A few months ago, I discovered that my husband's friendship with a younger female (he's 42, I'm 42, I'm 42) had gone too far in my mind. He was texting her somewhat flirtatiously, meeting at the gym, going out for beers and talking negatively about me without telling me. I suspected something was going on and confronted him about it. He said that it was just a friendship, similar to those with his guy friends from the fire department. I got very upset and asked that he not communicate with her. I admit that I was not very supportive of him for the past year. I've been depressed and withdrawn. Our daughter passed away four years ago and I'm doing my best to live life. I think I'm doing the best I can. Fast forward to now...his young lady friend asked him for help training for a firefighting physical exam. My husband told me he was doing this and the texts seemed innocent because he showed me his phone. She asked him to go with her to take her exam yesterday and he went to support her. I'm not sure how to feel about any of this. He assures me it's nothing but a friendship and firefighters support each other. But when I think about it I get very angry and upset. I tried to talk to him about it but he gets frustrated and says I should trust him with his friendships. I'm a very sensitive person and do struggle with self-esteem but the whole situation makes me a little sick. I work with males but I honestly would never think of texting them or hanging out with them outside of a big group. In fact, I wouldn't even go that far. Am I being overly sensitive or is my gut telling me something? Any ideas?
I am sorry that you have gotten so many useless replies on this thread. I'm hoping that you have not been run off of TAM.
What you need to know is that while both you and your husband share the state of your marriage, your husband is 100% responsible for his affair. Yes he is having an emotional affair at the very least. It might be a physical affair.
All this nonsense on this thread that it's ok for men in their 40's to hang out with younger women is nonsense. The dynamic of a younger woman with an older man is a pretty common affair dynamic.
To top it off, your husband had admitted to looking for women online and sending them naked pictures of himself and his junk. He's been out looking to cheat.
You have a serious problem and need to address it on a very serious level.
Take a look at this thread in which a man's wife had an EA. Look at the advice the posters are giving the man.. the man who admits to neglecting his wife. Read the thread and absorb the message. His wife is 100% responsible for her EA just as your husband is. Look at the advice given to the guy.... divorce her.... that's the only advice. No one is telling him that he needs to be nicer to her. No one is telling him that she needs to get into counseling and show his wife more love. Nope, they are telling him that she cheated (EA) and thus he needs to dump her because she's trash now. NO one asked him how often he dates his wife. No one asked him how their sex life is (implying that he's ignoring her sexually.) https://talkaboutmarriage.com/general...l#post18639634
Take that advice and let it sink in. That's the advice that you need. Your husband is cheating. You need to think about how seriously he is disrespecting you and mistreating you. He thinks you are so stupid that you are going to put up with him having an EA (and perhaps PA) right under your nose. He thinks that he's going to make up some nonsense story about him just sending out photos of his junk to women to see if anyone finds him attractive.
You need to get angry at your husband. You need to let it since in that your husband is cheating on you and making a fool out of you.
And then you need to act on it based on that reality.
I'm going to give you the same advice I gave the guy in the other thread.....
There are 3 books that I think will help you here. They are quick reads. Read them in the order listed. They are all by Dr. Harley.
"Surviving an Affair"
"His Needs, Her Needs"
Your husband is having at least an emotional affair and you need to respond to this as a crisis.
The books will give you a plan of action. Do what they say to do. Do the work they say to do. Hopefully you will be able to get your wife to read "Love Busters" and "His Needs, Her Needs" with you (after you read it first yourself and learn how to talk to her about this stuff) and hopefully she will do the work with you.
The "Surviving an Affair" book talks about plan A and Plan B. You have already done what Plan A says to do. So when you read the book pay a lot of attention to what you need to do about exposing his affair and then going to Plan B. Until he agrees to go no contact with his affair partner and agrees to do what is needed to recover your marriage, you need to stay in Plan B. (See the link in my signature block below for the 180, it's basically Plan B). You need to interact towards him per Plan B/180 until he ends his affair or until you are ready to file for divorce. Whichever comes first.