Does my husband still want me?
I've been married 10 years. My husband has always been very loving and attentive. I was going through a difficult time last year. I had become addicted to my pain medication which led to methadone treatment. I knew my husband didn't support that route but I felt it was best for me. Last August I decided I didn't want to take methadone anymore so I quit cold turkey. I was just 3 months into withdrawal and sobriety when I looked at my husbands phone and found he had taken pictures of a coworkers butt for use during personal gratification. At first he lied and said he didn't know where they had come from, but when I yelled and asked him if he thought I was a moron, he confessed to secretly snapping the pics. I couldn't believe he had done that and he acted like it was no big deal. He said he was sorry and that he felt bad about it. I've tried to get over it, but natural that it would raise other questions inside me. Does he want her? Does he not want me? Is this a first step to cheating? I thought I hadn't gotten over it and all was good until he started talking about us hanging out with her and her boyfriend. I tried to explain to him how I felt that having a friendship with a girl he is obviously sexually attracted to was unfair to me and inappropriate. He told me fine, I'll stop talking to her. Like I was asking him to give up his friend for no reason! I feel betrayed and he thinks I'm overreacting. Upon further discussion last night he said, to him those pictures are the same as pornography, meaningless. I tried to tell him that the fact that he knew and was friends with the girl, meant something. He also told me that the reason he felt bad about the pictures was because he felt he violated his friend, not because of me. I'm beginning to feel he holds her in higher regard than he does me. I'm so hurt and confused and I have no one to ask for advice on the matter.
No, August was when I got off methadone. I was just trying to express how difficult that time was for and how finding those pictures 3 months after quitting methadone was extremely hard on me. I needed my husbands love and support at that time, not to start questioning his feelings for me. Everything had pretty much been smoothed over until he brought her up again saying he wants to hang out with her. That sent me right back to those feelings. He crossed a line with her and I didn't think it was too much to ask to keep his relationship with her purely professional. I love him with all my heart and I can't rationalize why he would think this was ok. Even if he's over it, which I can't be sure of, why wouldn't my feelings make any difference to what he's doing? And the fact that he never considered how it would make me feel, just how it would make her feel if she found out. We've always had a very trusting relationship, but now I'm having trouble trusting his motives are innocent.
I'm sorry you're going through this Scared. This is a tough situation. As much as it disgusts you, could you possibly bite the bullet and hang out with her and her boyfriend just once? I think by doing so, you will immediately be able to tell what kind of chemistry there is between her and her boyfriend. You will also be able to assess the chemistry between her and your husband. It may be that it's all one sided on your husband's part as (I hope) she knows nothing about the pictures. Go. Get a lay of the land so to speak. Also, by doing so, your husband might think you're pretty cool for agreeing to do so (even though you're freaking out inside!)
No, she knows nothing about the pictures. And I have absolutely nothing against her. As far as I know, she's a lovely person. I think you're right, it may be beneficial to observe them together and maybe get a feel for how things truly are. I just hate that I even have these questions.
SCAREDANDALONE, an important facet of yours is your core moral values and beliefs. Not other people's. Yours.
This run of developments bothers you (and to the extent where you can't shake it off). That's all there is to it, that's what we're dealing with.
He married thus accepted YOU - all facets. The state of monogamous marriage dictates that the only body parts he should be getting off on be YOURS ("forsaking all others till death do you part")! Yes, of course it's the first step on the cheating path! But there are many steps on that path, meaning, it's in the minor/Grey area where a lot of people wouldn't/couldn't be bothered to make a fuss.
You clearly can; this is NOT over for you. You're obviously preventative rather than curative. So that's that. So could a lot of women be bothered.
So, then, he committed an emotional crime of having free-will trampled on a core moral sensitivity of yours (or boundary, if you like) - when you were at your lowest - FACT! Has he made up for it yet? Or did he just open his mouth and go suh-oh-ruh-ee?
