The other woman

Dear Guys,

I am 34 year old man married for 9 years. (The relationship has been rocky to say the least.)I have been told by my wife at times that she does not love me. We have a child together. Often she likes to go out after work with her co-worker single female friend.
I have recently been talking with a female co-worker who is younger than me and have been out for some drinks. Sometimes the subject turns towards sex. This is confusing.

Is she interested in me?

If I act on this my so called marriage will be over.


Dear Jim,

Thanks for writing. We can see how this would be confusing.

Let’s address your marriage first. Both you and your wife sound unclear how you feel about one another, and your marriage. So we’d like to know a few things. Do you still love your wife? If the two of you could work things out is that something you would ultimately want?

Many couples stay together because of the children. However, if a relationship is loveless, and/or full of stress and strife, this can have a negative impact on a child’s emotional and psychological well being. Many “experts” are now saying a healthy divorce-one where both parents are still working as a team to make things as smooth as possible for the kids-is actually a better situation than an unhealthy marriage. Could this be a reason you’re still together?

Jim, it would best to figure some of these things out first before you bring another person into the equation. The new person will only complicate matters, and confuse you more. She already has.

So let’s talk about this other person. It’s clear you’re attracted to her and are interested in her beyond just being friends. That in itself should tell you something about your marriage. The fact that you are open to having these types of feelings for another women is pretty telling. Sure, guys fantasize about women other than their partner. That’s pretty normal. (And yes, women have fantasies too.) But you’re well beyond a fantasy. You’ve gone out with this other woman, talked about sex, and are seriously considering taking it to the next level. That should give you some answers about how committed you are to your marriage.

However, be forewarned. This other woman is not the solution. Jumping to a new situation without resolving the existing one, only blurs things more. Are you leaving because you’re unhappy, or are you leaving because you want this other person? That’s a big distinction. There’s also no guarantee that you’ll stay with this woman, or that she feels about you, the same way you feel about her. You might have a month of fun, or even a year, or who knows, but you’ll still have your marriage to deal with at some point.

There’s nothing wrong with how you’re feeling. You’re human, and it’s nice to feel wanted and loved. It doesn’t sound like you’re getting much of that from your marriage. And having this other woman in the picture, might be giving you the strength to take a hard look at your marriage. Is that what you’re hoping for? Are you really into this new woman, or are you just hoping she’ll  jump start the inevitable end of your marriage? We just think you need to ponder these questions because they’ll shed some light on your ultimate decision, whether you stay or go.

Good luck and keep us posted. Feel free to ask us more questions.


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6 Comments on The other woman

  1. Jim,

    Someone’s paying you attention. You aren’t getting any from your wife. Have you paid any attention to her?

    Someone is listening to you talk, you’re forming an emotional bond that you don’t have with your wife. Have you honestly talked with her lately? Does she dare talk to you or do you push her away for the sake of not arguing/being too tired/the kid’s in the room?

    Yes, your wife goes out and spends time away from you. WITH A FEMALE FRIEND. You have time away from your marriage and you’re spending it with a woman. How would you feel if, while you’re at home with your child your wife is out talking to a man…someone who wants to have sex with her right now while she’s still married to you?

    Your wife said she no longer loves you. Have you been someone she CAN love?

    The Guys are right. You need to get yourself AWAY from other women, turn some attention to yourself and get your act together, no matter what the outcome is. Whatever problems you walk away from without dealing with, you WILL have to deal with eventually…with your current wife and with whomever comes next because you haven’t figured out what the problems are so you will have no idea how to prevent the same problems from happening in the future…no matter who you’re with.

    I’m sure you wouldn’t want your wife running around with men behind your back….give her some respect. You’re married to her. In some circles, my friend, that still means something.

  2. Hi Jim,
    You sound VERY confused. I applaud you for reaching out & asking for some kind of help. As the GUYS state, you have two distinct issues that are blending together. You and your wife need to sit down & have a grown-up conversation. How you both feel & what the next step is for your marriage.
    Put your fantasies of this other woman on hold until then.
    You might also ask yourself the question if you’d be happier living alone without your wife, without this other woman & without your child. Weigh your options. Figure out your marriage, and then take it from there. Good luck.

  3. When your wife says she doesn’t love you… more than once… I think it’s pretty much over. That’s a bell that can’t be unrung. I don’t see a point in being in a marriage with someone that doesn’ t love you.

  4. Every day we have choices.

    One is choosing to be present in your relationship.

    Recently I heard some advice to a man in a similar situation… “Tell your wife you love her everyday.”
    The man said “But I don’t know if I still do.”… However out of respect for this male mentor, he did.

    Within a month, his life turned around. Due to his daily decision to choose to love his wife. He genuinely felt love for his wife again. His wife began feeling loved again. They both chose to love each other in words and actions daily.

    If you have a history and a child together, perhaps this simple strategy could be worth a try.

    In the meantime the other woman – keep her out of the picture. If your marriage is truly over in the future, then you will be free to pursue her.

    If you choose to do this now… play the movie out…

    the other woman won’t trust you as she knows you don’t value commitment
    you won’t trust her for the same reason

  5. Jim, it seriously sounds like you both are trying to find an escape from the reality of your marriage and family. You both need to work on finding out why she feels that spending time with her single female friend is more important than being with you and your child. Have you been giving her the attention she needs? Thoughtfulness really matters to a woman, especially to a working mother. Not saying you’ve been neglecting her, but I don’t think you would’ve fallen for each other and started a family if she was a totally irresponsible woman to begin with. So maybe you’ve got to look at yourself before you start looking at another woman. That will only make things worse.

    If your wife was outgoing before marriage and it stopped after you started a family, it’s possible you need to do more things outside the home. It’s pretty hard to go out when you got a young child, but there are also plenty of activities to do where you can bring a child. If not, find a friend to babysit every once in awhile. Do something together before it’s too late.

  6. You are heading down a dreadful path, when you take it, there is no turning back, ask yourself if you want to get your marriage sorted out or do you want out.

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