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On asking my husband what he would like to do for his 50th – his response was, “I don’t know how long I have, I want to have fun.” His description of fun was sex—swinging, traveling to Thailand and South America.
Being married for 20+ years, I do want to make him happy. But it leaves me wondering if I’m good enough? (I don’t have any desire to explore other sexual partners). He is a great husband—so how can I make him happy without feeling bad myself?
The straightforward answer is, it’s not your job to make him happy. He has to make himself happy. Or figure out a way to be satisfied with what’s right in front of him.
What’s going on is that he’s now focusing on what he does NOT have rather than what he does. He’s looking back on his life and thinking about everything he has NOT done. (A mid-life crisis of sorts.) Not only that, he’s decided to share it with you as if you were somehow a conspirator in him not getting what he wants, or wanted, out of life.
He’s done you a disservice and your marriage a disservice. Maybe he’s just feeling desperate and unmoored, and you’re the one he feels closest to, so he’s dumped his feelings on you, hoping you might have the solution he desperately seeks.
There’s nothing wrong with needing change, new experiences, fun things to look forward to. But those things are not going to change his life and make him happier. They might provide temporary relief, a quick adrenaline boost, but those feelings will be temporary, and then he’ll go back to craving other things. The thing is Jane, none of us get to have everything. You make choices based on what’s in front of you. You don’t get to revise those choices years later.
He needs to get to the root of what’s going on. In this, you can help him with. Encourage him to talk to someone OTHER than you about what’s going on. (A professional might be best.) He needs to figure this out, not you.
Final point. We know this is very upsetting, and hard to stomach, but do NOT take this on. Sure, it’s okay to want to give him things and make him happy, but ultimately, we’re all in charge of our own happiness.
Let us know your thoughts, or if you have follow-up questions. (Leave in comments below.)