My wife takes me for a fool

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - OPINION - Is some­thing both­er­ing you? Do you need a lis­ten­ing ear or a shoul­der to lean on? Thelma is here to help. Write to Dear Thelma, c/ o Star2, Me­nara Star, 15, Jalan 16/ 11, 46350 Pe­tal­ing Jaya, Se­lan­gor or e- mail star2. thelma @ thes­tar. com. my Please inc

I AM 70 but I look 75. My wife is 57 but she looks 45. We have been mar­ried for 35 years and we have five chil­dren who are well- ed­u­cated and in­de­pen­dent. My wife is well- ed­u­cated. I am not. She is still work­ing and gets a good in­come. I earn a lit­tle from my small- time busi­ness.

Our mar­riage was nei­ther an ar­ranged one nor a love mar­riage. We met and af­ter some time, we de­cided to get mar­ried. She is not the ro­man­tic type. There is no hugging and cud­dling throughout our mar­ried life.

Af­ter we reg­is­tered our of mar­riage, I found out that she had many boyfriends. When I found out that she was in­ti­mate with one guy, I wanted to call off the mar­riage. But I mar­ried her out of pity.

I am no an­gel. I had a few girl­friends be­fore mar­riage. Maybe due to frus­tra­tion, I strayed dur­ing our mar­riage. Cur­rently, I do not have any girl­friends. I am a re­spon­si­ble hus­band to my wife, and a re­spon­si­ble fa­ther to my chil­dren. I try to give them the best.

My wife is quitete pretty,pretty soft- spo­ken,spo­ken well­well­man­nered, has a a pleas­ant char­ac­ter and is friendly with eve ery­one, es­pe­cially the men. So much so that som me men took ad­van­tage of her and tried to sedu uce her, but I nipped the prob­lem in the b bud.

What I don’t lik ke about her is that she likes to lie; she thinks I a am a fool.

Two years ago, , she went on a hol­i­day. It was a group tour. In th he group, she met a mar­ried man who is sevenn years younger than her. I did not know any­thin ng about this un­til a cou­ple of months ago.

Late one night, , a text mes­sage came in. As she was asleep and th hink­ing that it could be some­thing ur­gen nt, I checked her phone. There were many mess ages from many peo­ple, but there was one fro om this guy who had sent her about 400 mes­sag ges over the past two years! There were num er­ous ro­man­tic ex­changes between them.

When I ques­tio oned her, she got an­gry as usual. S She said they are just friends. I wa as very up­set. I knew shee was ly­ing again. She has fa allen for this man, and d vice versa.

Maybe I am to be blamed as I am out­sta­tion quite of­ten and I do not spend much time with her. Maybe it is the ag ge dif­fer­ence. Any­way, we weree never com­pat­i­ble. I dis cussed this with my lawy yer friend who said t that she is en­cour­ag­ing him m by re­spond­ing to hiss in­ti­mate mes­sage es. This shows she iss ob­vi­ously in­teres sted in him.

Nowa­days she locks her phone. One d day, I in­sisted on check king her phone. There e was noth­ing muc ch in­side. I know sh he has deleted the mes­sages af­ter read­ing them. Sh he thinks I am a foo ol.

I am de­pressed d. To add salt to in­jury y, she says that I am a lu­natic.

I have de­cided d to di­vorce her as I c can’t stop her from lov ving an­other guy. I can­not for­give any­one who be­trays me. You have been mar­ried for a long time. Like most mar­riages, yours has had its share of chal­lenges. You have been through a lot. So, the ques­tion is: why is this an is­sue now?

First off, you ad­mit to hav­ing had re­la­tion­ships be­fore you were mar­ried. When you found out that your wife also had re­la­tion­ships be­fore meet­ing you, it was chal­leng­ing. It was enough for you to want to call off the mar­riage. Why? How come it is ac­cept­able for you to have had past re­la­tion­ships but not your wife? That sounds a tad un­fair.

And then, you say you pro­ceeded with the mar­riage out of pity for your wife. Why pity? Did you think you were do­ing her a favour by mar­ry­ing her? Did you think that she had no other choice but to marry you?

