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Tell Me About It: Confessing to spouse about outside attraction

While I'm away, readers give the advice.

On confessing (or not) an attraction outside the marriage:

Early in my marriage, I was attracted to someone not my husband. I grappled with whether to fess up to him, and ultimately came to the conclusion that it was vital to our marriage that I could unload my burden on my best friend, to help uncork the guilt and distress that I was keeping inside (and that was affecting my marriage). I knew that if I didn't share this "armchair affair," then the attraction would likely become that much more powerful, since secrets and fantasies are inherently powerful.

So I told my best friend, my husband, and he handled it beautifully. He neither took it too personally nor panicked, but proved a worthy sounding board. He took it as a good sign that I wanted to unload, and by the end of our discussion, I was already feeling lighter, more free, and, um, more than a bit sheepish. It was humiliating to admit my deepest darkest feelings, and his steadfast understanding was exactly what I needed to see the fantasy for what it was — a cry for more intimacy in our own marriage.

Incidentally, it helped that we had made a pact before we got married that we would seek out marriage counseling if either of us ever felt the need. In retrospect, that was so wise. It's as if our honeymoon-stage selves made a plan to carry our future "post-honeymoon" selves through the thickets of marriage.

The whole incident ultimately fortified our marital trust, rather than destroyed it.

15 Years Married and Counting

Tell Me About It: Confessing to spouse about outside attraction 03/02/14 [Last modified: Friday, February 28, 2014 7:33pm]
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