July 27, 2018 at 2:23 pm EDT | by Michael Radkowsky
ADVICE: I have a twink on the side but husband’s using crystal meth
Crystal meth, gay news, Washington Blade

A couple is at an impasse despite many years together.

Michael —

 

My husband Tom is threatening to leave me for cheating.

 

We have an open relationship and I was under the impression that you cannot cheat in an open relationship. Especially as I have always told him when I hook up with someone, as we agreed to do. However, he says it’s a different story if I’m in love with someone else.

 

That’s a big exaggeration. Usually my hookups are just physical. Recently, though, there is this guy I’ve been spending a lot of time with and I do have a crush on him. But I certainly wouldn’t leave my marriage for him. He’s adorable but he’s 22 and I’m 47.

 

I think Tom is bent out of shape because he’s 58 and worried I’m not feeling it for him lately. Well he’s right, I’m not. But that’s not because of his age. It’s because he is strung out on crystal meth half the time and that’s really starting to bug me.

 

I could point fingers about who is really ignoring our relationship, but why bother? Tom knows I don’t like his getting high but refuses to cut back or stop.

 

Anyhow, Tom keeps insisting I love this twink even though I tell him he’s being an idiot. I don’t want to lose my marriage, even with Tom’s crystal meth use. We’ve been together for years, share a love of traveling the world and have made a beautiful home.

 

But Tom is really being an irrational jerk about this. How do I get him to see that his concerns are all in his head?

Michael replies:

If you want to improve your marriage, the question you ask is far too small.

Why are the two of you married? To share a love of travel and a beautiful home? Because you have a long history together?

These aren’t enough to make a strong marriage. You also need a commitment to be loving, honest and willing to collaborate on navigating the ups and downs of life. But from all that you write, it doesn’t sound like either of you is putting any effort into your marriage. 

So the question is: What sort of shape do you expect your marriage to be in, when you’ve put yourself in the position of having a romantic attachment for another guy you’re having sex with and your husband is checked out on crystal meth half the time?

Marriages aren’t self-sustaining and they aren’t indestructible. They do not thrive under any and all circumstances, no matter what you dump on them.

If you want a husband who is interested in being with you, you have to start being a husband worth staying with. While I am writing this to you, it also applies to Tom, of course. But you only have power over your own behavior.

This means, first of all, developing some standards for yourself. What does it mean to you to be a loving husband, respectful to your spouse and devoted to your marriage? I’m hoping you will have some ideas that will raise your behavior up a few notches from where you describe yourself currently.

The other crucial step to becoming a better husband: consistently keeping an eye on your behavior and confronting yourself to do better when you let yourself down. That’s how you keep yourself on the straight and narrow, so to speak. 

Can you trust yourself to start doing this and keep doing this? Making excuses for yourself or justifying your bad behavior because Tom behaves badly, will surely keep the two of you swimming in the same cesspool you’re now in.

The giant wild card here is Tom’s drug use. Obviously, anyone regularly using mind-altering drugs isn’t thinking too clearly and certainly isn’t inclined to take himself on about how he’s contributing to his own misery.

So even if you change your behavior, your marriage may stay pretty awful if Tom continues using crystal meth. Evidently you want to stay with Tom whether he keeps using or not. I’m hopeful you’ll have a greater possibility of influencing Tom to take a look at his own behavior if you are doing your best as a husband in this marriage. 

But there are no guarantees. Your best shot, once you’ve started to clean up your own act, might be to suggest he check out a Narcotics Anonymous meeting as a first step toward reconsidering his drug use. 

If my reply is to be of any use to you, I must be blunt: You and Tom each have hard work ahead if you are to have a decent marriage.

 

Michael Radkowsky, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist who works with gay couples and individuals in D.C. He can be found online at michaelradkowsky.com. All identifying information has been changed for reasons of confidentiality. Have a question? Send it to Michael@michaelradkowsky.com.

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