Red Responds: Does She Push Men Away?

Emily in Greeneville writes:

I have had many struggles in the past with my relationships. I will start by saying I got pregnant at the age of 17 and married for the child’s sake. Before I had my son, my husband had cheated on me and also got someone else pregnant. We divorced after my son was born – he signed over his rights.

I remarried when my son was one and the man he calls “Daddy” raised him – he then adopted him and gave him his last name. When my son was five, we had a child together – a boy. After that everything went crazy when I found out he cheated on me with several different women. I could hurt him as he did me but that only back fired and he ended up doing it again. We divorced after 10 and a half years.

Which leads me to my question – I am remarried and my husband now has cheated! What is wrong with me? My husband and I went to marriage counseling and it did help. I think he has learned that the grass is not always greener on the other side but how can I be sure? We have a three year old together and my two older children have been through so much. I just want things to be normal. I have forgiven my husband and we have been married for four years now. I am trying to move on… but I just need to know is it me? Do I push men away? Do you see my husband staying satisfied with me?

Dear Emily,

Even though you do have a tendency to let life overwhelm you, your history of cheating men isn’t solely your responsibility. However, the mere fact that you are looking at yourself as part of the possible problem hugely improves your ability to recognize when things in your marriage are going awry.

Your first husband wasn’t quite to the level of maturity necessary to fully embrace being a faithful father and husband. You were both young, and it was a challenging situation to say the least. Don’t kick yourself over that one, that is one relationship that wasn’t meant to be.

Your second husband was a pretty good guy, but still had a little player in him. When things in your life got a bit crazy, the marriage itself become more of an afterthought, and your relationship began to falter and fail. It seems that you were quite overwhelmed with other things, kids included, that you just weren’t able to put the time and energy into the marriage that could have kept him on the straight and narrow. He had his stresses too, and other women were an outlet. When you found out about his betrayals, you didn’t handle it as well as you could have, but your heart really wasn’t in it at that point, either. It’s all just part of history now.

Some of the same patterns of your second marriage were beginning to manifest in your current marriage. However, this is a different man, and you have personally evolved. As long as you keep your marriage as a priority, it looks as if the two of you should be all right. He really does love you. Do what you can to keep the communication flowing between the two of you, take time to discuss your wants and needs, and make time for the relationship that is separate from family, responsibility, and obligation – and things should be just fine. In other words, don’t become so consumed with everything in life that you forget to have fun and really connect with your husband. Remember why you married him, and how you treated him back in those early days. Appreciate him, and he will be quite a happy man who in turn more deeply appreciates you, and both of you will be more than simply satisfied. From what I can tell, the two of you will grow old and gray together, quite happily.

Brightest Blessings!
Ext. 9226

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