Dazed, is it possible you're depressed? I get what you're saying- depression/anxiety is VERY difficult for a marriage, and I've read it can be especially difficult for wives whose husband's are depressed.
Not just possible, but confirmed. It got bad enough at one point that I started taking antidepressants for about a year and a half. I feel like I'm finally starting to come out of it, but I know that I'm not fully clear by any means.
Though, as I've learned a lot about depression in the past couple of years, I did take heart that I'm doing a lot better in a lot of ways than many others in my situation/circumstances. From what I've read, I should be in way worse shape. That has allowed me to see myself as stronger than I might give myself credit for.
My wife has also been on antidepressants (still is, I think) for a much longer time, but I think more for anxiety than for actual depression. We're both struggling, but I know that she had a particularly hard time dealing with my emotional state..[/QUOTE]
If my husband showed no emotion while I was sexting/texting privately with a former lover and he was texting privately with women he slept with, I'd think he simply doesn't care about me.
While I didn't handle it as perfectly as I would have liked (I was terribly sleep deprived when I talked with her about it), I think I did show I cared *a lot*. I let her know that what she did was in no way acceptable or excusable and that I took it *very* seriously. This was one marital blowup where I felt like I was really on solid ground (something I often don't feel), and I was able to mostly stand tall and firm in the face of the ensuing chaos.
I say mostly, because I also allowed myself to be overcome by pain and sadness and frustration and confusion and self-doubt and guilt. I got quite emotional at times (tears, even), and was definitely not consistently fearsome or rock-like. And, unfortunately, that's not the first time that I've responded like that to our troubles or conflicts (otherwise, I think it may have been less damaging). It's just, uh, *depressing*, lol...
I am still, however, committed to fulfilling on the personal goals I established above.
I think the incident did serve to snap both of us back into a bit of reality. I can see that we are both more engaged than we've been in a while (the family vacation helped with that). She took opportunities to be with me and talk with me while on the trip, and she initiated sex on our one child-free night at the end of our trip (first time having sex in almost a year), despite us both being exhausted from the week and driving all day. She has also seems much more aware of how important it is that we make time to talk and spend adult time together. I mentioned the need again this morning, and for the first time in a long time I feel like she heard me and took my request seriously.
On my end, we had family in from out of town shortly after our return (nothing like burning candles at both ends, lol), and she had a freak out about how we neglected to have a few things ready for them prior to their arrival and how much it makes 'her heart hurt.' Normally, I would have felt bad and ashamed and apologized (since taking care of things around the house - like making sure the beds have clean sheets on for company - is generally my domain) and generally gone into 'my wife is hurting and I suck' mode, but not this time. I simply stood in the fact that everything was fine and being handled, that there are more important things to consider than whether everything is perfect, that our family in no way feels unwelcome or unappreciated, and that, while I certainly didn't want her heart to hurt, there is really no reason to hurt over something so ultimately insignificant and easily remedied.
This happened on her way out the door to get groceries for dinner (we both had to work that day and neither of us had time to do the necessary last minute shopping), and while she was out, I got a text thanking me for supporting her, apologizing for her freak out, and even poking a little fun at her ridiculousness. When she got home, she told me she was floored by our interaction. She just couldn't believe it went the way it did, and was effusive about how grateful she was for me and how much she appreciated my strong and calm response. She added that she knows that she needs to work on not being a perfectionist in so many ways. I swear she was almost in tears (which is unusual for her).
So that was really encouraging, and has me energized in becoming 'rock-like' again.