Q: My wife and I have been together for 20 years. We've always had a very close and loving relationship. A few years ago I became unemployed, and ended up taking a second-shift job that keeps us apart during the week. After talking it over, I recently turned down a chance to go back to days in order to take a promotion and more money.
My wife has been lonely, and she's started to develop a life without me. Last week, I sensed something was different. After some discussion over glasses of wine, she told me she was "infatuated" with a guy from the gym. They've become friends. She later said it was just a crush and I should not be concerned.
I don't think she'd cheat on me, but I can't shake the feeling that our once-close relationship has been compromised. She assures me that I'm making too much out of it. Am I making too much out of this?
A: You "can't shake the feeling that our once-close relationship has been compromised" because it has been. You and your wife spend less time together, do fewer things together, and lean on each other less for emotional nourishment now.
It hurts, but I think dwelling on the upsetting nature of this will be counterproductive. All your energy — and your wife's — needs to be directed at finding a way for your marriage to adapt to your new circumstances. How you do that is up to you, but you have options: Take the day job; make purposeful use of the hours you share; adjust your sleep schedules. This all hinges on your wife's cooperation. You'll know whether you're making too much of this based in part on how much she makes of it.