I recently discovered my wife was having an affair with a co-worker. She swears they did not have sex, but the day I discovered this, she was with him the entire afternoon and they had planned on meeting at a local hotel. It has been 3-months since I confronted her and she swears there has been no contact with him since that time. We have been attending marital counseling, but everytime she leaves the house, I am worried she could be secretly meeting with him again. When I initially confronted her, she lied numerous times, telling me he was just a friend, then later admitted he loved her, she loved him, they had even kissed right in front of our home on occasions when he had given her a ride home from work. She changed her story regarding him so many times, I don’t know what to believe and I don’t trust her at all. Our sex life has always been great and she says the relationship sort of just happened. I am in great physical shape and very attractive. I have never given my wife a reason to be jealous and spend lots of time catering to her. I make 3-times as much money as she does and shower her with many gifts; we travel, spend romantic evenings together…what ever she asks for. Now after 16 years of marriage, she tells me she feels inadequate and has always felt I would just up and leave her one day even though she admits I have not given her a reason to feel this way. She has recently been screened for depression and has shared with me her constant unexplained bouts of crying. I am very angry with her as I never thought I would put up with something like this…How can I stay with her when there is no trust. At this point, the main reason I have not left is because of our 12 year old son. I want him to continue having both parents under the same roof…I want to work it out, but I can’t get past what she did…
A: It sounds like some good things are beginning to come out of your marital therapy. Your wife is sharing long standing problems with you, maybe for the first time. Apparently, she has felt insecure in your relationship for years and you have been oblivious to her fears. It’s sad that the only way she felt she could tell you (and perhaps herself) that your marriage is in serious trouble was to create a situation where she would be “caught”. It took a crisis to get you two into therapy where you could begin to really communicate. Focussing only on what she did will keep you stuck. Please work with your therapist to develop more understanding between the two of you, to help your wife with her depression, and to help you be more sensitive to her emotional needs. Sixteen years of history and a 12 year old son are more than enough reason to do the hard work required to get to a new and better place in your relationship.
I wish you well.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 31 Mar 2007
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2007). My wife had an emotional affair.. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 7, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/03/31/my-wife-had-an-emotional-affair/