Yeah, lady, you need counseling. Make the appointment. 
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    counseling for sure, but I also have a feeling he is using the kiss(es) for terms of divorce for something else.  Like, he was over the relationship anyway and found out she kissed someone so "aha! perfect grounds for divorce".  Not saying cheating isn't....just seems like he really isn't going to put the effort to work on it. 

    ShesSoColdcharlotte989875
  • "He's wonderful" but he makes me feel like crap, doesn't listen to my concerns, and doesn't want to work on anything. Oh, and when he's drunk, he's fucking mean. 

    Yeah. Go ahead and DTMFA. And why did you even tell him about the kisses?! 

    image
    mrsconn23short+sassyOliveOilsMom
  • baconsmom said:
    "He's wonderful" but he makes me feel like crap, doesn't listen to my concerns, and doesn't want to work on anything. Oh, and when he's drunk, he's fucking mean. 

    Yeah. Go ahead and DTMFA. And why did you even tell him about the kisses?! 

    This.  But also, I have a friend who is trying to divorce a man that sounds like this guy and the amount of BS her STBX has put her through is mind-bottling. I can see him using his trauma, and hers, to berate, intimidate, and guilt her. 
    baconsmomshort+sassyOliveOilsMom
  • How does "bad drinker" NOT = drinking problem?


    My BFF was a 'bad drinker'.  She didn't drink very often, but when she did...it was ugly.  I almost dropped out of her wedding after her bachelorette party because she was blackout drunk and trying to start shit with strangers.  She was an uncontrollable nightmare when she blacked out. 

    She went to AA 8-9 years ago and got her shit together, thankfully.  But I think she thought for a long time she didn't have a drinking problem because she wasn't a daily drinker. 
    short+sassycharlotte989875
  • mrsconn23 said:
    How does "bad drinker" NOT = drinking problem?


    My BFF was a 'bad drinker'.  She didn't drink very often, but when she did...it was ugly.  I almost dropped out of her wedding after her bachelorette party because she was blackout drunk and trying to start shit with strangers.  She was an uncontrollable nightmare when she blacked out. 

    She went to AA 8-9 years ago and got her shit together, thankfully.  But I think she thought for a long time she didn't have a drinking problem because she wasn't a daily drinker. 


    My H was "sort of" like this, though way back in the past.  He rarely drank but, when he did, it was extreme.  However, he's a "happy" drunk, not an angry one, so at least there was that.

    However, for almost 15 years...and with no prompting from me...he hasn't had an episode like that.  He still rarely drinks but, when he does, it will only be 1-2 drinks.  And even that is usually just at home.

    As for the LW, my heart goes out to her.  I think her H has been over this marriage for a long time.  I really think they could save it with some counseling, but ONLY if they BOTH want to work hard and try.  And BOTH take blame and responsibility for what has gone wrong.  He doesn't seem to want to try and even seems a little gleeful to be doling out the blame and using that as a weapon against her.

    Walking on eggshells is no way to live.  She needs to have a Come to Jesus conversation with him that either they commit to counseling and working on their marriage or they at least separate.  She might lose him.  But it's better than living in limbo for months/years.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Really though, what is there left to save? 
    InLoveInQueens
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    There was red flags to this relationship before they were married.  He has a daughter from another relationship.  Whenever there is a child from another relationship, I think it is very important that you have a talk with the parent to discuss HOW you will be involved with the child.  When you marry someone with children, they come as a package, so just like finances, future goals, more kids, etc, etc.  This should have already been discussed and on the same page before marriage.

    LW's H is emotionally manipulating LW.  He wants to meet the person she kissed?  What?  This will go bad in one of a million different ways.  He only has interest in her when she actually does her chores?  He shows irritation to her regularly.  Why does LW want to continue this relationship?

    DTMF


  • VarunaTTVarunaTT member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited July 12
    mrsconn23 said:

    ...there is a real, profound love between us

    —Desperate for Forgiveness

    No, there's not.  Accept that, agree to the divorce and move on.

    Your partner shouldn't have to uphold you all the time every day, but they also shouldn't make you feel like shit, unloved, unwanted, not communicating, telling you that you don't meet expectations, but also unwilling to meet yours.

    DTMFA.
    STARMOON44mrsconn23
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