Help with my marriage
I was wondering if anyone has some advice. I have been in a relationship with my husband for 22 years. For the first 4 years we lived together and then we got married. The first few years of our relationship my husband wasn't over the top romantic ( which was ok as I loved the romance he did share) Now as the years go on and chronic pain has taken over the romance has left the home. I understand that the pain is overwhelming at times and I understand the medication he is on proves challenging for our relationship and that it causes medical issues to our love life. What I don't understand is he can surf the internet and look at pictures of younger women when he should be at least trying to look at me. I have stood behind him with his depression, with his chronic pain and this is what I get in return. Maybe I am overthinking this to much? Any advice??? Just to let everyone know I have talked to him on many occasions about his and how it hurts me emotionally and he says he will stop and he does for a few weeks and then it starts all over again
I understand the frustration in your marriage but also admire your determination to reconcile the relationship. You obviously understand and appreciate the sanctity of a family, beginning with the husband and wife and the importance of “romance” in marriage. Sexuality may be the most important component in a marriage because it involves and integrates our body, mind, and spirit with another. It can’t be more intimate than “becoming one flesh”.
To your credit you have communicated your concerns to your husband as well as your emotional pain from his behaviors (or lack thereof). You also recognize pain can be debilitating both physically and emotionally, potentially compounded with medication. These are excellent starting points in your continued conversation with your husband; emphasis on continued.
Now the hard part. Does your communication come from a position of unconditional love for him? Does he feel your love in the words and tone of the conversation? Have either one of you explored and totally engage in God’s gift of sexuality and what that really means? Like many of our human emotions, sex can become either unremarkable, even debilitating, apart from our spouse, or “Seventh Heaven” (as intended), with our married partner. According to some experts, “rolling like thunder, under the covers” romance in a relationship only lasts 2-3 years. Without a concerted effort on both the part of you and your husband to maintain this “thunder”, romance will decline.
I invite you to explore http://www.pureintimacy.org/pornography
for professional observations of the importance of a romantic and sexual relationship well into our later years of marriage.
Please keep us informed on new behaviors and successes in your pursuits. All of us can use some pointers. Try to keep it appropriate.
It's hard for me to tell, seeing as I don't have a lot of details, but I'll give it a shot.
On the one hand, pretty much everyone looks at other people, whether covertly or obviously. (I mean, let's be honest...I'd trade my current boyfriend in for most movie stars!)
But I don't think your problem is that your husband finds other women attractive. I think it's that you fear he *doesn't* find you attractive, which is a whole other deal.
The thing is, the chronic pain, the meds, whatever...they're all a distraction.
I think the core is that you are worried your husband doesn't find you sexy, doesn't act like you're sexy, and doesn't treat you the way you deserve. Am I correct?
If so, I'd bring it up to him. You care about him, that's obvious. You understand that, of course, romance fades but...you want *something* that makes it feel like he adores and appreciates you.
If he's like my boyfriend, he may need a bit of prodding. (A, B, and C would make me feel appreciated. D would not.) It may help if you're able to do something romantic, too. (A nice dinner, fancy underwear, a trip somewhere different, whatever.) But ultimately, it's not unreasonable to expect your husband to act like he finds you attractive and wonderful. Tell him that. See what his response is.
I wouldn't get overly concerned. I personally wouldn't like it either but I had a previous relationship with someone that it became a problem with.
I'm guessing he's not able to perform as he used to and is using that as an outlet.
Just talk to him. See how that goes and consider counseling.