Well, let's ignore his blah-blahs and look at his chain of actions, shall we: (through no fault of this woman's (we hope)), he's identified her as being potentially a threat to your sexual-romantic status with him in terms of his finding a major body part of hers attractive enough to become majorly sexually aroused by. If it had been as innocent as he claimed then why the need to LIE? Case closed, it was not 'innocent'! Were that not ample evidence on its own, how CAN he call it innocent if he's since used or kept it as an arousal aid? (Yes, DOES he think you're a moron?... or just 'hope'!)
AND NOW HE WANTS YOU AND HE TO *SOCIALISE* WITH THIS THREAT TO THE UNDERSTANDING THAT HE'LL HAVE EYES ONLY FOR YOU? IS HE FRUIT LOOPY?! SURELY THE FACT YOU REACTED NEGATIVELY TO THE PICTURE ALREADY *SAID* "NO"?
Course it did. (Maybe HE'S the moron?)
"I feel betrayed and he thinks I'm overreacting. Upon further discussion last night he said, to him those pictures are the same as pornography, meaningless. I tried to tell him that the fact that he knew and was friends with the girl, meant something. He also told me that the reason he felt bad about the pictures was because he felt he violated his friend, not because of me. I'm beginning to feel he holds her in higher regard than he does me. I'm so hurt and confused and I have no one to ask for advice on the matter."
The fact of the pictures is meaningless purely and only if both halves of a marriage agree they're meaningless. You don't. So they're not. End of.
I'm with you. Yes, it DOES sound like he's more worried about having violated her privacy than your sense of security. Emphasis on 'sound'.
WHY is he? And how come you  sensed you should investigate his phone and  so easily could and  so easily came across that butt shot? Is it anything to do with the fact that for 'too long' during your whole illness and off-shoot problem you had to tend to yourself, meaning, attend to him less than normal?
Negative or not (it'll do if positive isn't going) - he's got your attention NOW, hasn't he? Huge clue, Scoob ol' pal - HUGE.
In fact, is it even truer to say, he HAD your attention... then it eased off again... so cue his now saying, 'let's have dinner with the sexy butt!'?
Got it now?
You're hurt and confused because HE'S hurt and confused (which observation of mine carries no validation of that fact, note) and his whole state has gotten communicated through these non-verbal channels called actions. But behaving like that (Under-The-Table-itis) is NOT how civilised adults seek reassurances off their partner.
i appreciate all of your replies. It really helps to get an outside perspectives and definitely gives me something to consider. Susie, I would have laughed about it if I had been invited in on the joke. When something is hidden from me, lied about and then made to be nothing when it's clearly hurt me, it not something I laugh about. All those situations you just named were not secretive. I don't have a sponsor, I've been sober a year now and I feel I'm doing good in that aspect of my life.
I've decided that continuously telling him how I feel about it is a waste of time. I'm going to let it be and see where it goes. I don't want to spend my time hurt over a situation I can't control. I think I'll have my answers by way of his actions.
Really? You're going to give him enough rope by which to hang himself and then just sit back to see whether or not he does, a la "Go ahead, punk - make my day!"? Isn't that a bit too far on the passive side, considering this is your MARRIAGE we're talking about? Is this WHY your husband's lately trying to push your insecurity buttons? Have a little thinkipoos about that, would be my advice.
Tell me, what CONSEQUENCES for his shoddy, underhanded actions is this man having to suffer? And what it is you think men typically do if on first and second push of a button, one that should work (particularly as it traditionally does on a good 99% of the female population), nothing or nothing adequate/appropriate happens? I'll tell you shall I? THEY PUSH IT AGAIN, MUCH HARDER.
To quote Harry Enfield, "Is THA' WOTCHOO WANT? Cuz tha's gonna 'appen!"
So why is it you seem to think your only prevention and protestation tool is your mouth?
Listen, it's no good you being wired with preventative senses and sensibilities if you're not going to follow through with the associative actions.
So why aren't you? Why are you talking as if you're completely and utterly powerless in this situation aside from the option of having to change an attitude of yours to-suit when there's nothing whatsoever wrong with your attitude in the first place, and when it's YOUR marriage too and you are NOT powerless - au contraire, in fact?!
You've got the right attitude so why aren't the actions following it? Do you suppose you might be slightly depressed?
