It also annoys me that he is quite obvious about looking at other women when we’re out together
I’ve been married for seven years and we have two young children. It sounds like such a cliché, but things were pretty perfect before our kids came along. Now, however, parenthood , exhaustion and stress have taken their toll and it’s just not the same.
What annoys me the most is that my husband is quite obvious about looking at other women when we’re out together. I’m probably more sensitive about it because I’m older than him – I’m 40 and he’s 32.
He’s never made me feel bad about the fact he’s eight years younger, but he did say once that he sometimes wishes we’d met when he was older, as he’d have had more opportunity to “sow his wild oats”! I took it as a joke at the time, but now I’m not so sure.
He’s been out drinking quite a bit lately with his friends and has even stayed over at a mate’s house, which I wasn’t happy about. Cue paranoia!
I basically have no confidence left and I’ve tried talking to him about it, but he just says I’m being silly.
It’s obvious that your self-esteem has taken a knock. You clearly feel your husband isn’t paying you attention or being a friend and a support.
And when you’re feeling low you do start reading something into every situation. Personally, I don’t think it has anything to do with the fact he’s a few years younger. I think you’ve just fallen into a rut after having kids.
You’ve stopped nurturing your relationship because of all those things you’ve mentioned – tiredness, stress and simply the fact there always seems to be something more important to do.
I think if you felt connected to your husband and felt secure that he loves you and fancies you, then it probably wouldn’t affect you so much if you occasionally caught him glancing at another woman (we’re all human and we’re all guilty of doing a double take when we’ve seen someone attractive).
But when you don’t feel confident and desired, then it’s a problem. I don’t know how often he does it, but have you told him you’ve noticed it and you don’t like it?
I wonder how he’d react if the shoe was on the other foot and you were checking out other men in his company. I imagine he wouldn’t like it one bit.
He needs to realise you’re serious and not “being silly”. If the marriage is to last, then you need to be a team again and talk about how you can rebuild the intimacy and get back to where you were.
If he’s willing, couples counselling could help (try relate.org.uk). If he’s not, you could have some sessions on your own to work on your self-esteem and try to get back some of your confidence.