@RobotsNeedLove Yes. As I was reading this letter, I kept wondering why I had such a happy and varied sex life when I was single, yet I had a lot of the same thoughts that the letter writer had. And the answer lies in a couple of things that RobotsNeedLove noticed: The letter-writer's bitterness about the past, and his need to protect women from himself.
I'm reminded of John Lennon's lyrics in Getting Better All the Time: "I used to be cruel to my woman / I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved. / Man, I was mean, but I'm changing my scene / And I'm doing the best that I can."
I wonder if that's the letter-writer's story, too. Maybe he is overcompensating.
I didn't want to be That Guy, either. Hell, I even hesitated to approach women in nightclubs because I didn't want to pester them while they were having a fun girls' night out! Jeez...
I hope the letter-writer takes Polly's suggestion to heart: Identify what (or actually, who) you want, and say it straightforwardly and without shame or embarrassment. Women find that incredibly hot (if they're attracted to you).
LW, the guy is cheating on you. He is projecting his guilt onto you.
If he's out of town playing baseball, he's almost surely messing around. That's what baseball players do. The girls he sleeps with are called "road beef."
I think the husband can and will be helpful. Not reaching out to the husband -- not insisting that he listen carefully -- is like being on a sinking boat and refusing to use the life raft. "Oh, I don't want to bother the life raft." "Oh, the life raft probably won't work, anyway." Use the life raft; talk with the husband.
And heed Polly's words about telling the husband that tears are a sign of success. We husbands are programmed to regard our wives' tears as a problem to be solved. We need to be told when the tears are not the problem, but part of the solution.
Would it be too dramatic to say "Anyone who talks shit about Alice Munro is dead to me?"
That doesn't sound too dramatic. It's sensible.
I expected to be amused and instead I was moved. What a pleasant surprise.