|This is what the wife was told about her husband, she never found him with someone else but this is what she always had in mind when he was not with her.|
Recently my wife said she wants to separate after eight years of marriage, and has been to a solicitor. She doesn’t seem to want to discuss the reasons why she wants to separate, simply saying she doesn’t love me any more.
I suspect her reason for wanting to end our marriage follows a visit to our home two years ago by my housemate when I was a student. This chap, who is openly gay, told my wife about a one-night stand we had when we were students. At the time my wife was furious and I explained to her the truth as I see it. This was something that happened impulsively, I don’t necessarily have regrets about it, but neither do I identify as gay or bisexual. I did not tell her about it when we met, because I had never really given it much thought. Initially our relationship went back to normal, but about six months ago I went on an overnight business trip with a male colleague who is gay and she started to question my sexuality again.
I love my wife and our family life. I don’t want it to end like this. I grew up in a broken home and me and my siblings suffered as a result of our parents break up. I don’t want this for our children. How do I persuade her that I love her and have no desire for anyone else, female or male?
There are a number of issues here: your wife’s insecurity regarding your sexual past, her sense that you withheld your same-sex encounter, and your own fear about separation. This suspicion has been going on for two years now and I wonder if it is not pointing to deeper issues in your relationship.
It is likely that your relationship was in trouble before the revelation by your ex housemate as two years is a long time to hoard betrayal. There is now a crisis as your wife has initiated separation and it seems you don’t fully understand why she is taking this drastic step.
Is there an opportunity to ask for couple counselling so that you can get some help understanding the situation. This might lead to options for you.
She says she does not love you any more but it may be that she finds it intolerable that you can go on a business trip and she does not trust you not to have sex with someone else. This issue of trust in your relationship is central and you must decide if this is a real issue between you or if she is struggling with her own self-esteem issues.
Trust is created when people are honest with each other and when there is consistency in the relationship. You may not even be aware of your dishonesty in terms of not telling your wife as you see some things as unimportant – it is possible you did not speak for fear of conflict or break-up.
Now is a time for raw honesty and not persuasion. Talking about your sexual past, your desires and vulnerabilities may be a way of showing her you are truly willing to be honest; the barrier for you could be that she might find this hard to hear and continue with the separation. She may not trust that you are fully engaged in your intimacy. It might also be true that you are not willing to fully explain this as you do not really understand it yourself.
There is no guarantee that communicating now will be enough to open up a possibility for survival of the marriage but not engaging is to further the possibility of separation.
If you feel that there is a self-confidence issue for your wife, perhaps you can support her by suggesting you both take some time for individual counselling before coming to a final decision on the marriage. You might decide to stay in separate bedrooms while this is going on to signify that you must again chose each other and it cannot be presumed while you investigate what has happened.
You say that you came from a broken home and this has left you with a strong desire to keep your own home intact. It may be that this fear of repeating the past is the strongest message your wife gets from you: that fear rather than love is the guiding principle. If this is so, it would be worthwhile for you to take responsibility for this and again honesty can demonstrate that you are self-aware enough to do your part in creating changes that might make the marriage worth saving.
See psychotherapy-ireland.com for accredited psychotherapists countrywide
This article was originally posted on Irish Times. I have been posting articles from them for a long time and find them credible and truthful. Their LGBT stories about that part of the world are very consistent. I like Irish Times!