My husband of twenty-four years has been having Internet relationships that have lead to phone sex, plans and so on. He says he’s shut out, but I’m the one shut out and lonely. I worked full-time as a nurse and raised two great sons, all the while feeling sad and lonely. However, I put them first. I’m planning to end my marriage, and I pray that I’ll find a good relationship with someone. I’m very cautious, since I was bullied and controlled for so long.
Greetings, Barb. Your tale of alienation and numbness is not at all unusual in this static emotional age. Yet if we are to assist in your quest for a better tomorrow, then there are factors that cannot be overlooked. Blame and regret are the bastard children of a bruised ego, and I’ve a strong sense you’ve been nurturing them both for much too long. Let me reiterate a very stinging point which I come back to again and again in these columns – you’re not entitled to love or happiness. Your husband does not belong to you. His sexuality does not belong to you. If this shocks you, remember that the laws of nature always supersede the shoddy ideals of man. You fell into a trap many stumble into thinking that since you worked hard, reared offspring and made a good home, your husband owed you love. However, love is not a commodity, and love can never be earned. It is freely given or not at all. There is nothing one can do to forcibly take it from another.
Your husband decided to find adventure and vitality in life. He is weary of routines. I think he wishes you would join him in his erotic adventures. You see his online escapades as a betrayal, but he sees them as an expansion of self. It’s a pity you can’t at least try to speak to him about his sexuality. I think he’d be pleasantly surprised to find you had a sincere interest in his sexual appetites. For a long time now he‘s been wondering if you were interested in him at all. To be a real sexual partner to someone is to make a concerted effort to know their many sexual selves; their fetishes and fantasies. People are multi-dimensional creatures, and seldom are our needs fulfilled by singular methods. I’m afraid you don’t really know much about your husband. I don’t think you ever cared. It’s not really your fault. Society makes it easy to believe we are all entitled to fairy tale endings, if we just work hard and toe the proverbial line.
I’m not defending the man here… He has made more than his share of contribution to the problem. I’m simply trying to explain the energy of his situation. He was feeling trapped and lonely. He expected you to know how he was feeling and fix it. That wasn’t quite fair of him. However, there’s the deal. If you want to end the marriage, that’s your call. Novelty is always one path to liberation. Yet, I don’t want you to make the same mistakes in the future. Listen to what you said… you pray you’ll find a good relationship as though good relationships are somehow just granted to us. You want to leave a bad situation and find a good one. It won’t happen. You have to “make” a good relationship happen. Instead of praying for a good relationship to fall out of the heavens into your lap, get out and do something. Take some Yoga classes to get your breathing right and your head clear. Take some female empowerment courses at the local university. Get raw with yourself as a powerful woman. You don’t need a man to find out who you are as an erotic being. Start making yourself the priority in your life. Put off deciding on your marriage for a little while. Concentrate on yourself, get your own house in order and you just might find you don’t have such a “bad” relationship after all.
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