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Addicted to the wrong attention

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Relationship advice Hi all,

This is a first for me so please bare with…

My husband and I have been together for just over 5 years and September will be our first year wedding anniversary. Everything was going great up until his mum and I had a major fall out during the course of wedding and hen do planning. This put a lot of strain on our relationship and I wanted an escape route. During this time an old college friend of mine sent me a message on facebook asking how I was, asking about the wedding and although at times he was a bit flirty I saw it as harmless so didn’t rise to it. (We did try at a relationship which lasted no more than 2 weeks because there was no romantic spark so agreed to stay friends) Over the following few months up to the wedding we messaged quite regular and then closer to the wedding we stopped talking. When I came back from honeymoon, he reached out to me again and I said it would be nice to meet for a coffee one Saturday morning to catch up properly which he agreed too. At this point I was enjoying our conversations and didn’t think much to anything else until one evening I went to one of my work colleagues house as she was on sick leave following an operation and I got a text message asking who the guy was. I played dumb at first asking what he meant and he asked the same question. When I got home, my husband was upset and apologised for going through my facebook but it was only because a notification come up that he saw the message. We talked and for days after there was a lot of tension and I felt like such a horrible person for even considering just meeting with a friend. Baring in mind, we got back from honeymoon first week of October, by Halloween he found out about it. I blocked and deleted my friend without even a word and to be honest I felt no guilt towards it other than to my husband. Time went on and things got better with my husband and his family.

However, February of this year, an instagramer approached me and we started talking. He has a fiancé and 2 kids and we both was discussing relationship issues etc and we found to have a lot in common, he hit it off well and we exchanged numbers. He is in America so we never spoke much as 10am my time was like 3am his time. We confiding in eachother and I started to grow feelings. Straight away I knew it was wrong and no matter how much we BOTH have tried to push eachother away we always seem to go back. We’re almost each other’s security and escape from our hell when everything is going wrong.

Soon after, I started listening to this metal band I came across on youtube and looked them up on Instagram and started following the band and one 2 of the individual members. One of them added me on snapchat as my username was in my profile. I recognised his username so added him back and he sent me a message thanking me for the add back to him. He started talking about the band and my work etc and although he also is in America, he is hoping to tour the UK and said he’d like to meet. He is fully aware I am married but I said I would like to go to the show so then it’s not a personal meeting. But the more this continues I feel horrible but at the same time, my husband is always doing his own thing with his friends, playing on xbox or ps4. He’s 25 and I’m 27 and I know he loves me and I love him but I feel terrible for enjoying attention my husband does not give me.

I see myself as a bad person and hate for what it is I am doing but it almost feels like an addiction and even though my actions reminds me of what my dad did to my mum before their divorce it doesn’t seem to stop.



I need help in seeing things clearly please.

Addicted to the wrong attention

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Hi KELLZX, don't be nervous, we're all friendly here.

I've some questions:

"My husband and I have been together for just over 5 years and September will be our first year wedding anniversary."

1. Most people rush into marriage these days. How come you and husband waited for 4 years?

"Everything was going great up until his mum and I had a major fall out during the course of wedding and hen do planning."

2. What precisely did you fall-out over?

"This put a lot of strain on our relationship"

3. Why?

"and I wanted an escape route."

4. Why? Was the falling-out and, presumably, lack of husbandly support that bad?

"During this time an old college friend of mine sent me a message on facebook asking how I was, asking about the wedding and although at times he was a bit flirty I saw it as harmless so didn’t rise to it. (We did try at a relationship which lasted no more than 2 weeks because there was no romantic spark so agreed to stay friends)"

5. So he approached you, clearly with an agenda in spite of the fact that the last time you'd seen him included a clear agreement to in future remain mere platonic friends? At what point, time- and/or number of messages-wise, did he start to get flirty?

"Over the following few months up to the wedding we messaged quite regular"

6. How regularly?

"and then closer to the wedding we stopped talking."

7. Why? Who stopped first?

"When I came back from honeymoon, he reached out to me again"

8. Interesting. Why do you think he did that, then? I mean, I can understand him trying it on *prior* to the big day, but - after? What does that make him?

"and I said it would be nice to meet for a coffee one Saturday morning to catch up properly which he agreed too. At this point I was enjoying our conversations"

9. What were you enjoying about them? And, clearly, not *that* much if you left it vague and non-committal ("ONE Saturday") - right?

"and didn’t think much to anything else until one evening I went to one of my work colleagues house as she was on sick leave following an operation and I got a text message asking who the guy was. I played dumb at first asking what he meant and he asked the same question. When I got home, my husband was upset and apologised for going through my facebook but it was only because a notification come up that he saw the message. We talked and for days after there was a lot of tension and I felt like such a horrible person for even considering just meeting with a friend. Baring in mind, we got back from honeymoon first week of October, by Halloween he found out about it. I blocked and deleted my friend without even a word and to be honest I felt no guilt towards it other than to my husband. Time went on and things got better with my husband and his family."

10. Did your husband used to know this guy?
11. I get that as far as *you* were concerned it was purely friendship, but didn't you realise from the prior flirting that he was after more?
12. A notification came up WHERE?
13. Did anything of what your husband would have seen, include any of this prior flirtatiousness? And did it appear purely one-sided?

14. Do you think, looking back, that things got better with him (ergo his family) BECAUSE OF this discovery of his and how it would have brought him up sharp?

"However, February of this year, an instagramer approached me and we started talking. He has a fiancé and 2 kids and we both was discussing relationship issues etc and we found to have a lot in common, he hit it off well and we exchanged numbers."

