My wife is having an affair with this guy she works with. I don’t believe they are having sex, because she is very conservative and real religious. We have two kids and she comes from a family with many divorces. Cathy has always been keen about keeping it together and being proper. My wife loves me, but emotionally this other guy seems to give her the kind of emotional support she doesn’t get from me. Should I talk to him? I don’t want a duel or any confrontation with either of them. I just don’t want to lose my wife.
–A.L., Providence, RI
Examine your life. All longstanding relationships are riddled with disappointments and rarely survive without daily compromises.
Have your interests wandered elsewhere? Do you watch pornography? Are you addicted to the internet in other ways? Even a virtual affair can give you a sense of distance.
When one spouse is happier than the other, the bigger the difference in the happiness of the respective spouses, the greater the chance of a mutual uncoupling that could lead to a divorce.
Try talking to your wife, but beware of a double edged sword. By bringing up your wife’s emotional affair, you will appear insecure and even petty — if theirs is just a friendship.
Cathy’s coworker has poached some of Cathy’s emotional space and it is up to her to take it back. Find out what your wife’s needs are to figure out why she’s been finding emotional support elsewhere.
As an etiquette consultant, I can only suggest that you seek counseling with a relationship expert, who will help you sort through the issues and emotions that are ruffling your marriage.
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Accepting A Compliment