While a lot of men would die to have a woman like me (no, I'm not conceited), my husband is apparently not one of them. I work 45 hours a week, spend the weekends cleaning, cooking and playing video games with him. I try to revolve my life around his in hopes of keeping him happy, but the problem is that he's the most boring, unromantic, unfaithful, untrusting person I've ever known. We met online 11 years ago, got married four years ago, and in 2009, I found out through a friend of his that he was posting ads on dating sites looking for casual sex.
The profiles I found for him varied from looking for one-on-one sex to group sex to a relationship (I must have found 25 different dating sites he was signed up to). Anyway, we separated for a month and then decided to try and work it out. He said his reasoning was because I "wasn't giving it to him enough." Not only that, the age group he was seeking was 18 years old (I'm 37 and he's 29).
Would a guy seriously jeopardize an 11-year relationship just over sex or is he really looking for more than just sex? It's been a year since this occurred and I haven't caught him doing anything, else but of course I'm still very wary. He swears he wants to work things out, but my instincts tell me something isn't right. I love this man so much and have invested so much into this and really, I'd just like some outside-lookin'-in advice, if you know what I mean. Thank you Mike!
— Blinded By Love
Here's how I'd describe your relationship: The wheel's spinning, but the hamster's dead.
In your rush to keep the wheel of your relationship moving by forgiving him, you killed off the expression of the emotions that would fully bring you back to it.
Feelings of betrayal, jealousy and resentment do not stop simply because you said the words "I forgive you." That's like saying the minute you accept someone's death, grief goes away.
In truth, you accepted your husband back into your life, but you never forgave him. Big difference.
There are two paths of forgiveness — one epitomized by Mark Twain's famous quote: "Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it."
Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf epitomizes the other. When asked whether there was any room for forgiveness toward the people who helped the terrorists stage 9/11, Schwarzkopf said, "I believe that forgiving them is God's function. Our job is simply to arrange the meeting." A more practical definition of forgiveness might flutter somewhere between the two.
Listen, everybody knows that people who fuck up deserve a second chance. What they don't know is that the fucked are obligated to give them that chance. Yes, obligated. Love's a bitch. It will deny itself to the people who do not work at redemption as well as the people who refuse to offer it.
I say you have every right to confront him with your feelings that something isn't right — even though it's been a year and he hasn't done anything to make you suspicious. Maybe you are being paranoid, but don't you have the right?
You have to find a balance between expressing your pain and piecing your relationship back together. On the one hand, you should express your feelings freely and demand verification of trust. On the other hand, treating him like a prisoner of war, interrogating him and going through his computers and phones behind his back is a great way to produce the kind of results you're trying to avoid.
Sit down with him. Chart a path. Be Twain, not Schwarzkopf.
Got a burning or a why-is-it-burning question for the Sexorcist? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mike Alvear is the author of a line of How to Meet Guys on Facebook and teaches monthly blogging workshops with Hollis Gillespie.
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