Sneaking Around on Her Husband
Q: Over the past year, my husband and I have been arguing a lot and not having much fun anymore. We went on a work-sponsored cruise which we thought would help the marriage. But I fell in love with a co-worker of his. After my husband and his co-worker's wife went to their perspective cabins, he and I were up all night talking. We can't believe how much we have in common and what we feel we're missing in our present lives. I/we don't know how to handle this. We're sneaking around behind everyone's backs, and can't wait to plan the next time we're together. Sometimes I hope that we get caught, it would solve itself, but I'm afraid to take any action to end the marriage. — Barb, 45
Dr. Susan: "We can't believe how much we have in common." Forgive me if I expel a very huge sigh here. Everyone who's having an affair (emotional or the full Monty) says this. It's a weird trick your minds are playing on you to convince you it's time to move on from the mate to whom you're committed. After all, it's much easier to start anew. simmering with that temporary and illusory lust than to do the hard work of figuring out what's going on in your marriage.
Wishing you'd get caught so that you wouldn't have to make a decision: that's so cowardly, so unfair to your mates. What are the odds that your husband and your affair partner's wife are suddenly bad matches, and the two of you happened to find each other right now? Don't you see that part of this (or most of it) is about the excitement of hiding out?
Useless advice at this point, perhaps, but you're making a mistake to leave your husband this way. I know women who've experienced what you're going through, and though they sometimes have a twinge of romantic regret, they're so glad they decided to talk their discontentments over with their mates. Years later, they're so much happier than when they were behaving badly.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.