Q & A: He says he's attracted to another woman

 

Question: What should I do?

Background Information:  

My husband and I are really struggling with an issue right now where he finds himself attracted to a female coworker (much younger than he is -13 years),  to the point where if we were not together and she were not in her own relationship, he would pursue a relationship with her.  He has told me he is not going to leave our marriage, and that he is committed to us, but he is not willing to give his friendship with her up for our marriage.  He just admitted this whole thing to me on Friday, so the wounds are still pretty fresh. 

I really want to trust him and believe in the fact that heís telling me nothing more is going to happen with this person, because they both know where the other stands with neither one of them wanting to leave their current relationships. And when asked how she makes him feel, he said she makes him feel young again.  Sheís outgoing (whereas he thinks I'm not), and sheís happy (he thinks I'm negative all the time), and she smiles (he thinks I donít smile enough), and they share common interests, and on and on.  I really think he is going through a mid life crisis of some kind, and all of this is coming to a head.  While I appreciate his honesty, this is not something that I ever would have thought would come out of his mouth.  The security I felt in our marriage and in the trust I had for him has been shattered, and I am scared to death that if he maintains contact with her, even briefly through work, he is not going to be able to turn the focus of those feelings towards her back to our marriage.

His entire attitude has changed and honestly, I donít recognize him anymore.  He isnít the man I married.

I really need some help in dealing with all of this and I'm not quite sure where to turn.

Answer:

Disclaimer: The comments and suggestions that follow are: a) limited by the fact that they are only based upon the information you provided, and might be very different if additional relevant information were available to us for consideration.

We are so sorry to hear you are having this difficulty. Our comments are as follow:

1. Your husband did absolutely the right thing by telling you about the situation.

2. It is your job AS A COUPLE to work to get your relationship out of harm's way.

3. Get duplicate copies of the Emotional Needs Questionnaire (ENQ) and the Love Busters Questionnaire (LBQ). They are available for free from MarriageBuilders.com 

4. You should both complete both of these questionnaires to find out which of your relationship needs are not currently being met in your relationship. [Note: It is likely that both of you will have needs that are not currently being met.]

5. Once you have identified each other's unmet needs, determine what is necessary to meet them, and begin doing what it takes to meet each other's needs..

5. Keep in mind, when your  husband's needs are being met within your relationship, his attraction for this other person will decline.

6. The relationship with this coworker needs to end. Sometimes it's necessary to change jobs, or move to a different town.

7. If you find that you are unable to make clear forward progress using the ideas listed above, or the progress you are making suddenly grinds to a halt, enlist the help of a professional marriage counsellor. There are many excellent counsellors listed in the Yellow Pages of the telephone book under: Psychologists, Social Workers, Counsellors, Psychiatrists, Marriage and Family Therapists, etc.

  We wish you all the best.

  Regards,

 

The information contained on this page is for the personal use of stepfamily members visiting this web site. All other use, reproduction, distribution or storage of this work, in whole or in part, by any and all means, without the express written permission of the author, is strictly prohibited.

 

Stepfamily Foundation of Alberta