A new year. Each of us has the opportunity to make it different than the last. And guess what? It will be. But here’s the question: Do you want 2017 to be better or worse? I agree, better would be good. Then it begs this question: In what respect? Financially? Then, seek out Dave Ramsey and/or Chris Brown. Career-wise? You might need to get a degree or an upgrade. Spiritually? Decide you will pray more, read the Bible more, attend church regularly, do personal Bible studies, and get to know the Lord on a more intimate level. Relationships? You need a Family-Life FIX-IT Pro. Well, what do you know. You’ve landed on just the right place!
I’m here to help. Submit your question to firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact me right here on the website, and I’ll get you a solution for life that you can live with and love by! Here’s the first question for the year. Yours could be next!
Q: My husband is secretly having an emotional affair. I’m uncertain how to approach it, as things seem perfectly normal at home. I might have never known had he not been late for work one morning and he left his phone at home in his mad rush out the door. The woman involved is a neighbor who is married and also has children. How do I begin to unfold the circumstances surrounding this without disrupting our relationship and hurting others in the process?
A: Cats jump out of bags at the first opportunity, and looks like your husband’s just took its leap!
First things first: Don’t kid yourself for a second; things are not normal at home if he is emotionally depleted. While nothing is a hard-and-fast rule, folks don’t typically go looking for emotional consolation when needs are being met on the home front. Apparently, this is an area that needs some fine-tuning, if not a complete overhaul.
As painful as it might be, I would encourage you to study the texting/emails between the two to get a glimpse of what topics of conversation seem to strike his fancy. Then, evaluate with 20/20 vision the conversations you and your husband share. Do they center around the kids? Are they work-related? Do you talk about the news, local events, and/or politics? Those are all well and good, but is there more?
Let me answer that. Yes, there is more. What about him – his interests, his projects, his achievements, his goals, his dreams? Does he entertain those questions about you? These are stepping stones into a man’s heart. Showing interest in his accomplishments and desires strokes the self-worth that defines his character – the one that strives to please you and make his family proud.
Oh, and let’s not forget his sexual need. It has been my experience that when there is emotional deprivation, the crank-it-up-in-the-bedroom is lacking, as well. Even when we gals feel they should be satisfied, you don’t find many men pushing it away for fear of gluttony.
It has also been my experience that most emotional affairs left without intervention lead to physical connection, regardless of how well-kept one might be sexually by his/her spouse. It’s a time bomb. With that said, what’s keeping you from blowing the whistle? This is your marriage, your family legacy, and your children’s well-being. Get out your stilettos and dig in your heels, Girlfriend!
I’m not suggesting that you go in with cannons. Instead, sit him down and have a heart-to-heart true-confession time. Approach it from “What do I need to do to get this to stop?” Throw in a “How can you and I begin to share on an emotional intimate level like this? Have we stopped being friends and just become parents and/or roommates? Let’s don’t do this to our children; they deserve better, and so do we.” Inquire about counseling; it might be a good idea for the two of you to get some maintenance through workshops, weekend getaways, and regular date nights. Figure out a plan to get back on track as a couple. I can help you develop this as we exchange more detailed emails regarding your situation.
You will be guarded, and untrusting, of him for a while. That is normal; don’t beat yourself up over it. Were I in your shoes, I would be cautious for a while and have an ever-observant eye out for unusual activity. Should you continue to suspicion and/or find future evidence that this emotional attachment is still going on, definitely insist on counseling for the two of you, and/or seek it yourself. At some point, the neighbor’s cat will jump out of its bag, as well, which brings on a different and much more intense kind of battle.
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