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Relationship Health Message Board

Relationship Health Board Index

I hate to tell you, but... you ARE to blame for these calls from your ex. It is not up to your husband to put a stop to it -- it was not HIS relationship. It is up to YOU.

That being said, your husband should NOT be treating you poorly about it, talking down to you and fighting repeatedly.

ESPECIALLY when the solution was incredibly simple.

So, OK... you say you are going to install Call Block and be done with it. That's great -- the smartest thing you can do. Let hubby know that YOU are tired of it, too -- even though he already knows this, tell him AGAIN, just to boost his ego. Then IMPLEMENT that plan of action POSTHASTE. If you keep waiting and do NOT call to install this feature on your phone -- hubby is going to wonder WHY and WHAT'S the problem and think "she must WANT to hear from this guy."

Fine, then. THAT part of it is over. Good.

Incidentally, in the future... the phone goes OFF the hook when you are making love, even when this dude is no longer calling. Or at least the ringer gets turned off and the volume on the machine shut down. I was recently "disturbed" in this way by a friend calling at 2 AM when I was... um... busy. Not cool. But it was MY fault for leaving the machine on!

The other parts of this... well, clearly... hubby is having ego issues. Normal for a man who is suddenly realizing his age.

You need to keep doing what you are doing -- sounds like you are trying to give him what you know he needs, stroke his ego, build his confidence, etc. Keep that up.

But more than just TELL him how you feel -- put more effort into SHOWING him. I am NOT saying you aren't doing that now -- I'm saying it is important for you to know that sometimes men kind of tune out too many WORDS. How many classic jokes on TV shows have you seen with a woman talking to a man and the man is thinking something else entirely? That's because it is true. So if you focus on DOING things that are fun, having good sex, showing him in little ways that you care -- he'll notice more easily and it will sink in a bit better.

It is going to take him time to get out of his funk, so be patient.

His constant complaining about work is NOT acceptable. Yeah, sure... saying he knows already that he can get another job is certainly true, but... it all depends on the guy. Some people get a huge boost when they start a new job and get rid of a bad one -- other people are AFRAID to lose security, even if they HAVE enough money to get by and CAN get another job -- it is like taking that step off a diving board -- the first time can be scary.

So you make a deal with him -- RIGHT AWAY. You tell him that he is allowed THIRTY MINUTES to whine about his job when he gets home. He CANNOT do this while you two eat dinner. Any other time is OK, but you two must both agree on it.

IF you nag at him about his complaining, he's going to subconsciously know that you are LISTENING and he'll keep it up because he is getting a RESPONSE.

When he tells you specific details about work problems, you can either A) offer suggestions to him on how to FIX these problems (which will let him know that you are interested in a SOLUTION and not just complaining) or B) ask him what YOU can do to help HIM fix the problems at work. "B" is a better choice, I think. You are letting him know you DO care, but you are also letting him know that you have no desire to hear nothing but complaints if he isn't willing to work toward a solution.

The suggestion for mutual dieting or exercise is a great one, with regard to his weight concerns.

Another great way to get a man to forget (at least a bit) about his appearance as he ages is with HOT SEX. When you're making love, TELL him what you find attractive or let him know you think he's handsome. If you already do that, do it MORE. Believe me... this WORKS on guys. Just be HONEST and say REAL things that you think and feel. Men pick up on fake stuff fast -- we just don't tell you that we know you are making stuff up just to please us!

See if you can do a few things together that you did when you first met. Go to a place you both enjoyed back then. Repeat a fun date you had, but don't try to "recreate" it completely -- just sort of do it over and see how things are different now that you've been together five years. This is often a good way to start a positive reflection about the GOOD qualities of CHANGE.

I do not think you are doing anything "wrong" right now, so don't misunderstand. I DO believe killing the calls from your ex is YOUR responsibility alone. You have to PROVE to hubby that your focus is on HIM -- and I don't think that is much to ask. Not only is he going through a life-change and is afraid of getting older, but having to hear this drunken dude calling at all hours to talk to HIS wife... that's a HUGE ego killer. (Ego is a GOOD thing in this case, defined as the psychological definition of the word, not the casual definition as used in pop culture to suggest vanity.)

Honestly... even the meekest and mild-tempered man would go off the deep end with these calls coming in on a daily basis. I have to tell you -- if I had a partner and that was going on... I'd literally leave until it was handled.

I'll tell you something else, too -- even though hubby DOES have OTHER issues at play here -- THIS one, with your ex, is "the big one." It's HUGE for him, far more than you might realize. It HAS to stop, OK?

Best of luck to you.

Go have fun dating your hubby all over again -- and enjoy all that good sex you'll be having (with the answering machine turned off)!

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