Ever think, “wow, those two are so in love, they must have the perfect marriage!” Not to burst the bubble, but sometimes what you see in public is not really what is happening privately inside the home.
I tell you this not to think negatively of all couples you see that seem to be enjoying themselves in public but to share that marriages are not amazing all the time.
A lot of people can put on a “happy face” in public, which may even make you jealous of that so-called perfect relationship. But just remember life is not always as it seems.
So, what is happening in some marriages behind closed doors?
‘My husband hires men for sex.’
Ken and Darcy, both in their 60s and professionals, have been married for more than 30 years.
They also have adult children. Darcy knows her husband has contacted men of all ages through craigslist for mutual oral sex.
She knew they were having intimacy problems and even thought maybe he was having an affair… with a female. Now Darcy finds out they are not having sex because he is paying men to give and receive oral sex. “The weirdest part of this is that I am not comparing myself to another woman, but to a man. How can I compete with that?”
At first thought, women might think to run from the relationship. “We have so much invested in this relationship, I love him, he is a good man. I want to be with him in the future,” Darcy states.
Darcy and Ken have found ways to reconnect and be that couple that they once were, but it has taken a long time. At last check, Ken does not seek out other men anymore. He denies he has feelings for men.
‘We’ve had a sexless marriage for nearly 10 years.’
Gail and Karl, both in their late 50s share the same bed, they also have their own sides and they stay on them. Outside of the bedroom in public or even at home with their adult children, the two have smiled at each other and maybe a hug or two, but nothing more.
Up until recently, she thought that was just the way the relationship would be until she found out he was having sex with someone else for years.
Karl told her “it was wrong to be with that woman and I want to be with you.” Gail was understandably upset, devastated, confused and felt she could not trust him again. But she did want to save the marriage.
Through intensive marriage counseling, the couple says they have not been this happy in years. They are all in on this “new” relationship.
‘I’m a secret alcoholic.’
Adam, in his earlier 30s and a local Manager drinks way more behind closed doors than people would ever know from his public persona.
His wife has been begging him to put the alcohol down and spend more time with her and their young children. She doesn’t know how to live with an alcoholic spouse.
He tells me his drinking leads to being loud and saying things he later regrets.
Adam hides his drinking when out in public. At last check, he was able to manage his alcohol use at home, which lessens those regretful words.
Couples tell me about their household rule: Once you cross that doorway outside, everything is okay and we are okay. Don’t ever let the public see what’s really happening inside our home.
Can you relate to any of the above situations?
Part of living the new American dream for many means projecting a certain image. That is particularly true and seems very important for some marriages.
So after sharing examples of how your relationship might be different than other couples behind closed doors, here are some things that you might do just like other couples in private:
• Pick each other’s zits
• Use just one toothbrush for both of you
• Peeing with the bathroom door open
• Groom each other
• Regularly shower together
Just because you see a couple always smiling, enjoying themselves and having fun with each other in private, just remember it might not be the case in private. Be helpful and if you see they might need to talk with a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, please consider contacting me.