husband's interest in co-worker
Q: I got married pretty young, and have spent the past decade putting great effort into keeping my marriage fresh and growing. Our kids have reached an age of some independence, which helps, so I'm able to focus more on my husband.
However, my husband has told me he has been developing feelings for an attractive, single co-worker. He has not acted on his feelings and doesn't plan to.
I appreciate his honesty and don't want to punish him for it. But what exactly am I supposed to do? We already have fairly regular date nights and a good sex life. Some trusted friends have suggested that all he's looking for is a new challenge, so what I should do is withdraw a little bit to give him back the feeling of pursuing me. I'm afraid that might be equal to standing by while my marriage dies. What do you suggest?
A: These friends are partly on to something, but in a disastrous package. The advantages you have are intimacy, transparency and trust — which are exactly what you torch by "withdrawing."
There are two common conditions that abet marital infidelity: growing distant from or sick to death of each other. If you've found an attentive but non-smothering place to be in your marriage, then stay put.
The useful kernel your friends offered is the focus on a "new challenge." Everyone needs those — but they don't have to be emotional or sexual.
His telling the truth is huge. Huge. It says you're true partners, that he trusts you, and that he takes your trust in him seriously.