My Husband Blatantly Flirts with Other Women

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Original Visitor's Question from a 61-70 year old Female
My husband and I went to a brunch at my (woman) cousin's house. The ladies were all clustered around the table in the kitchen, the men were standing off to the side talking. My husband got his food and sat in the family room, and my cousin joined him. The two of them sat and talked for about 45 min. I was so mad and embarrassed, and we had a big fight later that night at home.

I called my cousin the next week and told her how I felt. She and my husband had been flirting a lot with each other before, but I never dreamed it would go that far. I haven't spoken to her since, and I haven't forgiven my husband. Not that he has asked me to.

He has done things like this on 3 occasions before. He's very nice and sweet at home, but when he gets out, he acts like he doesn't want to be seen with me.

Assuming he doesn't want to be seen with me, what would make a person have so little integrity that they would hurt and embarrass another person like that? Mind you, we are not kids. I am 51 and he is 55.

User Submitted Advice from a 51-60 year old Female
We'd all be kings

Dear Visitor, I can sympathize with you and I am sorry you are enduring what is humiliating especially in a long time marriage. I'm married 22 years. Both of us, my husband and I, hurt each other through many stormy years. There has been so much good, though, so I thought. This night, he went ahead and went to a street party. I have asked him not to go to bars without me. He does it anyway and says he doesn't care what my feelings are. He flirts with women in general and an old woman friend in particular. It is very hurtful. I don't have any answers. I don't have to take this. I could leave. I don't want to throw out a 22 year marriage. I wanted to be like couples I admired. It's difficult. I'm making yet another appointment to talk with yet another counselor. I used to be able to distract my mother from her difficulties. It's more difficult to do that for myself. So, I'll be thinking of you and I'm sure many other people in this situation. I don't have any advice. But I do wish you strength to endure what I perceive as especially hurtful behavior in what is supposed to be at the very least a friendship. I haven't been perfect in our marriage. I have made great improvement and effort. But there isn't anything I can do. The line in the sand is drawn so to speak. Take it or leave it. Like it or lump it. It makes it difficult to concentrate on work and produce creatively. I'm sorry for you and hope things improve. I read that the test of all happiness is gratitude. It is possible to be both grateful and sad for such situations. I try to focus on the positive. Purposely, hurtful behaviors from a spouse would depress anyone. Maybe you can write back and share some wisdom that works. I read the Overeaters Anonymous Book everyday. And I use my eyes to look at beautiful photographs on line. Especially paintings of all kinds. I don't know what else. I have difficulty concentrating on work and study with this situation. I also remember that financially, I can't handle college loans and living expenses without both incomes. And, I don't want to fail,to leave my house, to give in to sabotaging behavior. Still, I don't like that he is so hardnosed and hostile. It's insulting and hard to take. It's not any fun at all. I'm sorry for anyone in that situation. As I said, I have made mistakes and am quite certain someone might snide, "What goes around comes around." Nevertheless, I've known people who made worse mistakes and if I could see them well, that would be all that mattered. I wish I had advice for you, as I would follow it. And, also, people will tell you you're imagining the flirting behavior, your're jealous. If they were in that situation, they'd not likely accept such nonsense. I'll be thinking of you and anyone else who lives with this kind of torture, because that is what it is. I wish you well. I wish you strength. I wish you peace. If wishes were horses, we'd all be kings. I have never understood that expression means. I wish you well.

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