I have been married for 30 yrs to a hard working good man. However, there is a major problem in our relationship. He openly and lustfully flirts in front of me, which makes me not trust him. So how do I approach his behavior? “Deeply Hurt"
Dear "Deeply Hurt,"
First, let me start by saying that I understand how the type of behavior your husband exhibits can hurt you so deeply. The behavior you describe is very disrespectful to you as a woman and as a wife. If you have communicated to him how you feel and how it negatively affects you, there is nothing more you can do on his end. However, there is something you can do on your end. You see, we teach people how to treat us through our words, attitudes, and behaviors. If this behavior is so painful and hurtful to you, realizing that you do have a choice to accept it or not is the first step. I am not saying you must leave the marriage but I am suggesting that you set your boundaries with your husband. For instance, share with your husband that this behavior is unacceptable and if he chooses to do this in front of you that you will be taking care of yourself emotionally by leaving the room, the restaurant, or the party, etc. The important thing to remember here is once you set your boundaries you must follow through with them or the boundaries will not work. As with any boundary we set, when it is crossed, it is up to us to honor ourselves. By following through you are teaching your husband that this type of behavior is not tolerated. If he continues after you do this for a while, then I would ask you to really dig down deep inside and decide if this is someone you choose to stay with.