It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great that being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.
Possible reasons he retrieved the ring that have nothing (or next-to-nothing) to do about his feelings for you:
1. He, too, wanted to keep the ring for your daughter.
2. He wanted to keep it for himself in case he needed to pawn it for cash at some point.
3. He needed a wedding ring to guard against all the women who throw themselves at him.
4. He didn’t want a small animal on the road to mistake it for something delicious and then choke on it and die.
I would seriously caution against your seeing this retrieval of his ring as indication that your marriage is salvageable or that he wants you back. He may want you back, but with a history of abuse and a lack of communication between you, there’s no reason you should not be M’ing O A just as fast as your legs will carry you.
It’s ironic that you’re nauseated by your husband’s pity parties since it sounds like you’re pretty good at throwing your own. Here’s an idea: Instead of sitting around feeling sorry for yourself while you watch your husband feel sorry for himself, go out and make a life. Take up some new hobbies, meet up with friends, focus on getting healthier than – or at least as healthy as – your husband who’s 18 years older and too lazy to fetch his own glass of water. When he sees you having such a good time without him, there’s a good chance he’ll either be inspired to get out himself, or he’ll make more of an effort to keep you satisfied at home. Also, both of you should be in therapy to discuss the possibility of depression and how you might treat it.
Depression and low self-esteem don’t make people cheat. You cheated because something was missing in your relationship and/or there was a void in yourself and you didn’t have the tools or the motivation to address those issues. Yes, you did the right thing breaking up with your boyfriend. Now stay single and sit for a while in your single-ness. Be alone with yourself enough to know whether it’s yourself you’re afraid of being exclusive with, and if it is, get help, because you’re never going to find a happy relationship until you’re happy with yourself.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.