Relationship issue

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. I am proceeding with a divorce from my husband of 14 years. The last 2 years of our marriage was more like a friendship in that there was very little intimacy and very little social time spent together. In fact, we even slept in different rooms. I recently began dating my business partner, whom I have known for 14 years and have worked with on daily basis for over 4 years. He is also proceeding with a divorce from his wife, whom he has been married to for 21 years. He is the one seeking the divorce, stating that he has not had an intimate relationship with her in a year. We have been dating each other exclusively for over 2 months. Our relationship is based on honesty and trust, as we have been in business partners and friends for many years. Our sex life is amazing, which I believe is due in part to such a strong friendship, again based on trust. One evening, after a few too many drinks we were making love, when in the throws of passion he called out his wife’s name. He is not able to provide a reason for why it happened. He continues to try to assure me that he is no longer in love with her. Yet, I am finding that hard to believe, given such an incident. I am baffled by this behavior. Could you shed some light on this for me?

A. You mentioned that the two of you were drinking (and presumably drunk, or close to it) when this occurrence happened. It is likely that because he was intoxicated he was not thinking clearly or fully aware of what he was saying. Also, he had been with his wife for at least 21 years, and maybe more (dating before marriage). He has known her for over a quarter of a century. That’s a very long time. It was likely an accident and he may not even remember calling out her name. I am sure that at no time did he mistake you for his wife. If you had a dog for twenty years named spot and then he died and you got a new dog named Duke, I’d be willingly to bet that at times (while perfectly coherent and sober) would inadvertently and through habit call Duke, “Spot.”

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Nov 2006

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2006). Relationship issue. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2006/11/27/relationship-issue/