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First time to post here on the forum for me.
I am a 43 years old married for nearly 20 years with 3 teenage children. My partner has been displaying insecurities within our relationship for a few years now and I am at a loss as what to do. For example today I purchased a new outfit to wear out to a work dinner to which he is not attending. He asked me why I am getting "dressed up" and who was I trying to impress. He also wants to know why I am buying new clothes when I am not going out with him. I have been off work for a few weeks after surgery and the only reasons I bought new clothes was because I wanted to feel nice when I went out. No other reason. There are other examples of his insecurities and it is becoming very frustrating to deal with.
Not sure if this will be helpful, but your post resonated with me as I have similar issues as your partner, and have been married a similar length of time.
I have always had self esteem problems, particularly in how I look, but this seems to have intensified in the last few years.
Since day one, sex has not featured a great deal in our marriage, and seems to affect me and not my wife. In fact, my wife would probably say there's nothing wrong. I think my wife loves me, but only on a comfort level, and I don't think she's sexually attracted to me.
Over the last few years, I've searched stuff on the internet in order to try to improve this situation, and have probably taken in information that has done me no good at all. I find myself comparing how I look to other better looking men (which is most men) and have developed a mistrust in other men's intentions towards my wife. Any slight looks in her direction or conversations I interpret as a worse case scenario.
I've always known that my wife is out of my league, and many people have kindly told me this, and I have no doubt that if our marriage ended tomorrow, she'd have no trouble finding another partner. Something else that adds to my low self esteem and insecurities.
I'm not pretending I have the answers to overcome this (I wish I did) , or that I'm making excuses for your partner, but I guess I'm hoping that it might give you an insight into his way of thinking, especially if he has similar thoughts or beliefs as I do.
Any questions, please ask.
Your partner is displaying his insecurity because he is imagining something that isn't necessarily going to happen but it's causing problems that are going to create other disagreements within your marriage and is not something that can go away by wishful thinking.
Occasional jealousy can keep a relationship/marriage alive because if you take everything for granted there won't be any excitement and that's what is needed, especially after being married for a long time.
Your husband's distrust begins with doubt, and it might be that thought in the back of his mind that he can’t seem to dismiss, and it would have slowly been building up a couple of days before you went out.
This leads to suspicion, fear and anxiety and can then continue in all aspects of your marriage, like not telling you something that should be discussed between the two of you.
If you decide to go on this cruise then can I suggest you speak to a marriage counsellor, this will make up your mind whether you go or whether you don't.
I would really like to hear back from you.