My husband and I have been married 9 years but were partners for 10 years before marriage. He has always had affairs and always denied this.For example a woman who he says was only a friend had an abortion and says the child was his. We have separated but while he cant live with me and be faithful… he can’t live without me.I have resigned myself to bringing up the kids on my own. He keeps calling for advice, for help and to talk when he finds it difficult to sleep at night. He even talks about his present women, he has 3 on the go right now.He has said he wants to come back but when we discuss his present relationships I know that there would be no change.I still like him a lot as he was and still is my best friend. Is there any way to ‘neuter’ a man who cannot keep his trousers on?
Your letter is written in such a funny, tongue-in-cheek style that I would have laughed out loud if your situation weren’t so heartbreaking. When you ask me if there is any way to neuter a man who can’t keep it in his pants, I want you to notice that you are hoping to ‘fix’ him yourself.Because he is the one with the problem, he is the only one who can solve it. Unless he recognizes that a problem exists and seeks help, no change will ever occur.Part of the reason why I don’t think that he will ever change is because he is too accustomed to gratifying himself, come what may (no pun intended). Being self-indulgent feels good to him, so he has no motivation to change his ways.Now, if his behavior created pain for him, or at the very least terrible frustration, then he might be motivated to change. Not only doesn’t he experience pain or frustration as a result of his behavior, he is actually rewarded for it!Consider what you are doing to reward his behavior. He has cheated on you and left. Meanwhile, you reward him with a patient, listening ear. Why would he ever need to come home and be faithful to you? He gets his emotional needs covered by you, and his sexual needs met by other women. He has his ‘mommy’ and sexual variety, so he’s happier than a pig in you know what.If you were to frustrate him by not rewarding his requests for emotional support, then what might happen? He might just feel the painful consequences of his cheating on you. He would feel that his sexual promiscuity has cost him your love and friendship. That hurts. If he actually feels the pain and frustration over losing you, then he might actually take stock in his behavior and say,’I did this to myself. My cheating ways cost me my best friend and my wife. I need to change what I am doing if I want my wife back.’My point is, as it stands now, he doesn’t need to change a thing. He already has his cake and he’s eating it too, in more ways than one! Frustration is the only tool you have.In fact, frustration is the force that makes all people grow.He is going to need to be quite unhappy in order to be motivated to look at himself and work on changing. He has many issues to address (that he acts on impulse–if it feels good, he goes for it no matter what the consequences; that he uses women to meet his needs, much the way a child uses mommy to satisfy his various urges; and perhaps a fear of intimacy, which leads him to cheat and break attachments in the process.)Even if he becomes truly frustrated and goes for help, you need to be quite wary of him. The kind of problem he has takes time to solve, and you are going to need to see major changes in him before you can trust that he has truly overcome his impulse problem.I hope that I have explained the situation and helped you to understand that frustration is the only tool that can possibly cure his wandering ‘tool.’