Can a marriage be sustainable when a spouse has Knight in Shining Armor complex?
This is the latest installment of our ‘You Decide’ series where you will provide your opinion on an affair scenario. In this particular scenario, Sarah tells the story of a friend who is dealing with her husband’s affair and his Knight in Shining Armor complex.
By Sarah P.
A friend mine had a question for me recently. Last year, a woman who was significantly younger than her husband, was her husband‘s direct report at work.
My friend would often find them flirting and she was very uncomfortable with this.
He explained that the young woman simply needed his mentorship. He explained that since she was younger and like a daughter, he was only playing the role of a mentor.
My friend still felt discomfort; her intuition was on high alert.
Several months later, my friend found out that her husband was knee-deep in an emotional affair with this young woman.
Her instinct was to leave the marriage, but her husband wanted to repair the marriage. They had been married for several years , they had children, and they were looking forward to a future with grandchildren.
He was able to get the young woman transferred to another department and vowed never to speak to her again, never to email her, and never to text her. He agreed to no contact.
My friend decided to give it a shot and they saw a therapist. Her husband promised to the therapist that he would never talk to this young woman again, for any reason, even if she reached out within a work context.
The husband pleaded to save the marriage and appeared to be more loving to my friend.
Later, my my friend found out that he was back in contact with this young woman via Microsoft Teams. This is the way people at work are now cheating because conversations can be both private and deleted.
My friend was absolutely devastated when she found her husband’s computer open and new messages that the young woman and her husband were exchanging. She saw messages where the young woman pleaded that she needed him in her life.
Her husband had broken his promise to my friend. My friend was absolutely shattered. She didn’t know what she wanted to do with her marriage at this point, or if she could even trust her husband again.
She told him all of this.
Her husband lashed out at her emotionally, got angry because she was “spying” on him, he gaslit her, he said it was only about work, and she needed to back off.
This setback flooded her with pain and brought her back to the very question of whether or not she wanted to stay in her marriage.
It appeared her husband was very good at living a double life. He was very good at telling her that he loved her and he was very good at reassuring his wife.
But, at the same time he was also extremely flirtatious with this younger coworker and other women at work. Her husband seemed to have what I refer to as Knight in Shining Armor complex. Unfortunately, with Knight in Shining Armor complex, a husband will be a charming Knight to every woman except for his wife.
A long time ago I wrote a blog post that touched on this. And I asked a rhetorical question to these men, “If you want to save someone, why can’t you save your wife? If you want to serve someone, why can’t you serve your wife? For your wife has needs. If you were giving the best of yourself away to every woman except your wife, how do you expect to have a happy marriage?”
If he had only put that charm into his marriage, it could have been a lifesaver; it would have enlivened their marriage.
She did not understand why he would constantly show his best self to other women, and show the worst of himself to her.
I believe her husband suffers from Knight in Shining Armor complex. But, can this type of marriage be sustainable if a husband or wife is always looking for flirtation and ego strokes from other women or men?
Readers, what would you do if you were in her situation? You decide!