midlife of my partner

by Wendy
(Australia)

THE QUESTION:

My partner hurt me last year when i found out about his affair with a girl half his age. Hez 48yrs old,our sex life was good. He was sleeping with both of us at the same time too and I feel pretty dumb that I didn't know it.

The affair ended when I gave him a choice, us or her. He never said sorry but he was better in the sense that we talked more about his job and stuff, I thought maybe with the years of bringing up the kids that i didn't pay him enough attention so I decided to make more effort. But with all my efforts he doesn't seem satisfied. He says now I stalk him.

The problem now is about a month ago he stopped having sex with me and said he doesn't want me anymore (or anyone). He said hes just not interested.

He has alawys been big on gambling and he said thats all he wants now. He says he will still be here for the kids and do what ever for them but he doesn't want to be with me.

He said its my crying that drives him insane.

He sometimes is getting on with me in the normal way we did before but other times I don't really even know this person.

I'm so confused and do not understand any of whats happenning which makes it really hard for to know the right way to cope with it.
Thank you from
Wendy

NOEL'S ANSWER:

Dear Wendy,

It sounds as though you are having a real struggle.

Your husband's behaviour sounds like a midlife crisis, complicated by an addiction.

His having an affair with a younger woman is stereotypical midlife crisis behaviour, where often a man is trying to assure himself that he is still desirable to women. He is finding his world changing (see my answer to the previous question about symptoms of a midlife crisis), and seeks reassurance in the wrong place.

I would guess his not wanting sex with you is part of his insecurity.

His saying all he wants to do now is gamble, may well be an addiction, rather than just something he wants to do. My worry would be that he will lose a lot of money, and you will be in financial trouble along with the rest of your worries.

My recommendation for you would be that you seek counselling with a psychotherapist who can help you figure out what you need to do in this situation. She could also help your figure out what you want to do with your life, whether he is in it or not.

Your reaction to the way he treats you sounds to me like that of a co-dependent, who is perhaps even supporting his cruel behaviour, so it may also be worth your while to go to some alanon meetings.

Hope this helps a little.

Noel

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