I’ve been meaning to ask if men are really flirtatious.
My husband of 4 years has always kept in touch with his ex-girlfriends / flings and asks the what could have been's. I know because I saw this on his chat box on Facebook. I'm not sure what he means by asking those questions, and whenever the ex-girlfriend brings up the topic about his wife (me), he just shrugs it off and even arranges a meet-up with the girl. I caught him do this 2 years ago, with another ex. That really pissed me off and our marriage nearly ended. It's just so confusing and I’m close to believing that he's still not totally over his bachelor days. What should I do?
A: “'Tis my opinion every man cheats in his own way, and he is only honest who is not discovered.” – Susannah Centlivre (English Playwright, 1669-1723)
Dear Confused Wife,
While the above quote is a very cynical view of men in general, cheating spouses are an unfortunate reality, and the rise in social media nowadays makes it easier to contact exes and members of the opposite sex.
It’s not that unusual for men to stay in touch with women from their past, and for all you know it might only be a friendly gesture. But when your husband’s conversations with his exes start to veer towards the direction of “what could have been”, and he ends up eventually meeting up with them, then you might have a problem.
Try sitting down with him and having a serious talk - let him know how hurtful his actions are and that you feel that it is leading to the destruction of your marriage. Tell him that because he is now married, he needs to focus on the future of your family and not on the past with his ex-girlfriends. Remind him why he married you, and not these women. Surely they are his exes for a reason, right? As a compromise, ask him to abstain from logging on to Facebook for a while, or at least to cut down on his hours online so that you can spend more time together, away from the computer and all the temptations that come with it. You can also book a romantic vacation for just the two of you, so that you’ll have a chance to reconnect and rekindle the spark of your marriage.
If you feel that you might need professional help, consider marriage counseling. Ateneo de Manila University offers counseling for couples and families, through the Center for Family Ministries Foundation (CEFAM).
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If, however, you feel that your relationship is irreparable, you can also pursue a legal case. Think back to when you were still boyfriend/girlfriend—did he show signs of fear of commitment? Did he keep in touch with his exes back then? Why did you get married? Was it his idea or yours? Answer these questions truthfully, and you might find that your husband might not be psychologically capacitated to be married at all.
Psychological incapacity to comply with the essential marital obligations of marriage contemplates “downright incapacity or inability to take cognizance of and to assume the basic marital obligations; not a mere refusal, neglect or difficulty, much less, ill will, on the part of the errant spouse.” This means that from the very beginning of your marriage, your husband was unable to render the mutual love, respect, and fidelity that is necessary in marriage, and he is unfit to be a husband. If this is indeed the case and you are fed up with his behavior and believe that you can no longer live with it, you might consider filing a petition for annulment under Article 36 of the Family Code. If you decide to pursue this, you will need a psychologist to evaluate your husband and your relationship to determine whether or not you are eligible for an annulment.
Good luck, and I hope that whatever you decide, things will work out for you in the end.