Ok. I am going to be abundantly generous to your DH at your request. The thing about marriage and monogamy is, it takes lots of hard work. You know this! Somewhere out there, you are a high-ranking Bee who helps other bees manage all kinds of crises. It is always most heartbreaking to see a relationship falling apart when one of the partners is so dedicated and thoughtful, and the other is just an emotional whirlwind of self-centeredness. You might be asking yourself at this point “did I marry a 3 year-old?”
But no. You love him, and you know he is a good person with a good heart when he has his head on straight. So what is going on here? Let me give you my humble opinion: he is immature. He might be the most socially and professionally mature person on the planet, but when it comes to relationships, he is not at all. See, EVERYONE (ok, or most people) have that “OMG I’m never going to be with anyone else ever again” moment.” Even people who have only been with their one and only have that feeling. They remember what it was like to flirt, date, or at least DREAM without feeling guilty. So it’s totally normal to have a moment or two where you feel like marriage is TAKING AWAY more than it is giving you. What’s not so normal is being blatantly, candidly honest about these feelings with your Fiance or spouse.
What is most concerning about your DH is not that he is having these thoughts and feelings, but that he is in a full-blown panic about them, to the point where he feels the need to throw these thigns in your face and destroy your marriage. I think, unfortunately, he has allowed these feelings to fester and now he feels “trapped.” This is all in his head. Anyone who has ever left someone they loved and “finally” scored with a new person knows it is not that awesome at all. I can tell you that. First hand. Your DH has never done this before. You know how people say it’s best to learn lessons the hard way? It is! but omg I’m not suggesting you should let your DH run out on you, I’m just explaining his immaturity in your relationship probably stems from his lack of “hard lessons.” You have shielded him from the harsh realities of dating, and now he sees the whole affair with rose-colored glasses. Like he could just pick up with a random woman at a restaurant without fear of her being a crazy stalker, or having a scary SO/DH/dad, or just being a really promiscuous person–which we all know is a risky life. He hasn’t had to face any of those things, and because of that, he doesn’t have that contrast to help shake himself out of this funk. At this point I want to reiterite that it is not, nor would it ever be, my advice to EVER let someone run out on you. I am only saying these things by way of explanation, to help you better understand where DH is coming from, and to help you decide if this marriage is worth fighting for.
I realize that everything I just said is just about the most unromantic description of marriage anyone could ever give. Marriage is a partnership and both parties need to be invested, but it’s not smooth sailing all the way through. Every so often you might find that you are the only one rowing the boat, it’s going in circles, and your “partner” is over there on the other side of the boat watching netflix on an ipad in his underwear. This is just a fact. Sometimes you have to row alone, and if you stay with someone long enough, you will find yourself on both sides of my description above. That doesn’t mean you should NEVER GIVE UP on a failing relationship. You have to ask yourself, is this boat just going in circles, or are we sinking?
So back to you and your DH. This is an emotionally taxing situation you are in. Please ask yourself how much more you have left to give before YOU are in danger of depression or unmanageable emotional stress. Be honest with yourself. Even if you are certain you want to fight for your DH, you won’t succeed if you are emotionally unwell. You can go to therapy right now, even couples’ therapists will see you without your DH. they might even have suggestions for you on how to convince him to go. Also consider group therapy. I love group therapy. The Bee is great, but there is something amazing about looking a group of people in the eye that I really like. Emotional health is number 1. Check in with yourself often.
Now on to DH. Do you really want to be with him after he said these things to you? Sure, part of this is due to his immaturity with how to deal with relationships, but there are PLENTY of men out there in this exact situation who would never say these things. You have to consider the fact that even if you convince him to stay, these feelings of his will continue to resurface periodically, and he will continueto manage them poorly. You don’t deserve to be regularly subjected to something like this. It is possible if you let him go he will come crawling back. It is also possible that if you let him go he will be gone for good. Consider dumping him. Think of a child having a tantrum. Sometimes the best thing is to just leave them alone, as reasoning with them is not possible.
Whatever you do, do NOT do anything like a “trial separation” or a “free pass” or anything where you give him the message that if he acts inappropriately, he will get exactly what he wants. Think again of a child having a tantrum. I know it is hard to let go in a situation like this, but do not give him the impression he can run off, sow his wild oats, and then walk right back to his old life with no consequences. Make sure he is clear that if he does this, it is over. You don’t have to go overboard and say “I will never take you back ever again” (unles this is true, then go ahead and say it), but be firm that the relationship is over. If he does leave, have an affair, and want you back, it will be on him to grovel and beg. It will not be automatic. I will always counsel against getting back with someone in this situation, but I will never judge anyone who does. Only you know your love.