It was recently discovered that my wife has had a 2 year physical affair with another woman (her best friend). We have 4 children and have been married for 16 years. During this 2 year period, my wife and I have had no intimacy. My wife wants to stay in the marraige, but what is the likelihood that she can go from a same sex relationship to an opposite sex relationship just because she was caught? Also, she wants to remain friends with this other woman (if I allow it), is it likely that she will revert to the physical relationship with the other woman again?
A: I’m sure this is a very difficult time as you struggle to sort things out. But I think you are asking the wrong questions. Your wife has had an affair and the two of you haven’t been intimate for two years. The gender of the lover doesn’t matter. What matters is that you and your wife have let yourselves get so far apart. Neither one of you has been dealing with the sad state of your marriage. Your wife broke her vows and had an affair. You let two years go by without confronting the problem.
With 4 children to think about, it’s important to at least see if you can repair things. Get yourselves to an experienced couples counselor and do the hard work you need to do. You and your wife once loved each other enough to marry and bring 4 babies into the world. There may be enough of a core commitment left to pull back from this mess. As for whether your wife should stay friends with her lover, ask yourself this: What would you do if the friend was male? My guess is that you wouldn’t think twice about asking her to choose.
I wish you well.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 20 Jul 2008
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2008). Wife had affair with her best friend. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 5, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/07/20/wife-had-affair-with-her-best-friend/