Married 12 years. Now he tells me he wants to sleep around…

Married 12 years. Now he tells me he wants to sleep around…

My husband and I have been together for 12 years, most of them pretty happy. I have helped him raise his kid from a previous relationship. Everything seemed fine until about a week ago when he got very quiet and told me he wants to sleep with other women. He said he only stayed with me so his kid would have a stable family in life.

He’s been slacking big time on house work etc (he said he’s been trying to be the worst husband he can be). And he puts me down all the time. Just a few weeks ago we were planning on trying for a family of our own and suddenly – this. I’m devastated. I don’t know what to think or do. I’m a wreck. He tells me not to be upset but I can’t help it. I feel like my whole world just came crashing down. Is it normal for men to do this kind of stuff after being in a relationship for a while? Going Through Hell

No, it’s not normal. Your husband sounds like a complete jerk. Twelve years of marriage, AND you’ve helped parent his kid. And just as you’re getting ready – or so you thought – to start trying for a family of your own, your husband turns into a completely different person, and a nasty one at that. Interesting timing, no? And, instead of talking to you about how he was feeling (which is what decent guys do), he thought if he behaved badly enough on the domestic front, or put you down enough, that you might call it off, thus saving him the trouble. But you didn’t, and so he’s gone for plan B: super-hurtful revelations that may not be even true, but that he thinks will result in what he wants: an exit. It’s incredible that it’s taken 12 years for you to get a glimpse of this guy’s true character. And the fact that he has the emotional maturity of an earthworm.

He can also stick his ‘don’t be upset’ where the sun don’t shine. Of course you feel upset, shattered and devastated. Anyone in this situation would feel the same. The thing is, he’s probably been thinking or planning this for a long time, even if he’s been saying otherwise (or making plans for the future). The coldness could be due to guilt over what he’s putting you through, but it could also be due to the fact that he’s already sleeping with someone else and checked out emotionally a long time ago – and now he just can’t be bothered dealing with the fallout. I’m sorry if my saying that hurts you further. But it’s something you need to consider.

I’d like to say kick him out now; that’s the least of what he deserves. However, you’ve got some talking to do first. Especially around custody. It’s his kid, but you’re the child’s stepmother. You’ve raised the child. What happens now? Can you negotiate a custody settlement? I’m not sure of the legal implications here; mediation may help you reach a custody arrangement especially if you can demonstrate you’ve had a parenting role and ongoing relationship with the child. Regardless, this is going to have a massive impact on the child as well as on you. You need counselling and legal advice ASAP.

Please, surround yourself with friends right now. Family members who can support you through this time. And know that you’re not going to feel like this forever; things will get better, and while it may not feel like it now, you are going to be so much better off without this guy in your life.

Love, reality chick

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Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).


  1. bron 8 years ago

    First off – a virtual slap for him from me.

    He’s trying to put you in the ‘bad guy seat’ – if you walk out he gets to tell his kid you were at fault and he did nothing wrong.

    It comes down to just how you feel about the child and how old they are now. Are they old enough to talk to about the situation?

  2. Kitty 8 years ago

    Simply amazing advice RC. Tough – but spot on. Hugs to you Going Through Hell…this is a dreadful situation, one that no-one deserves. I hope you can find the strength to move through this and come out the other side.

  3. L 8 years ago

    Reality Chick speaks the truth!

    Use this as a turning point to GET. OUT. NOW.

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