Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Just Ask Joyce: "My husband won't stop texting other women."

Q: “My husband and I have been married 12 years. He has never been unfaithful and says he isn’t now. My problem is he’s texting women – some are single, some are married – and he says they’re just friends. I wish he talked to me as much as he did these women. I have asked him to stop, and he has refused. After I calmed down, he told me that I needed a life, I wasn’t fun, and now that I home-school, everything I do is centered on the kids. Now he’s deleting his texts so I can’t see them, but he readily admits he still does it. Am I overreacting, or should I be worried?”



Joyce: Yes, you should indeed be concerned. There are a number of reasons why. Having mentored hundreds of couples with marital unrest, many issues revolve around Dad feeling left out of the equation of the family. That can happen by two ways: 1) Mom omits him; or 2) Dad chooses it.

Whether these women he is texting are single or married is irrelevant – married women are often lonely, too. One can never be too cautious and protective of a spouse. He is obviously texting in front of you for you to recognize the regularity of it. It bothers me greatly that you have asked him to cease and he has refused. There is an obvious lack of respect present, and this needs to be addressed.

Some questions each of you should be asking are: What brought him to the place of needing to text other women? Why are the two of you not able to converse? What appeal is he finding by generating dialogue with these other women? Some even more difficult questions would be: Do you still love me? Do you want our marriage to remain intact? Is our family legacy important to each of us? Where do we need to begin getting back to when we found the other’s needs more important than our own?

Tougher and touchier questions should be entertained as well. Are we setting aside time for one another? Do we enjoy our intimate sexual time together? How often does that occur? Is it enough for him? For her? Can we talk about subjects that don’t include the children?

I do agree with your husband that you need a life apart from the kids. But the message he is sending you is loud and clear: You have forgotten him. Reassess how your time is divided. Whether he is being unfaithful or has entertained the thought of being unfaithful, he seems to have an emotional attachment to conversing with these women. In a woman’s mind, that is unfaithful! I would warn you both that he is setting himself up to be tempted, and especially if he is pointing out faults of his wife, the mother of his children.

Here’s a plan for you to turn your marriage around quickly.
  • Decide your family legacy is worth keeping. Until there’s a commitment to shoring up against disaster, things will not settle well on your heart, mind, or soul.
  • Schedule alternating days for Mom and Dad to help with homework, running to events, getting ready for bed, etc. On the off days, the other prepares dinner. (Grilling works!)
  • Set an earlier bedtime for younger kids, or if kids are older, a family time where everyone is together in the living area. Your place will be beside Dad on the couch.
  • After the kids are in bed, turn off the TV and all electronics and talk. Talk about the day, politics, high school/college, gardening. The point being, talk! Discuss important issues about the kids, but focus on other things as well.
  • Get back to a routine sex life. If you’re slacking in this area, make it a point to pursue. Doll up. Get new lingerie. Bring his attention back to you and show him you’re much more than a mom. You are still his lover!
  • Get a life once a week. That means he’s on kid duty. Go shopping, go to dinner with a gal-pal, go exercise, do anything, but leave him with the kids. He may gain a new appreciation for and a greater understanding of what it takes to care for kids.
Change your life … NOW! Write Joyce Oglesby, Family-Life Fitness Pro™, at joyce@justaskjoyce.com. I’m here to help! Check out my books and other resources today at JustAskJoyce.com.

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