Does he really love me?
This is about my husband’s past affair, with his ex. I just found out lately that while we were dating, he was still having an intimate communication with his ex, and said “I love you” to each other. Their communication stopped a month after we were engaged. Their relationship was already in trouble when we dated, however, there was still this love between them (as it seem to me) going on although he has already established relationship with me. Their communication stopped when they had a fight, and he left her a word that it was her whom he really wanted. I confronted my husband about this, and he said all that he said to her was not true. However, a month after our marriage, he told me how he was hurt by his ex, and how glad he was that I was there. Yet, I looked into his bank account one day, and realized he sent flowers to his ex as birthday present, and lied to me about it.
Now, I feel like I could hardly trust him. What if it is to me that he is not true? What if, after he fell in love with the past, yes, it is not necessary that he loves me, but then, what if he really never fall in love after, and just had me, plainly like that?
I also observed that he has no plans for us, or have not opened anything to me about it. I am now pregnant, and I cant even feel any of his concerns to touch our baby if it is moving or not. Even the medical checkup, as if he doesn’t care at all. Does he really love me? Or does he just want me for him to have a company?
Please help. Thanks. signed, Elizabeth, age 29
Dear Elizabeth, I can understand your concerns and questions about the relationship with your husband. You have every right to question whether he is trustworthy and if he is committed to you and your marriage. Here are some things for you to consider:
1. You need to know the answer to your questions and the only way to get answers is to ask directly in a non threatening way. Tell your husband you need 15 minutes of his time to discuss a family matter. Give him a choice of meeting times and make sure the time is not interrupted with phones, tv, radio, or any other people. It has to be just one on one time with you and your husband. Bring a timer to the meeting and honor the time of 15 minutes. Do not shame or put down your husband in anyway. See # 2. suggestion below before having this meeting. Once the 15 minutes is up end the meeting by thanking your husband for listening, hug him, and then move on to your normal activities. If there is more to be discussed you can set up a second meeting on another day and time but keep the meeting times short.
2. Read the following 4 articles before you have this meeting:
Five Myths, Hidden Expectations, Express and Own Your Feelings and Family Meetings. Once these articles are read and understood then you will be more prepared to get to the point and express and own your feelings about the relationship and the trust issue.
3. Men can love more than one person at a time and if they really loved the first partner then it takes many men a very long time to get over that relationship. This is normal and it does not mean he does not love you. The problem is that he rushed into a second relationship before he had a chance to get over and heal from the first one. Time and distance from the first relationship can help with that.
4. Tell your husband exactly what you need him to do to show his love for you and for the baby. Be specific. Don’t assume he should know these things. Many women make a huge mistake when they “assume” their partners should know what to do and how to do it. The majority of men need guidance and specifics when it comes to such things. The more specific you can be the better and more confident he will feel because he will not have to guess at what is needed or expected. For example: If you want him to show more concern and interest with the baby then tell him something like this “honey, I would like for you to feel my stomach for just a few seconds every night before we go to bed to see if you can feel the baby move”. Remember be specific – ask for exactly what you want and tell him exactly what to do. He is not a mind reader and never will be. Don’t keep your expectations to yourself – define them for yourself and then be very specific in giving direction to your husband.
Once you try all of the above give it a few months to see if things improve. If you don’t feel they are then I highly recommend marriage counseling. Insist on it. If your husband refuses to go then go yourself. Statistics have shown that you can improve a marital relationship even if only one of you seeks out counseling.
Your husband needs guidance and direction on how to show you that he loves you. Be open and honest with how your are feeling without shaming him in any way. Ask for what you need and want and then give him a chance to give those things to you.
Please understand you have free will. This advice is given only in the realm of personal growth and self-help. This is not to be considered a substitute for therapy or professional counseling. We wish you well.