I’ve been married 3 months we have been together for 5 years but have been friends since 1996. I love him-he’s hot, caring and good in bed. He wants a family and we are about to buy our first home. He isn’t very affectionate and we never sext or talk dirty. There are times I feel bored and invisible. A few months before getting married I had a bad day at work and received an email from a male colleague asking if I was ok and this led to us lunching together and progressed to us seeing each other outside of work too much and me feeling very confused a month before the wedding. I talked to my partner and I told him we’d flirted and that I was enjoying the affection I felt was lacking with us. He was mature and said he would try harder and temporarily this worked. I got married with a clear conscious and didn’t think about the other guy at all, we had a lovely day and he was very attentive but now its back to old ways and I’ve got close to the work guy again. We have kissed twice since I’ve got married and I’ve told my husband. The guy initiated both kisses and I pulled away. I told him he had not sustained the affection he had promised me and this is why I have sought it elsewhere. I have told the guy it can never happen again and that my future is with my husband and I feel guilty but on a bad day we still flirt. I am worried he is not what he seems and there are lots of messages between us that I hope he has deleted. I have told my partner we have flirted but not the content as I don’t want to hurt him. I don’t fancy this guy, I don’t want to do any of the things we are discussing in the texts either but it continues to happen. I worry my partner will one day learn of the messages-I got him to delete one lot but then it started again.I want to be a good wife but don’t know how to right this. I’ve survived rape and abusive relationships & it’s like I crave attention and drama like I’m on self destruct. I hate myself and my behaviour. Please help. (From Wales)

A: I admire the courage it takes to face this issue head-on and to write us here. I don’t believe you are on self-destruct — but I do thing what you are doing is self defeating. I believe your relationship is at a crisis point and writing your email is a very proactive way of dealing with it.

I would highly recommend couple counseling. The flirting is a symptom, not a cause. What I mean by this is that you are not looking toward the other person as a potential marriage partner, but rather the flirting is the result of a weak relationship with your husband. The only work that makes sense is to determine if your marriage has enough power to last.

Find a couple counselor and talk about what you need from your husband. Hopefully this will give you both something to work together on. But if the marriage doesn’t have the staying power you’d hoped for — at least you can move on knowing you’ve ended it directly and with integrity.

Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral