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Hi Andnotmyself,

It's good for you to have thought that through and decided you want the marriage to work. Well, sort of anyway.

You say you've only been with your husband since age 18. Any before that? As a male the reason I ask is that males feel like they have mised out if they only ever have one partner. The rest of the male world tells him to go for it and he feels a failure simply because he has been faithful and kept to his vows.

When I married I wasn't religious and still am not. But I did believe in the ceremony and the commitments we gave to each other. She didn't, in a number of ways. Like she said to me early on if you get fat or lose your hair than I'll leave. That doesn't fill you with confidence at all and is the opposite of what the vows were about.

When I became very depressed she was gone, took the kids and everything I had. I was interstate at the time and found myself with nowhere to live and no family. No car and no memories as she took custody of all that too. I went into hospital of course as what else was there?

Believe me, a marriage breakup is not easy for either partner and will hurt badly. For both regardless of who breaks it off. So trying to make it work is the best solution if that's what you want.

I had a few partners before marriage but nowhere near what she had. I had to feel I was in love to go with someone and that's what I did. After the marriage I was the same. I had to feel in love before I committed, lived with two different partners before finding my current one. As it happens my current partner was actually the first person I made it with and yes, I felt in love with her, We've been together 19 years now and have two daughters.

There's a song by Stephen Stills called "Love the one you're with". And I think that's me all over. I don't pine for someone else.

It was sheer coincidence I met her again. She broke up that first time as she said my hair was too long. So I had no choice. I left that town and moved on. 22 years later I met her again through work in a city and found she had a daughter, the same age as our first meeting. And, yes, she was and is my daughter, our daughter.

So my eldest and youngest are both ours. I have two from the failed marriage in between. My current partner decided she'd never tell anyone but then fate intervened and we met again.

I guess what I'm saying is casual sex or relationship through physical attraction is a waste of space. Yet most men pursue that. I don't get it and I'm male. But I have also had a number of partners pre and post marriage.

Maybe that's what you are feeling, that you've missed something. Sex with any partner over a long period does become boring and mundane and as you age it can become irrelevant as it now has to me. Depression and meds made that decision for me but I'm not unhappy about it. As a young guy my brain in my head had no control at all of my life if you know what I mean. It was a bit of a horror show being driven so hard.

I don't believe it's an intentional thing for young men but mature men? Different story. They should know better than to play around, flirt and risk losing their wives.

You say he's wild and crazy? And you're shy. So how did you get together? What made you pick each other?

To get back to depression. If your husband said you need to get over it then, sure, of course you do. Ask him how please? Is he the first human being to have solved the riddle of how to recover from depression? No, he's not, he's just ignorant and his attitude is normal as he doesn't feel or see it.

I must add a query though. In saying he's always wild and crazy it suggests to me bipolar with no control. The attraction to and by other women is very typical of bipolar men and the words you use, wild and crazy, say it all in layman's terms.

I'm not saying he is, wild guess and please don't raise it with him. If he gets angry then that too is a part of it, especially if it's anger at you about something he does himself.

Would he go with you to see a shrink as your "support" and let the shrink check him out without telling him?

Back to you. You liked him, this other guy, because he paid you attention. That's really all there is to it I'd suggest, you need attention. From your husband.

Don't take anything I've written as gospel, it's from my own experience and lots or research and talking with people. That was my job actually, sort of counselling most of the time so you learn a lot just listening.

My advice? Take him along to a shrink session and get that feedback, privately. The doc can just ask him to wait outside for a bit when he's made an observation.

Next? Determine if you or both of you want it to work and if so how you will do that. It's actually easy if you are both on the same track but impossible if one of you is trying to "retrain" the other. That doesn't happen. I'm sure you understand.

He's been with you 22 years so he must want to be with you, regardless. Not many stick around during depression you know so count his good points too.


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