Per­haps it is this sense of pity that is now fu­elling some of the re­sent­ment in your re­la­tion­ship with your wife. You feel like she owes you some­thing. You feel like she owes you loy­alty even though you were not loyal to her dur­ing your mar­riage.

Added to this is the slight hint of jeal­ousy that is ev­i­dent in the way you de­scribe your wife.wife Re­sent­ment and jeal­ousy are dan­ger­ous things in a re­la­tion­ship. These el­e­ments af­fect your re­la­tion­ship with your wife, but not your du­ties as a hus­band and fa­ther. These are all very dif­fer­ent things. All this does not, how­ever, jus­tify your wife’s ac­tions if she is in­deed cheat­ing on you. What is your def­i­ni­tion of cheat­ing, though? She seems to have these in­ti­mate con­ver­sa­tions – ev­i­dence of which you have seen – with an­other man. It could be emo­tional cheat­ing. But, re­ally, these con­ver­sa­tions could be in­dica­tive of any­thing. They could just be flir­ta­tions. They could even just be in­ti­mate con­ver­sa­tions, and noth­ing more. You do not know if she is in love with this other man. But you have made up your mind, so it does not mat­ter what she says any­way. Sure, your wife ob­vi­ously likes the ex­changes with this man. That is why she con­tin­ues do­ing so. Does this mean she is a bad wife? The prob­lem seems to be your re­la­tion­ship with your wife, and this pre­cedes the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion with this man she is chat­ting with with. Per­haps you have had enough.e Per­haps you have now lost any rea­son to carry on with your mar­riage as it seems that there was lit­tle con­nec­tion between both of you in the first place. So, be­fore you con­sider di­vorce, it may be worth try­ing to fig­ure out what it is that you want. Do you want your wife to be to­tally loyal to you and not have any un­nec­es­sary con­ver­sa­tions with other men? You de­scribe your mar­riage as be­ing de­void of ro­mance, hugging and cud­dling. Ob­vi­ously she is ca­pa­ble of this. It is only miss­ing in your re­la­tion­ship. So, would you like her to sh how you some of the af­fec­tion that she is ca­pa­ble of? Are you en­vi­ous that she shows this side of hers to oth­ers and not to you? If you want her to stop these on­ver­sa­tions with other men, per­haps you should fig­ure out whyw she does it in the first place. Maybe she likes the at­ten­tion. Maybe she likes the thrill. Could you, then, pro­vide her with these? Of course, what you are will­ing to do now is in­cum­bent on what you think the state of the mar­riage is. The sit­u­a­tion now is a re­sult of fac­tors ac­cu­mu­lated over the years. It can­not be solved over a short pe­riod of time. It will re­quire a lot of work and in­vest­ment of time and en­ergy. Do you want that? Can you do that? Per­haps an­other thing to con­sider, also, is why your wife has cho­sen to re­main mar­ried to you all these years. If she is as at­trac­tive and ca­pa­ble asa you say she is, could she not have ini­ti­ated di­vorce if she were un­happy with you? You have spo­ken with a lawyer and you have enough grounds for a di­vorce. Why don’t you speak with her to con­sider what she wants and where she sees the re­la­tion­ship head­ing be­fore mak­ing a de­ci­sion. Is your re­la­tion­ship even worth fix­ing? You and your wife have to be will­ing to ad­mit past mis­takes and ask for for­give­ness from each other. You may have to find some­thing in your re­la­tion­ship that is worth fighti ing for. Do you be­lieve in sec­ond chan nces and are you will­ing to give it an­other go? It hurts when you know that a loved one – some­one as close as a spouse – may have in­vested their emo­tions else­where. It hurts even more when they lash out in anger and de­nial, and then ac­cuse you of be­ing in­sane for be­liev­ing those things in the first place. No re­la­tion­ship is per­fect. Some peo­ple feel the need to ful­fil their un­met needs out­side their re­la­tion­ships. While this does not jus­tify cheat­ing – in what­ever form – it also does not mean that the per­son is bad. It in­di­cates that the re­la­tion­ship needs help. That would im­ply, how­ever, that the re­la­tion­ship is worth sav­ing in the first place.

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