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OK so you lost 50 pounds…

… but can you quit boasting about it now? Also: please stop with the drinking.

Our elder counsels a letter writer who has multiple problems in her marriage.

Dear EWC

OK, so I’m going to start off saying that I’m having multiple issues with my husband. First one is his obsession with himself and his weight loss. Don’t get me wrong, I am super proud of him (I mean he lost close to 50 pounds with hard work). But he has become obsessed. I mean, he will follow me around the house flexing, doing pull-ups on his bar when I go to the bathrooms, asking if I notice a difference (after he literally did five pull-ups), taking pictures and sending it to me, etc. I can understand where some of this is normal considering that he has lost so much weight and he’s proud of himself, but these things he’ll do 10+ times a day. It’s not like we have conversations unless it’s involving this or us arguing about sex/finances. I have mentioned how it’s made me feel by him doing this (me trying to lose weight and no such luck) and his only response was to get angry at me because I want him to turn down the excessiveness of how many times he does this. We literally had a fight because he thought I was being unfair with asking him to take it from 10 times a day to five and not follow me around doing it. Am I wrong?

Next issue we are having is our sex life. We are rarely in sync anymore. I need personal time without our children. It’s my love language. But to ask him for personal time at all, it’s like asking for a kidney. When I go to the chiropractor or school or even lunch with my dad, he counts that as my ‘personal time’ and expects me to just want to have sex. His love language is obviously physical touch. He’s happy any time that we are touching, holding each other, or having sex, but I just don’t feel the desire to do those things because he’s not even trying to reach me. And when I say no, it sends him into a rage where he’s hateful or pouty for days. It makes me feel guilty because I want to give him what he wants, but I also feel like I deserve personal time without feeling like it’s an issue. Am I wrong for this?

Okay, the final issue is his drinking. He used to drink about seven beers a day. He has cut that out and started drinking gin, rum, vodka, etc. He tells me he can go without it, but it seems like we are going to the liquor store 1-2 times a week. When he drinks he gets these splotches all over his body, which to me is not normal, but he just goes, “whatever.” Most days he doesn’t drink much, but other days he drinks so much. And when he drinks a lot he either is super depressed and everything makes him upset or he is downright mean. He will say hateful things to me or pick a fight about some of the smallest things. I’m not perfect by any means; I’ve made my fair share of mistakes. But any time I mention that he may have a drinking problem, he flies off the handle saying he can stop any time he wants, yet I could find bottles of vodka under our bathroom sink or in his underwear drawer.

In 2014 when I was pregnant, my husband kissed my best friend in our living room. In 2016 our son passed away. Last year I was unfaithful. It’s not something that I condone or am proud of. It’s not something that I’ve ever believed in. It’s a mistake that I’ll live with my whole life. I’ve gone to therapy and have even tried to get him to go with me or go to these marriage boot camps. When my therapist asked why I did what I did… even though there’s no excuse, I’ve come to the conclusion that he was giving me that personal time that I so desperately have asked my husband for. I understand that it’ll be a while before he forgives me or ‘gets over it’, so that may be some underlying issues to his problems, but the sex and drinking issue came since the beginning of our relationship. I’m just at a loss of what to do any more. I feel like I’m constantly walking on eggshells in my own house because everything sets him off. Help!!

Danray replies

I’m sorry to hear about the issues in your married life. As you have suggested, a lot is going on in your marriage and it’s clear that a number of items need addressed including; a lack of trust, drinking, infidelity, support, issues with sex, etc… I’m glad that you reached out for help because you and your husband need help in order for your marriage to work.
I think it’s great that your husband is working out and that he lost close to 50 pounds. Did he say why he started to work out and why he needs to constantly remind you (and maybe himself) the success he’s having? I agree that 10 times a day and even five is excessive in bringing this up. Clearly, he wants your approval and I can only guess why he’s acting this way. I’m not a counselor but I get the opinion that his working out is to make him more attractive to you. He wants you to notice him and desire him.
Also, there’s nothing wrong with wanting your “personal” time. I think everyone can relate to just wanting time to relax, get away from the kids, have time for our own hobbies or friends, etc…. Your husband questioning or tracking your personal time seems immature and I can understand your frustration.
All of the issues above are a problem but I’m also very concerned when you brought up your infidelity and his drinking problem. I know that you have remorse for your affair and that you’re working on him forgiving you or gets over it, however, as you stated there was no excuse for what you did. Also, his drinking is a problem and even though he may not agree he does need help.
So what do you do? Both of you need to go together to see a marriage counselor to work through these issues. Your husband has to hear from someone else that your marriage is toxic right now and can’t sustain the current environment. If the two of you still love each other, this has to be done and done soon. I would go to him and explain that you want this marriage to work and this is the only way it can be saved. Both of you have issues and need outside help. I would do this for the sake of your marriage and for the sake of your kids. You want them to be raised in a house with two parents that love, support and respect each other… do it for them.
I know this is not easy and I’m not sure how your husband will react but it’s clear that you need this help to move forward. I think you know in the back of your mind that either you attempt to fix this together or it won’t be long before one of you hurt each other again.
Hope this helps and I do wish you the best in the future.

Letter #: 452907
Category: Marriage

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