I’m new here and have been reading a lot of the articles on this site. I’m hopeful this can help us. I’m just at a loss as to where to start, how to broach the topic, etc. We have been together 44 years, married 38 and both in our early 60’s. Over the last year, he’s had a serious health scare, he’s lost a lot of weight and is probably feeling his age and his mortality. The last 6 months or so he has been telling me he’s not happy. When I ask why, what is it that’s making you unhappy, he says he doesn’t know. I was thinking it was related to possible depression over his health, and some other things going on in his life, but lately he’s said that what he’s not happy with is ME
. Daggers to my heart. When I ask what about our relationship/marriage he’s not happy with he says I don’t know. Many of his friends continue to ask me if he’s alright, they are all concerned for him and the way he behaves, not answering their texts, moody, very quiet, not his usual funny self, very up and down etc. They are worried that it’s his health, some of them have asked me if he’s open to seeing a therapist. All this does is turn him off when I tell him your friends are concerned.
I believe he has been having an emotional, not physical (according to him), affair with another woman he has regular interactions with. He denies any feelings other than just friends, for her, but I’m not stupid, I’ve seen all the phone calls, and the purchases (he’s sent her flowers, bought her some clothing, etc). He says he feels for her because she has nobody, single mother, etc. but I don’t believe that’s all there is to it as he hides things, all the signs are there. A sudden attachment to his phone, deleting texts and phone calls, etc. I confronted him a few times, and finally, with proof - cell phone records, credit card purchases, a couple months ago, he then admitted to allowing this friendship to reach an inappropriate level, and maybe she was using him and taking advantage of his good nature, willingness to buy her things. etc. He says there’s nothing more going on, he says he doesn’t see her at all, never got together in person, etc. He still has to have ‘business’ interaction with her, though, and I’ve found on a few recent occasions as recent as today, that he’s still deleting her phone calls and texts. When I ask, he says they are nothing, but he doesn’t want me to see them because ‘I’ll freak out’. I said well what you are doing is worse because it means you have something to hide. In any case, I’ve suggested marital counseling but I’m not sure he is willing, he says ‘I guess so’ when I ask if he agrees that we need to work on our marriage. I’ve told him over and over again that I love him and that I’ll do anything to fix whatever’s going on. When he’s unhappy, I’m unhappy.
As I read some of these articles, I am considering having him read them too, especially the infidelity ones, and the love bank and all the concepts. Maybe I should buy the his needs, her needs book and we both read it. Is any of this the right way to start?
Thanks in advance for any advice or experience sharing. I’m devastated but determined to try to resolve these issues and get back to the way we were.