My husband attended a party the other night with some friends that are much younger than he is. – I have never met these people.. They next morning I had to use his cell phone because our home phone’s battery died, and found a picture of 2 girls making out.. I was furious.. He did not understand why i was so upset.. Did i overreact? was this really no big deal????
You’re entitled to feel however you do. You don’t need my permission, or anyone else’s to validate your feelings. The assumption is your husband took these photos, right? Well, what are the expectations in your marriage? What are the general rules and boundaries? Remember, everything and every relationship is negotiable.
1) Tell you husband you need to talk with him about his and ask him when a good time would be – let him name the time. Never is not an option.
2) Calmly tell you husband why you find these photos upsetting. Use the “I feel ________, when you _____________, and what I need from you is ___________________” strategy to help him avoid becoming defensive, then you both emotionally escalate which results in a dead end. Stay calm.
3) Emphasize that marriage is a team and this type of behavior does not positively contribute to the success of your team. Re-evaluate, together, what expectations you both have in this relationship. This sounds obvious, but we get stuck in a rut and forget to renegotiate the rules and name the ‘deal breakers.’
4) If your spouse continues to engage in behaviors that are incongruent with your mutually agreed upon standards – get a good Therapist.
Lastly, even if he is unwilling to attend couples counseling, go by yourself to get the support and validation you need. Your husband’s behavior may be a one-time no-big-deal event, or it could be the first red flag that your marriage has some issues. If you begin counseling, your spouse will know you’re serious, and many times the resistant partner will eventually begin to participate. Either way, a skilled therapist can help give your relationship a tune-up and get back on track.
Thanks for sharing your story. Good luck!