Distant husband pushes wife to emotional affair

Distant husband pushes wife to emotional affair

QUESTION:

your avatar   "Stuck," 30-year-old woman

I have been married almost 7 years. My husband is a nice guy, but we haven't had much of a physical relationship. He was into meditation and believed any sexual activity will affect it. We did not consummate our marriage until 3 years after the wedding, and even then it was limited. Physical contact was restricted. I couldn't even hold his hand or get a hug.

It took 6 years to break me. I couldn't take it anymore. I didn't know who to talk to about it. I started talking to my husband's cousin and found out he was having marital issues as well. The more we talked, the more we realized that we have a lot in common and are attracted to each other. We live far away from each other, but have met a few times since we started talking. We have been having an affair for a few months. He has not lived with his wife for more than a year and is getting a divorce now.

My husband has realized the effect his behavior has had on me and is trying to change for the better. What should I do? Should I give him another chance or leave for good?

ANSWER:

    Bob Rich, Ph.D.

My dear, this is indeed a difficult situation. Whatever you do, someone will feel hurt. So you need to look after your own interest. No one else can make up your mind for you.

If you break up with your new man, he will eventually get over it. If you leave your husband, he will eventually get over it. How they react to the situation is not in your control, but in theirs. All you can do is the best you can do.

Here is a process for making a difficult decision:

  • Set out all the good things in favor of continuing the marriage and stopping the affair. This can include anything and everything, including practical/financial considerations.
  • Then set out all the cons of this choice, including the question of whether your husband's change is likely to last.
  • Next, do a pro and con list for the choice of ending the marriage and becoming an open couple with the other man. The con list should include the question of how their wider family will react to the situation.

Take your time making up these four lists. Think about them. When they are as good and complete as you can make them, get in tune with your intuition. Here is one trick for that: Toss a coin. "Heads is husband, tails is cousin." (Substitute the names of course.) When the coin lands, pay attention to your immediate emotional reaction, which could be anything from "Thank heavens" to "Rats! Oh no!"

Go with the emotional reaction (which is now based on your rational study of the situation by making up the four lists) rather than with the fall of the coin.

Good luck,

Bob

This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.For more information visit: http://anxietyanddepression-help.com

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