Dh and I are in a very rough patch. We're about to start counselling. We have been talking and Dh said this to me; 'there have been times when we haven't been having sex, where I've found myself flirting with other women and realised what I'm doing, so stopped because I love you'. Do I take it that he didn't do anything and there is nothing to worry about. He's just too honest and would have been better not saying anything. Or should I be upset? At the time I wasnt happy but rather than it causing a row I just said I had thought of leaving him but hadn't. He flirted but stopped, so we'd leave it there, only it's niggling a bit now. Am I being daft and should I just forget it?
It rather depends on the context and how it was said. As you say you're in a rough path I would interpret it to mean... Other women find me attractive and I could get sex any time. So far I've stopped myself so you should feel grateful for that, but one day I might go all the way.
I don't think it's honest. I think it's somewhere between a veiled threat and arrogance.
He has always been of the opinion that in a relationship where there is no sex then a person is justified in having an affair, as people need affection. He hasn't because he loves me and knows he would hurt me. I have told him it would be a divorce if he ever did. He was trying to say he was doing it without realising and when he did, stopped.
I should add two very hard pregnancies were most of the time he's referring too. Plus a year of depression I had after the second. He wasn't exaggerating as it was very sparse and my choice. he always came across as understanding, although I knew it was hard for him. But now I'm a bit by no means is he the innocent party in our marriage problems. His treatment of me over the pregnancies probably warrated me leaving him. (didn't obviously) but certainly added to my avoidance of initimacy. It concerned me when he voiced his thoughts but I trusted him completely.
cigito, I think it made me feel uneasy because its the first I've heard of it. He's never admitted to anything when things have been bad and I've never had a reason to not trust him at all. Its always been a good area for us. He goes to strip clubs and that's always been ok (not everyone agrees I know) I would happily go too, but opportunity doesn't arise. but now I'm thinking it must be in these nights he goes out. So what is he up to. Why tell me? I didn't need to know, did I? Or is this just his way of hitting home how deeply a lack of intimacy has affected him at times?
Join, it's the reason we are where we are really. He's accepted he acted badly. But I think the counselling will help him to realise the extent. He's happy in our relationship and I'm not. His revelation hasn't helped the situation.
You made it sound like your "rough patch" was something you had both contributed to rather than something brought about by his poor treatment of you.
In that context, I think it was incredibly shitty of him to have started talking in those terms.
If you were both miserable and unable to see your way through to a solution and both talking about how bad things had got, then that would be OK.
If he destroyed your marriage by treating you badly, then he needs to be going in to counselling feeling contrite and wanting to work out why he thought that was ever OK.
But what he seems to be doing is having a self-pity party (poor me, you didn't want sex) and deliberately trying to make you feel insecure about his affections and commitment before you start counselling.
Basically, I think he's being a manipulative shite, here.
join, I suppose I'm trying to approach the issue of 'us' needing counselling as a joint problem. If I go in and say its all him, that can't be right can it? I'm not perfect and my depression has affected our relationship, but the op was his response to that. But my genuine feelings are that, yes he broke the marriage with the pregnancy issues, his arrogance and need to be in control I try so hard to not just see the bad side of him. But MN has helped highlight things that have been wrong and I have started to check out of the relationship He didn't want to go to counselling saying 'I'm happy in our relationship, if you go and get better then it will be ok'. He's going because i want him to. said he will take it seriously and not be akward. He needs it more than me, but his ego is in the way. sounds such a catch writing this!
'not be awkward' is hardly the spirit to enter counselling. Counselling means everyone wants things to get better and everyone accepts that they are going to have to adjust their attitude and behaviour to achieve that aim. If he's strolling in there thinking He's All Right Jack and the whole problem is that you need to get better then all he's going to do is pay lip-service. (Albeit serious and non-awkward lip-service) That's just a big waste of your time and the counsellor's time.
Sometimes the reason it's hard not to see someone's bad side is because it's the only side they condescend to show you....
cogito, this is a worry I have. If we go and he's not trying and comes away with attitude, then I will contibue alone. sadly with an approach to end the marriage rather than save it I suspect. join, you make a very good point. I hadn't thouhht of it like that. him blaming me I mean. Thank you for all the posts its helping.
cake his view that not having enough sex is justification for an affair says a lot about him. Add to that his poor behaviour, his 'warning shot' re the other women and dismissive attitude to counselling and you have the sum total of a selfish twonk. Sorry. You deserve so much better.