15. Are you saying he appeared safe because of his own family situation?

16. Do you appreciate and accept that being prepared to give out your number to any strangers you meet over the internet denotes a certain naivety on your part? ...or, maybe, a sacrificing of your usual savviness to make way for another, stronger need/urge?

"He is in America"

17. Do you have feelings for America or are you saying, this one looked an even safer bet as a friendship candidate because of the considerable geographical distance?

"so we never spoke much as 10am my time was like 3am his time. We confiding in eachother and I started to grow feelings. Straight away I knew it was wrong and no matter how much we BOTH have tried to push eachother away we always seem to go back. We’re almost each other’s security and escape from our hell when everything is going wrong."

18. 'Almost'? Or "ARE"?

19. 'Hell'? 'Everything'? Is that why you're trying to lilypad leap (following first surreptitiously and cautiously checking the guy out under cover of platonic friendship so that he'll fail to put his best foot forward like would to a potential lover?) and/or get yourself fired from your marriage?

20. "Soon after, I started listening to this metal band I came across on youtube and looked them up on Instagram and started following the band and one 2 of the individual members. One of them added me on snapchat as my username was in my profile. I recognised his username so added him back and he sent me a message thanking me for the add back to him. He started talking about the band and my work etc and although he also is in America, he is hoping to tour the UK and said he’d like to meet. He is fully aware I am married but I said I would like to go to the show so then it’s not a personal meeting."

Thank-you, you've just pre-empted in the affirmative to Q 19.

21. "But the more this continues I feel horrible but at the same time, my husband is always doing his own thing with his friends, playing on xbox or ps4."

Oh, IS he, indeed. Interesting. Tell me more.

22. "He’s 25 and I’m 27 and I know he loves me and I love him but I feel terrible for enjoying attention my husband does not give me."

If satisfactory attention were 10 out of 10, what level does your husband hit?

"I see myself as a bad person and hate for what it is I am doing but it almost feels like an addiction and even though my actions reminds me of what my dad did to my mum before their divorce it doesn’t seem to stop."

I suspect you're doing a subconscious combo job of [1] cautiously checking out potential suitors *or* just potential good-friend rescuers (from your chronic 'Hell') for if or when you really need it, plus [2] trying to almost literally put yourself into your dad's shoes in order to finally get your head around why and how he could have brought himself to have behaved towards his wife and child the way he did, as well as work out whether that event and the impact it had on you-the-child and your self-worth (or the self-worth of females) is what has ultimately led you to marry a man that makes you feel like chopped liver. Am I close? (If you're not sure/not sure yet, say so and take a bit of time to mull it over.)

Well, anyway... If you're 'addicted' then the solution is simple: switch substances. Unhealthy for healthy. Talk to us instead, in other words. Sound like a plan?

Addicted to the wrong attention

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Hello KELLZX,

SOULMATE is definitely a PRO! Awesome approach.

Let me give you part of my story and how I can relate to yours (or more like your husband's).

I'm a gamer myself. I usually played for about 4 to 6 hours a day after work and gym.

When I met my wife, I tried to invite her to the gaming world, but she's not into that. We went to the gym for a couple months, but she doesn't really like the gym environment. She's a singer and actress, so video games is not really near her interests at all. She liked to party hard, while I liked to stay at home, most probably playing online.

Knowing all of this, we decided to get married. I knew for a fact that my gaming time had to be reduced and that I would need to "sacrifice" gaming nights in favor of party nights with my wife. Later on we decided to have our first child. Thus, a beautiful baby girl was born and we both had to re-adapt our schedules and interests.

Then our second child came into the picture, by our decision again.

Now, here we are. I play some nights, 1 to 2 hours when I have the time. Other nights we watch a movie or TV show over Netflix.

Where am I going with all of this?

You both require attention.

Don't expect him to "guess" that you lack attention while he's playing. My wife had a talk with me and I realized I was being selfish.

Back at my hometown we have a saying: If you have a store, take care of it or just give it to someone else.

You need his attention, you need to talk with him. Tell him that you're starving for some time together, some skin contact, some support, some smiles, some kisses. He's not single anymore, he can't just keep going out with friends and playing whatever on his spare time. He needs to adapt his schedule and split his time between his personal interests and your common interests: relationship, your future together, extended family, etc.

You're married now, you're a team! You should work together.

Now, don't hate yourself. You don't have to.

Love yourself, you're a victim of the circumstances (but not innocent at all). Learn to love yourself above everything else. Know that you deserve love, affection and attention. And let him know that.

Love him, seduce him, ask him to go for a walk together. Share time together.

Focus on him and how to get his attention instead of go around on social networks looking for instant gratification that lasts until you close the application/site.

I seriously think that the people that is constantly "glued" to their smartphones and keep posting about their "happy life" must feel very lonely most of the time, because they have to share with hundreds over the internet but can't usually have 1 person around to share a coffee.

Live more in the real World and less in the virtual one. (I'm starting to sound like my wife ;) )

And keep posting! We will be here for you!

Addicted to the wrong attention

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When it's all said and done, if you loved your husband and he loved you 100%, as it should be, your run in with his Mum before you were married would have been a blip on the radar instead of you looking for an escape route. Sure, he may have been torn between his Mum and you at that time, but it was you he married and not her. In other words, his support should have been all your way and if it wasn't, then his actions were talking then.

If you guys don't communicate and spend time together, then small wonder you reach out to others. You both need to contribute daily to make it work but if you don't have the need for each other or don't want to have it, then it's best to walk away with your head held high, rather than being beaten down by guilt and the circumstances.

It's no big deal that you look for the attention that you need and deserve but it's a major 'heads up' for you if it's not coming from the man whom you're married to. You guys would benefit from counseling together but it takes the two of you to have the need to do it.

This thread has expired - why not start your own?

B-1