I need help! My husband walked out after 15 years of marriage. He does not want a divorce, He says he just needs some time to find out what he wants. He says he is confused.His father passed two years ago. We gave up our life in CA to move home to take care of mom.In these two years I have found out he has been talking to other women, 7 to be exact. Some are exotic dancers, that invited him to see them preform and he went. Some are pure trouble makers, who have called me at my home and my job.He said that we used to be one and now he doesn’t feel that we are anymore. My question is I want this to work. He says he does not want a divorce, so do I stay and hope this is a thing he needs to work out or should I leave?I hurt really bad.Some facts to help you. we are both 33 years old. We have one child who is 13. even though we are seperated we still speak as best friends. We were both virgins. We are in a interracial relationship he being black and me white. The 7 women he has seen are all black. We both agree that we have a special place for each other, a bond.I strongly believe in my marriage vows and will not be unfaithful or dishonor him in any way until he makes a discision. He over the last two years seems to have lost the faith in his vows. He has met new friends and stays gone most of the time.He has became real secretive. Hiding porno videos of all black women that are home made at bachalor parties (XXX) and he now have voice mail on his pager and cell phone.He moved out and will not give me his new address, Although I found out just like I found out about everything else. I do know that he has not had sex with any of them, because of a sexual problem that he feels is extremly embarresed about.I AM LOST. I am confused. What can I do to get the communication that we had. Does him saying that he does not want a divorce mean he may come back if I give him the time and space he needs to find himself. I really love him. HELP!!!!!!
You poor woman. Your heart has been turned to swiss cheese. My first observation about your situation is that you are taking a passive position. You are waiting on the sidelines until he gets ‘it’out of his system and/or makes a decision about whether to come back to you or not. Meanwhile, where does that leave you? In doormat land.I understand that your husband is confused and lost, but acting on his feelings instead of talking them out will never solve his problem. Acting on internal struggles may give a temporary relief, kind of like draining a boil, but unless the underlying cause of the illness is found, the pus will keep building up.In other words, this odyssey of erotic dancers and porno videos may temporarily drain the emotional pus that builds up inside him, but these behaviors cannot resolve the thoughts and feelings that have sent him spinning out of control. Until he addresses and resolves his issues, he is merely treading water.Meanwhile, you will be left to drown.You mustn’t think that his looney tune phase will ever resolve anything. What’s more. So long as you wait patiently on the side he has no motivation to seek help for his issues.So, before we go farther, you need to decide if you are ready to take a stand and put his foot the fire. Right now he is avoidng facing his internal reality, much like a drug or alcohol addict does. And, unless you take a strong stand he will not have any motivation to stop his current course.I know you are afraid to lose him. So, you think that the safest course for you is to wait passively. But what do you risk by being so passive?By putting your life on hold for heaven knows how long, you risk your own emotional health. You also risk losing his respect. If he sees you as a doormat who will wait patiently while he goes insane, he will hardly respect you. And, what are the odds that he would want a relationship with someone he doesn’t respect.So, first decide if you are willing to take charge. Allowing him to be in charge is insane for all the reasons above. What’s more, putting the reins in the hands of someone who is totally out-of-control if even more senseless.If you decide to take charge, here’s what you might tell him. ‘Do you know what feelings have been stirred in you by your father’s death?’Next, you might want to familiarize him with the concept of acting out as a way of avoiding feelings. You might ask, ‘Do you know what feelings you are running away from when you visit dancers?’Then explain to him that while the behaviors may give him temporary relief, this is not a long term solution. You might also ask him if he intends to spend the rest of his life escaping what’s going on inside himself? Even if it means losing the relationship with you?If we are lucky, he will start talking about what I think is going on: He is terrified of his own mortality. His father’s death has shown him that life is finite, and his partying sounds like an attempt to avoid the feelings associated with getting older. His sexual problem (the one you alluded to) must make him feel even more vulnerable, inadequate and on the path to decline.I have to wonder if the visits to erotic dancers and the use of porno videos are also designed to make him escape his fear of aging. To get at this you might ask, ‘Can you think of any connection between your dad’s death and your sudden attraction to exotic dancers and porno videos?’You might also ask, ‘Can you see any connection between your sexual problem and this sudden interest in exotic dancers?’If you can get him to talk about his fear of aging and death, he can begin the healing process. After you discuss these matters, you need to decide if you are willing to give him time to get his head together.It is my strong belief that time won’t solve his problem, so I can’t see how this will help. However, if you are willing to entertain this possibility, then he must convince you how time will help him. He must also state how much time he needs.He needs to define what he will be trying to find out during this time. And, most of all I would ask him what he thinks he will achieve from being away from you and on his own. He needs to clarify the purpose of the separation and define his goals. Then you won’t be drawn into a blind tunnel.Ideally, he should only be given time if he is working on his issues in therapy. Then, at least you can feel that he is moving forward instead of merely escaping reality while holding you hostage.If you decide to give him the time to figure out what’s going on, he needs to be giving you feedback on his progress, so you know where he stands. If he is unwilling to do so, then he is, in essence, cutting you loose, you may have to consider walking away. Why would you commit to a relationship with a a partner who isn’t offering the same?To wait without a clearly defined, time-limited plan would turn you into a doormat or worse. I hope I have clarified your options.Please keep me posted, and good luck with him.