I have been married for slightly over 20 years. We have four children and have had a fairly good marriage. But of late, my husband has been behaving strangely.
He’s now conscious of how he looks and I’ve noticed that he has a new hairstyle. He is no longer interested in sex, he will come to bed late after I’m asleep and often avoids even talking about that subject. My fear is—could he be seeing someone else? Please help! Desperate wife.
Thanks for seeking help. Going by what you have said and the number of years you have been married, it is apparent that both of you are at a particular stage in life when certain changes take place. For the man, he loses interest in sex with his wife and starts behaving like an adult teenager.
At this age, a man suddenly becomes conscious of his looks, starts putting on tight jeans and “bling bling” not to mention dying his hair. As for the woman, she has finished nurturing her children and is rediscovering herself. Her sex drive is higher than before and so the more she wants her man, the more he becomes withdrawn and that can be frustrating.
There may or may not be someone else in his life. He is probably just dealing with mid-life crisis. Unfortunately, these are things we don’t talk about or are not even aware of and if not handled well, can destroy a marriage.
So, what can you do? First, be aware of the stage of life you are in as a couple. This will help you be more understanding than judgemental. Navigating this crisis will require open and honest communication between the two of you. For this to happen, you must ensure that you provide a safe space for your husband to talk.
Ask questions rather than criticise or attack him. Realise that for him as a man, failure to function at the junction could even affect his self-esteem further worsening the situation. Make him realise how much this is also affecting you as a woman and how it can leave you exposed to outside temptation.
Time will tell
You can also try and reach out to an older couple or one you are close with and whom your husband trusts and respects. Talk about these things with them not in a way of attacking or reporting him, but rather asking questions about yourself and your struggle that will help your husband further understand what you are going through.
Who knows, this may just make him realise what he is going through and dragging you through along that may make him want to seek help. If on the other hand he is also seeing someone else, it is just a matter of time before things come out.