Certainly her behavior is wrong. The advice from the women is basically to confront and assert control to put a stop to it. If you succeed you fail. If you fail you fail.
If you succeed in control, you will end up with a controlled, resentful, emotionally distant man. Since I am a man, I know how men react. Men resist being controlled, either overtly, by passive-aggressive behavior, by withdrawal or by anger. This is the nature of a man. You can ignore it, dislike it, deny it or refute it, but the basic nature of a man cannot be changed. (Yet it is also a man’s nature to be drawn to a good wife that respects him.)
He may be physically present but his heart will check out, if you overtly attempt to control him or dump your feelings about this matter on him. I’m not saying that you are wrong to feel how you do. But, is it more important to be “right” or more important to save your marriage for your mutual happiness?
Why should he choose you? This is not a criticism, but is important for you to think about this question for your own personal growth. A simple easy answer is that he married you, but this is often not enough these days to keep two people together in our divorce culture. It is clear that he is not meeting your emotional needs. Are you meeting his? Why would he continue to interact with the other woman if it wasn’t to meet his need for respect and admiration that is not being fulfilled in his marriage.
Every time you check his phone and his text messages, you are proving to him that you do not trust in his integrity. Men do not respond well to this, regardless of whether you are justified.
He maybe didn’t tell you about the gift because it would lead to a fight and thought you would be emotional and blame him. Maybe he just doesn’t know how the deal with the emotional intensity. If he told you, it is likely that he would be blamed and a fight would result. If he didn’t tell you and you found out, it is likely that he would be blamed and a fight would result. Either way he loses, because the script is well established.
Both of you are following the script. All it takes to change the usual ending is for one of you to ACT differently. Then the same tired REACTIONS are not played out. The two of you just keep playing out the same well established pattern. You cannot cause him to REACT differently, so YOU have to be the one to break the cycle by ACTING differently.
If you typically try to shame him for ignoring your feelings, demand he change, confront him about his failings, interrupt him when he speaks, or bring up past grievances, just DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. Stand up and take off your clothes, there is no way the outcome will be the same with one or both of you naked. Do this or come up with your own DIFFERENT ACTION.
I’m not saying he was right not to tell you but be honest about what would have happened if he had. Confronting him will just start the script. Doing something different still does not condone what is going on.
How many times have you lived through the emotions and scripts found in these songs? Get your box of tissues and allow yourself to just feel. Then email the links to your husband and say you know that often you overwhelm him but these songs will help describe how you feel.
Terri Clark – Three Mississippi **
**Terri Clark – I just Wanna Be Mad
Terri Clark - Everytime I Cry
Terri Clark - Empty
Chely Wright - Unknown
Jamie O’Neal - Like a Woman