open empty cardboard box“I’ve been involved with an EUM man now for 15 years. I was only 23 when we met. We’ve had 4 children together. The last 3 yrs were very difficult. Deaths in the family, problems with a son. He started blaming not being intimate with me on everything from work, to the kids, feeling sick, his dying mother. Just before the holidays I knew in my heart he’s cheating again. I kept quiet to make it through the holidays with our family.

Right after his birthday I put my foot down saying I can’t give anymore and live without love. He said I just needed to get out of the house more. Well I did go out and have a drink and when I got back I got a hold of his phone and found the proof of text messages and phone calls from 6 other women. I was speaking to one when he walked in on me. Well needless to say it was a big blow out. He offered me anything. Said he’d give me anything I wanted and I nearly threw up when I had to the courage to say…”You can never give me what I deserve. I’ve been a faithful woman, good mother, hard worker and I deserve real love.”

He blamed cheating this time on his education. He’s much older than I am at 53. I saw him for the first time in my life as a true coward. It’s been over for two weeks. In that time he’s talked to me every day. He’s begged me not to take the kids and move, offering to pay the bills and take care of me and the kids for the long haul. Even if I don’t see him he will still pay the bills. I can even go out to have sex with anyone I want and he’ll baby sit the kids. Just as long as I don’t leave because I am the only real friend and family he has left.

Well I did let him baby sit and I went out, and I let him know I had a couple of dates. ( I didn’t sleep with any of the men but I didn’t give him any details.) He even took me shopping for new clothes. Something he never did before. At first I thought I could play this game. He was right that staying in the home would mean that the children would be secure and on the honor roll in an upper class environment. Because of the children I can’t just leave. We are so tied together in so many ways I am not sure how to even leave. All I have learned for sure is how we got here. I never knew what an EUM was. In these two weeks I’ve learned about this from this blog and started looking for books. Yes knowledge helps but it doesn’t stop the pain.

Your “rules” of no contact and just walk away don’t apply to me.

So please tell me…Do these men ever heal?

How do you walk away from a EUM after 15 yrs and 4 children? Should I continue to bide my time and just date other men? I kicked him out, changed the door locks, but everything is still in his name. Even my car.

I am resigned that he won’t want to change at age 53 but the children are only 5 -11 yrs old.Would it be wrong to stay in the home and the only thing that changes is the “we”? We didn’t have any real sex in the last 3 yrs. He either couldn’t hold an erection or just couldn’t orgasm and I am entering my prime. He’s willing to just slip money under the door until I go back into the workforce in 2 yrs. per our agreement when the last child was born.

What I am wondering is…this seems like a win-win, but is it really when I think I am finally ready to find a man to love me. Yes, really love me. Or do I become the emotionally unavailable woman because of this set up?”

NML says: Wow. This is one hell of a situation. There are three things at play here. 1) What you want or think you want? 2) His flip flappiness, and 3) Your children.

You have four children together and whatever happens from here, you have to consider that there will be impacts both positive and negative no matter which option you choose. Leave him and they are going to go through a period of being insecure. You will both have to work very hard to reassure your children that they are loved by you both and that you’re both committed to their happiness. It wouldn’t be easy. But in the medium and certainly in the long term, you would be happy and your children won’t grow up in what must surely be an uncomfortable environment, what with his cheating and the rather odd arrangement and marriage you both have going.

But stay and they get to do the honor roll and upper class thing and they get the semblance of togetherness. They get their parents as a ‘unit’. But what will YOU do, and what will HE do?

No Contact doesn’t apply here. You have four children and short of running off (don’t do that), you have to find a way to find a situation that works for both of you (and them). If having an open marriage where he allows you to date and shag other people whilst he gets to be emotionally unavailable, not give you sex, and shag other people is what works for you, then that’s your prerogative . Is it something I’d recommend you do? Hell no, but you would be surprised at what people will do when they don’t want to go through the breakup of a marriage.

If what you want is to be in a relationship where you can be emotionally available and loved, you are wasting your time here. You are flogging the deadest of dead horses and your needs are not going to be met.

Is he going to change? It’s very unlikely. Why break the habit of a lifetime?

If he is going to change it’s because he wants to and he recognises that he wants to be better than what he is and that he would rather sort his sh*t out and be emotionally unavailable, than be disconnected and lose you (and the kids). Right now, he’d rather not sort his sh*t out, stay disconnected, and keep you in the relationship. This is not the actions of a man who wants to change. He wants to stay the same and keep the status quo of the relationship and the only way he thinks he can do this is by telling you to go shag other people.

I’ll be frank. If I had a husband who couldn’t find his way to sexing me but could find his way to sexing other people and texting six women, you can be damn sure that there would be hell to pay and I wouldn’t be sticking around. I certainly wouldn’t let him pimp me out the door to other men either!

You have to ask yourself why you have been willing to put up with this? You have been together for fifteen years and I recognise that you have kids, but this is not just about the kids. This relationship for whatever reason has worked for you and remember that emotionally unavailable men draw in emotionally unavailable women. You don’t have to become emotionally unavailable to deal with him; you ARE already emotionally unavailable.

You say you want to be loved but your actions (and his) are in conflict with this desire.

So what do you do? You need to sit down with your husband and get real and get honest. You need to ascertain how much he wants to save your marriage and whether you want what he’s trying to save. I suggest that if you want to think about giving your marriage a try that you both seek counselling and get to the bottom of what it is that has him so disconnected. Unless you do this, you will both go round and round in circles. If he is unwilling to go to counselling and actively seek to change his behaviour of his own accord, your relationship is doomed.

If you choose to stay with him, irrespective of his behaviour, then you have to accept that he won’t change and that you are actively responsible for your choice.

You need to decide if an open marriage is a win win for you. But remember: this is how emotionally unavailable men get us. They manage down our expectations and you’ve gone from being a woman who hates being cheated on, wants to be loved, wants a proper marriage with sex in it, to a woman who has to go out with other men so that she lets her husband off his marital obligations…


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