All Woman

Unhappy wife caught up with new man

LOVE, SEX, & RELATIONSHIPS

With Wayne Powell MA Counselling Psychology Relationship Counsellor

Monday, March 17, 2014    

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Dear Counsellor,

I have been married for eight years now, but my husband and I have been together for 14. We have two children ages 12 and six. After we got married I left my friends and family to move to his parish and went through a serious case of depression because I wasn't working and lived in a remote place. We didn't even have neighbours. Two years after our second child, I had an ectopic pregnancy and that added to my depression. We then ended up having to live in separate parishes because he lost his job. I felt happy to be away from him and found myself becoming attached to someone I met while I worked temporarily. It became a problem to my husband, but it didn't matter to me. Then last summer I met another guy. We became close and started texting each other every day, all day. He has a girlfriend and knows about my family. It has reached the point where we're now having a relationship. I have become very fond of him and I think I might be in love with him. I do love my husband but I feel stifled in our marriage. We never go anywhere except church, we don't have fun together.

The trouble I'm having is that I've had sex with this other man and I felt guilty at first, but now it's like I always want to have sex with him. He's like the husband I never had -- fun-loving, understanding. It scares me that I'm no longer in love with my husband. Please help me.

The "leave and cleave" notion can be taken to the extreme by some couples where husband and/or wife isolate themselves from friends and family members much to the demise of the relationship. In your case, however, it was a case of your husband's job commitment that led to you being distanced from family and friends.

Even though you want to ensure that family and friends don't rob your partner of quality time, particularly in the honeymoon stage of the relationship, it is important that contact be maintained with family members and friends as normal social interaction is essential and in the event of a communication breakdown between yourself and your spouse, friends and family members are a good support system to help you through the process.

In your case you needed such support. It would appear that the relationship began deteriorating after the ectopic pregnancy and communication was no doubt reduced when you both lived in different parishes. It is instructive that you reported that you felt happy when you were away from him. This indicated that his very presence brought no feeling of contentment. When the absence of a partner has little or no effect on one or both partners, this is a clear indication that the passion is extinguished and the commitment is fading.

So it is not surprising that you became attached to a co-worker during this period of need for emotional support. It was only a pity that your husband was missing in action and was unavailable or unwilling to provide you with the love and attention you needed.

The mistake people make in relationships, particularly in marriages, is trying to fix the other person or mould them into the person you want them to be. This is an exercise in futility and only serves to frustrate the targeted partner. Your partner comes to the relationship with his/her own personality traits, values, family background, psychological baggage etc, and you have to be prepared to accept the person in a holistic way.

In your search for emotional support you have struck up an intimate relationship with someone who is already in a relationship. Such is the risk that befalls someone who is love searching -- there is a great likelihood that you may fall for someone who might be available but not eligible. So now you not only threaten the survival of your own relationship but your friend's relationship will also be negatively impacted. Is that what you really want or do you really care? Although he may well be the husband you never had and says and does the right things, the fact is, he is not your husband and the sooner you accept that reality the better for you. If you continue down this infidelity track you are going to get hurt. You are very vulnerable at this time and the moments of pleasure are transient and will pass.

The suggestion then is to seek help to work on your marriage. You are unhappy and confused as reflected in your conflicting statements regarding your love for your husband. Marital counselling is highly recommended where both of you can get help to restore the intimacy, communication and commitment that are missing in the relationship.

Wayne Powell is a relationship counsellor. Write to crisscounselloronline@ gmail.com.

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