What else am I to do? I've made my position on the matter extremely well known. I've told him how id feel if he pursued a social relationship with her. I've discussed with him exactly why those pictures and his blasè attitude bothered me. I can not force him. We haven't been married for 10 years without learning each other's limits. I can't beat the message into him, but I know he'll have more careful consideration when I'm not harping at him.
The more I think about how to reply to you, the more I realize I trust him to do the right thing. What he did was wrong, but I somehow know that he would never pursue a romantic relationship with her. I'm starting to believe that it never entered his mind that I wouldn't want to be friends with a new couple if it involved her. I think if it was something wrong, he probably never would have mentioned it to me. He probably felt attacked and accused when I got upset. I did have a right to be upset, and I was. I believe I made my point and that's all I needed to do.
I came here to get an outside perspective, and I sincerely appreciate all of you taking the time to reply. You made me realize that I was allowing my hurt feelings cloud my judgment. I was questioning my husbands motives when I was really just hung up on some stupid pictures a stupid man took. He didn't need me to berate him, he just needed to know that a friendship with her was a colossal bad idea. I'm not giving him rope to hang himself with, I'm giving him trust.
"I'm starting to believe that it never entered his mind that I wouldn't want to be friends with a new couple if it involved her."
Well, there's a simple solution to that level of nonsensical self-deluding and it's called, Then stop. ;-p Course he would have mentioned actually meeting up with "the butt", I've already explained why in my previous post. Your husband isn't Forrest Gump or some cute little boy unaware of how the world works that just, whoops!, made some tactless, hurtful boo-boo. Give the man a bit of credit, can't you? I mean, I take it you do know MI5 and other intelligence agencies are run by the (conveniently) so-called retarded sex?
As for 'harping at him'? Excuse you, but HE'S the one doing the harping. Think about it: this is a departure from the once-happy norm that just keeps on giving! Bloody daily! Or it does if you believe its surface impression, anyway... but then, how could you ever be sure it had just been a reassurances-seeking exercise for him like I've identified and not some ominous future indication of things to come? I can. But good luck to you on that score.
You'd ALREADY given him trust and did that stop him from pushing this giant button of yours? All together now: "NO!".
I reiterate: yes, me, I'm sure he WILL do the right thing and no, I KNOW he's not pursuing a relationship with her (they're not that incredibly careless about it when they are). But that's me, isn't it, not you. Furthermore, he can't undo what he's already done, can he, and neither - thanks to how you chose to react - can you stop him from seeing this whole episode as his little button-pushing exercise having worked beautifully, "hurrah!". What paid off gets repeated. Whereas, what boomerangs around to hurt the thrower more than the target DOESN'T. So turn it into having not been worth *his* while. Then in future if he needs to ask you, 'Do you still love me as much as you used to or is this illness, etc., just an excuse for the fact you've been going off me?' then ASK HE WILL instead of setting about playing silly little, overly self-protective mind-games.
So never mind asking him numerous questions all centred around you seeking reassurances from him, thereby showing him he's got you rattled and sat up straighter than ever with eyes firmly focused on him ("hurrah!"). You need to tell him exactly where he'll stand if from here on in he puts his foot 'here' or his arm 'there' where this or *any* woman is concerned, Amen. You well and truly block that avenue and he WILL seek reassurance and peace of mind the vulnerable, verbal way. Because, scared of rejection or no, he'll have no other option.
I'm talking calm-but-firm, emotion-less (think Spock) forewarning: "I just want you to know for the record, if you ever do anything of this nature again, now that you know full-well how unacceptable it is to me or to any spouse of either gender, I will be forced to take that as a clear sign from you that you wish to undergo a formal re-evaluation type separation for 6 months and/or a course of marital counselling (whichever at the time befits). ...And now we'll say no more about it."
And HAVING drawn that definite, permanent line, I then advise you to wait a day or two for it to sink in before commencing giving him some extra attention (reciprocation of which you keep a beady eye out for).
You don't have to take my advice, of course, but if you're as preventative and far-sighted as you at first seemed - you will.