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Emily’s Post

Give your husband a long leash

/ 06:45 AM July 12, 2015

DEAR EMILY,

Early in our marriage, my husband got a job abroad and I came along to set up a home for him in the Middle East. He’s a very handsome guy and I’m very much in love with him. I never worried or had reason to be jealous of him in that place. The country we lived in was very strict about the separation of men and women.

Now that we are back home, I am being tortured in my marriage because I’ve become very insecure. I was the one who fell in love with him and he convinced himself that I’m not such a bad catch after all. I don’t have the looks, but I studied abroad for college and come from a well-off family.

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My problems started when we returned home after his contract. He was being approached by women in his office and, elsewhere, given slips of paper with their phone numbers. This gave him a slight culture shock initially, but he adjusted to this environment immediately.

Though he doesn’t hide anything from me, I’ve started feeling anxious and fear that some day I will lose him to one of the women. A few years ago, he confessed to me that he has never been in love—not even with me. He said he loves me but not in the way a man passionately falls for a woman.

Seeing how that hurt me, he consoled me by saying that even if he falls in love with another woman, he can never leave me and the kids. He said he has complete control of his emotions.

Can he really keep himself away from the woman he might go crazy for—without leaving me?

He told me to love him less so that I won’t easily get hurt, jealous and suspicious all the time. He also told me to love him the same degree he loves me so I won’t expect too much from him. But it’s all or nothing for me.

I love my husband and I don’t want my marriage to end this way. But my heart is hurting so badly. Can both of us attain peace of mind if we completely cut off our ties and be free of each other?

HURT

Looks like your handsome husband is just so involved with himself that he couldn’t care if you’re hurting or not! Men sometimes say the cruelest things to those they should be kind to.

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But why are you thinking of divorce already? Hasn’t he been truthful to you? Why are you so insecure? Are you terribly ugly that the thought of these women hovering around your husband is driving you nuts? You shouldn’t!

You sound very educated. You are just so wound up and so stressed by your imaginings. Picture yourself holding a fistful of sand and squeezing it hard. The harder you squeeze, the faster the sand disappears through your fingers. Then, scoop another fistful of sand and let your hand remain open. See how the sand just stays on your palm?

Moral of the story is that the more you smother your husband with jealousy, the sooner you will lose him. Can you see him cringing at the very thought of going home to an angry, blindingly jealous and suspicious wife whose mind is going awry with visions of doom?

Unless a third party is actually involved, give your husband a long leash. Let him flirt till he grows feathers. Don’t fence him in! A caged animal will rattle and rage to break free.

If you love him and want to keep him, start being his friend, even if it kills you. It seems like hard work, but the benefits will be long-term. You’re the wife he goes home to while the others are just pesky flies trying to catch his attention.

However, if this play-acting translates to more unhappiness for you, got a better plan? Think more of YOU and less of him. See how YOU can make YOU a better person.

Don’t you already have the goods in you? Put your talent to good use. Your husband might take notice of this and make him look at you in a more favorable light.

Having a suspicious mind is your worst enemy. Remember, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

E-mail the columnist at emarcelo@inquirer.com.ph or emarcelo629@gmail.com

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TAGS: Affair, long-distance relationship, Marriage, OFW, Overseas Filipino Worker
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