The other day she told me she is seeing someone. Our relationship is now forever changed. She is a gem and I know she loved me. Now that this has happened, I wonder if I should have gone against my concern of attraction and not been so picky. It’s an odd sensation losing someone I never had and couldn’t commit to. She has been the only person I have spent time with outside of workmates and there is some sadness. I do wish her well; she deserves to have a great relationship. — Lost Her
She’s moved on — rightfully so; you weren’t attracted to her and didn’t want to be more than friends — so you need to move on, too. No, you should not have “gone against your concern of attraction” by dating her. First of all, that’s really selfish; you’re only thinking about your own needs (in this case, your need for companionship) and not the needs of this woman who you say was a good friend for the past two years. Surely you recognize that she deserves to be with someone who’s at least a little attracted to her and doesn’t have to talk himself into dating her? Also, YOU deserve to be with someone who excites you. At the very, very least, you should be exploring women outside someone you aren’t attracted to for companionship and potential relationships.
It’s concerning that you have limited yourself so much in the past few years — that you seem to have no social circle outside workmates and this one woman you didn’t want to date. It’s concerning that, at 44, you seem to have written off a sex life or at least tied it to a diminished desire to procreate. Something is not quite right here. Maybe you already know this. Maybe you simply don’t know how to make it right. I would start with expanding your life a little by adding some hobbies, classes, and extracurricular activities to your schedule. Start dating again! Tell workmates and family you’re on the market if anyone has someone to set you up with. Maybe try a dating site or two. And it wouldn’t hurt to talk with a therapist about what looks like on the outside as an avoidance of close relationships and an inability/lack of a desire to commit. You are so noncommittal hat you didn’t even commit to a question for me. But I think I know what it was anyway, and my answer is: let yourself love and be loved. Your life will be much richer for it.
Quite by accident I found out he has been taking tango lessons. He had been taking these lessons for six months and never intended on telling me or including me, which has hurt me very badly. He said I wouldn’t fit in. He takes lessons two nights a week and then he practices tango for hours afterwards. There also are festive dances that go late into the night. Participants are told to dress up, so some of the women have those slinky, barely there dresses on. It is a very sensual situation and I have been so humiliated — “hurt” isn’t even the word I would use because it is so much more intense. He quite often comes home after 2, or even 4, a.m.!
We have fought about this and he doesn’t want to hear it. He says he wants his freedom to go wherever and do whatever he wants, including tango. They had Christmas parties at each other’s homes – I asked to go to them and he wouldn’t allow me to go with him. I insisted that I was going to one of them and, instead of taking me, he stayed home and was miserable, angry and blaming me for missing this huge party.
I cry many times a day, even having anxiety attacks and severe depression over this. I am on anxiety meds and four antidepressants. I had a breakdown and my doctor had me go to a Partial Day Hospitalization program at a local psychiatric hospital for two weeks. We also tried couples counseling and were dismissed because there was nothing to work on. He sat there and said he wanted his freedom to have his own social life without me and wants to go and do whatever he wants without my having an opinion. He also said he doesn’t find it necessary to divorce. He swears he doesn’t have a girlfriend. He has done a number of things to enhance his appearance and his ability to perform. He moved out of our bedroom.
He said I am blowing it all out of proportion — I am crazy, I am causing all this anxiety myself. He will not take any responsibility for where we are now. He is more like a roommate and hates it when I am home. I am overweight but lost 20 pounds recently. I asked him if he could tell, and he said, no, that it’s not noticeable. I am not athletic and have had knee and hip replacements. I never dreamed I could keep up with him in sports, but he never asked me to go to these lessons and kept them from me. Perhaps I wouldn’t fit in…
What can I do? It is making me sick watching him get all dolled up and smelling nice (with an aftershave I found on my credit card for $100) to be with other people including women. He touches other women more than he touches me! Please advise me what to do. — Untouched
I think it’s time for a divorce. You have completely separate lives, you don’t seem to like or respect each other, and your husband has completely moved on from you and has no interest in sharing any of his new life with you. Indeed, he is downright belligerent at the thought of integrating you in his life in the smallest ways (like taking you to a party with his a go classmates). He says divorce isn’t necessary because he doesn’t want to pay for it. Instead, he can continue living under the same roof as you, in a different bedroom, living a completely separate life, “having his freedom to do whatever he wants,” getting angry when you’re home, and treating you like total shit.
For your emotional and mental wellbeing — which sounds very precarious with the daily crying, depression, anxiety, large amounts of meds, and at least one hospital stay so far — you need to leave your husband. You’ve already tried counseling and it didn’t work. Your husband has zero interest in making it work. And, frankly, I don’t feel much love from you for your husband either. It sounds like codependency, fear, and the desire to control this part of your life that has kept you in such a loveless marriage for this long. It’s not going to get better. Your husband is not going to start being your husband again. He’s already gone. Reclaim your life. Reclaim your home. Reclaim your dignity. File for divorce and MOA. You have work, four children, and eight grandchildren to keep you busy. I’d also suggest taking your husband’s lead and adding some new hobbies to your life to take the place of the time spent obsessing over his whereabouts. He was able to create a new life for himself — one in which he says you don’t fit in. Now it’s your turn to create one for yourself in which you do fit in. If he could do it, there’s no reason you can’t.
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.