A Reader Writes…
My husband’s mindset, as soon as we had children, was that they came first and I was therefore his third priority – something which he articulated very clearly to me. This manifested itself in a non-existent sex life (he was always too tired, or worried kids would come in) and a situation where I was constantly undermined (‘he’s my son he can have what he wants’) and I therefore became ‘the baddy’ in my children’s eyes and daddy could do no wrong. Having never had children/ been married before I though this was ‘normal’ and got on with it.
After 4 or 5 years of this I met someone (in a similar situation) with whom I fell in love and who provided me with the attention I had been starved of in my marriage. Three years on, there is carnage. My marriage is over, the marriage of my lover is on the rocks and we are the talk of the town (not in a good way). Though I can never justify or defend my decision to embark on an affair, I firmly believe that it began as a direct result of the neglect I felt in my marriage.
Prior to the start of the affair, I tried to talk to my husband about the issues I saw in our marriage, and I tried to get him to come to counselling, but he could not see that there was a problem…..until he found out that I was in love with someone else. I tried to stop the affair, but it was like being on a slide and not being able to climb back up. My husband tried very hard to up his game after he found out about my affair but by then is was too late.
I would advise everyone in a relationship where there are children to heed your advice. In my experience it is vital to place your partner first and bring up your children together within that relationship because by putting his children before me my husband’s intentions have actually had the opposite effect and he now does not live with us (although has very regular contact).
The only good thing to come from this is that I am now much closer to my kids, but it shouldn’t have taken a divorce and much heartbreak to achieve that end.
Thanks for showing that men are just as capable of having ‘daddy goggles’ and for sharing your experiences. It’s really tough getting the balance right.