Is She Cheating?

Is She Cheating?

Q: Is it possible that my wife is cheating on me with a girlfriend, or am I loosing my mind?  It feels so crazy of me to even be thinking this, but she is spending so much time with her friend and they act very strangely together.  They have been talking on the phone or texting all of the time, even when we are spending time together, or late at night.  We have a two year old daughter and my wife is a stay at home mother.  She met Cindy at a play group and they have been inseparable every since.  I work long hours and am often unable to get ahold of her during the day- even though we used to talk and text often throughout the day.  We have always had a good relationship, although after having our baby and with my job requiring more hours, we have struggled a bit to communicate and sometimes I think we are both feeling like the relationship is getting a little stale.  Please tell me if I am being overly paranoid.  I feel like an outsider when I’m around them, and I feel like I’ve been around the block enough to know when two people are digging on each other.

She: It always seems that questions relating to relationships come down to connectedness and communication. Everyone has heard that sex, kids, and money are the things that couples fight about most often.  I would add that a vast majority of the clients that come to me for couple’s therapy do so because they would like help communicating, and to take it one step further, if they knew how to communicate they would feel more connected and know how to work through issues like sex, money, and kids.  You are not only massively short on communication skills but seem to have lost all connectedness in your relationship.  My advice to you? Tell your wife that you love her and that you miss being close to her.  Explain to her that you are confused and feel threatened by her relationship with Cindy.  Ask her what she needs from you in order to rebuild your relationship.  Go on a date, AT LEAST once a week.  Do some loving act at least once a day (sending a loving text, making her coffee in the morning, offering to watch your daughter while she gets a pedicure).  My guess if that she is having less of a physical, romantic affair with Cindy but an emotional-friend-affair which allows her to get the love and support that she is missing from you.  It’s easy for you to get caught up in the fear that something treacherous is happening under your nose, more difficult to reflect on your own behavior, and make the changes needed to assure that you are your wife’s primary relationship.

He: I think that insecurity about the relationship is somewhat natural as passion decreases and as the routine of child raising sets in.  What was once a relationship of hot passion and pillow talk, turns into cleaning up vomit and diaper talk.  This decrease in passion would likely occur over the span of the relationship anyway, but having a child really accelerates the process. Those people who have been in a long, loving relationship know that they have to make effort to instill romance and passion into what is an otherwise strong relationship.  I’m not saying that you have to install adjacent, Viagra commercial-style His and Her’s bathtubs overlooking the ocean, (that is just the imagery that advertising agencies use to placate the housewives that have to deal with their husbands five hour erections) but be more mindful that you have to start bringing your A-game.  I agree with Jen- a simple, weekly, childless night out, doing what you used to do together before the pregnancy will go a long way.

Dr. Jen Semmes and Andy Wilson have been (mostly) happily married for nine years (currently happily).  They are the owners of Coastal Counseling therapy center in Carlsbad, California.  Jen holds a license in clinical social work and a doctorate in psychology, and is a therapist at Coastal Counseling. Andy just tries to hold it together.

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