Never enough for my husband - "I've struggled to meet his expectations"

by Ann
(U. S. A.)

We were both new Christians when we first met. Both of us had professional degrees and were working in our chosen fields.

I was just learning about the high standards that Christianity sets for believers. I had had sexual experiences with other men and had sex with him before we converted.

After we converted, we didn't have sex again until after we were married. He almost called off our engagement two months before our wedding.

I think his mom was behind this, but I'm not sure. She never really liked me. She saw me as a grasping woman who was after her son.

At this point in time, we have been married forty years and are in our early sixties. I've struggled to meet his expectations throughout our entire marriage.

From the very beginning, I couldn't cook well enough to suit him (even though my mom, a sous chef, taught me to cook), couldn't keep house correctly (or not - I'm "too picky"), and was just "okay" when it came to sex.

He told me to my face that sex with his former fiancee felt better than it did with me. He would brag about how some girl was flirting with him at work.

He lamented that he didn't get to date a particular girl at church because he had married me. As time moved along and we had children, I was dedicated to being the best wife, mom and homemaker that I could be.

During the time while our children were growing, he was rarely satisfied with how I spent my time. I couldn't ever seem to do enough. I did laundry, shopping, cooking, cleaning, gardening, kid's activities, taxi, church works of service, school volunteer, helped take care of his mom, and faithfully met his and my needs in bed.

It seemed that there was always something for him to complain about though. I burned dinner, our kids never seemed to meet his approval, and why couldn't I be more spiritual like this other guy's wife?

If I left to go help my mom and dad with something, he would tell me who he was going to marry if I died in a car wreck. When the kids were getting to be high school age, I realized that I needed to work full time, or lose my mind.

I didn't like the work that was part of my first career, so I decided to go back to school and get a degree in something I really enjoyed. While I was in college, he was written up at work on a sexual harassment complaint.

I also found a box of condoms in the back of his dresser drawer (I'd had a hysterectomy), and I knew he was attracted to a woman at work.

I confronted him, but he swore nothing had happened. As the years have passed, we've been in and out of counseling. Our communication problems and marital satisfaction improves only while we are in counseling.

As I aged menopause hit me hard. It seems that all of my bodily systems have stopped working the way they used to. A couple of years ago I was working full time and still doing all of the rest of the household chores when my health failed.

I've gotten better, but he admitted that he had "planned an affair" while I was sick but didn't go through with it. Currently, our family is going through a crisis that has demanded my time and attention.

This summer and fall his behavior has been odd. I have found some things in the mail that have made me wonder what he's up to. I've tried to look for things on his computer that look suspicious.

There are some. For example, all of his google travel activities for the last three months have been erased. He's received unusual messaging sounds at odd times, but I can't prove anything.

I just can't find anything concrete. What do you think? Is he a lying, cheating, cad or just a poor fella who is tempted to stray?

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