My husband of 20+ years says he’s going through a midlife crisis. His dad was in very bad health back in November of 2014. We spent every evening at the nursing home and on weekends we would spend 50-75% of the day there as well. We both have one mutual female friend, or so i thought a friend of mine. November the 22nd we had Thanksgiving here at outr house for my family. Before everyone had left this girl showed up. I guess my husband invited her and her son to our house that evening and I had no idea. I later found out they had been texting each other for quite some time. That evening my husband decided we would also keep 2 of our grandchildren. When they are here he doesn’t help with them at all. Their ages are only 2 & 4. So yes they are a handful and always wanting something. Which meant I was gone from the living room most of the evening. From that day forward, he seemed very distant from me and didn’t seem to have time to talk through out the day. As time went on it became much more stressful. We become very distant but continued to go to the nursing home as his dad was taking a turn for the worse we still showed up as a family. One evening I decided I was staying home. We had been at each other throats while I was at work texting back and forth. I set on the couch and stewed for a bit then decided there had to be something in our bedroom that was going to tell me he was cheating on me with her. I went through everything of his and found a card he had bought for this girl. He wrote some stuff in there saying he should have been a better friend to her and wished they wouldn’t have lost contact. There was much more written in the card but what hurt the most he signed the “Always & Forever.” That’s the way we have always signed our letters from day one. We had it out that night. I felt like the bad one and gave up and tried to forgive him because I didn’t want his dad to know. That’s the last thing he needed to worry about. About after a week or so he was still getting text messages. I would ask who he was texting. He would always say no one and was very secretive. He never left his phone sitting around and he began to password everything from that point on. I later signed on to pay my phone bill and realized i could tell when he was texting and who it was from. I confronted him and of course he said he wasn’t texting her anymore. I didn’t tell him I found it all on my bill. I also text her and gave her the opportunity to tell me and she lied as well. I had no other choice but to screen shot the bill and all the info and send it to them both. That night I came home from work he stayed at the nursing home with his dad. He told me I was being very selfish for not putting his dad first. Everything was all my fault. We’ve been working on things but I have a lot of anger built up in me and I find it so hard to trust him. I went through his tablet the other day because he got a new one and its not locked out. He has now registered on a dating site. He also looked up yesterday, “Why is my wife a bitch after 21 years!” Please I need help Dr. Jeff. I don’t know what to do and where to begin.
Midlife crisis? I’m not sure if I would sign up for that explanation. Here is another question to ask yourself, “How do you establish stability in a relationship without trust?” I’m sure there has been a bunch of “ups and downs’ in your relationship that have lead you both down this road. Any “recipe” for change needs to have trust as it’s foundation. How do you address and resolve concerns if their is not trust? In reviewing your question, I don’t believe that you are having conversations that will change your relationship for the better. Frustration eventually reaches a boiling point and you can only tolerate so much. Creating respect in a relationship starts with respecting yourself. The only way change will be created in your marriage is if you are both completely – 100% – invested in the change and in the relationship. If your husband is already out of the relationship can you “drag” him back in? Maybe, but is that what you really want. Don’t you want someone who want’s you as badly as you want them? You are either all in or you are not in. Partially being in a relationship simply does not work. I would encourage the both of you to seek help with a relationship expert. If you both don’t play “all out” you will be wasting your time and money. I encourage you to be true to yourself and don’t ignore what you see. Change can happen but only if you are both on board and are willing to do whatever is necessary to walk down a new path. Good luck to you and keep in touch. Take care, Dr. Jeff