My wife continues to connect with men online but says she does it to bring back passion into our relationship. My wife and I are high school sweethearts and have been together for 30 years (married for 20). Sex has never been very important to her and we are intimate a dozen or less times a year. We deeply care for each other and I have suppressed my own sexual needs to accommodate her lower desire. We have two children and over the last several years have lost a bit of our connection. I have found my wife connecting with other men on social websites and engaging in flirtatious messaging that turns into sexual chatting and even phone conversations six times over the last couple of years. I have confronted her each time I have found out and she says it is innocent and would never turn physical and that she only wants to bring passion back into our relationship. These relationships are emotional affairs in my opinion and hurt very deeply and make it hard for me to trust and connect with my wife. I have also not witnessed her bringing any passion back to me.
We have tried working with two different MFT’s and both times my wife clams up and feels attacked and gets defensive. I have worked on myself with a therapist for a couple of years and I am trying to improve my communications. When I take responsibility for my part of our problems, she very easily shifts the focus on me for everything.
I just recently discovered that she is connecting with another man online again and I am at the end of my rope. I am tired of being lied to and deceived. Her false promises to truly work on our relationship are harder to believe, but I still lover her and I want to work things out for us and our kids sake. I am just not sure she can or will focus on our relationship. She tells me she loves me, but that something is missing for her and she can’t put her finger on it.
I have suggested going to sex therapist together to work on our intimate relationship and connection, but I am afraid it will be a waste of time again. I desperately want to see my wife be a proactive partner in repairing our relationship, but I am not sure she can or will.
I am not sure how to go forward, any suggestions?
Thank you for your email. The emotional affairs your wife is engaged in involves systematic betrayal. Although you’ve tried to address the problem correctly, she continues to undermine the relationship and has failed to take adequate responsibility. It is important not to minimize this ongoing betrayal. Clearly, she is not giving your relationship the priority it deserves. It is probably time to move on from a marriage and family therapist — to a divorce mediator.
Wishing you patience and peace,