Q: Is it wrong of me to request my husband stop talking to another woman that I don’t know. The relationship was not known to me until this week when he announced he was trying to decide whether to stay with me or not. He said they started off as business and then personal. He keeps talking to her about our problems. When I requested he stop the contact out of respect to our marriage, he became quite angry. I know people whose spouse ended up cheating in the same kind of situation. Am I wrong to ask this of him?
A: Lisa, I wouldn’t say that you would be wrong to ask him to stop but I think you would be strategically wrong to keep insisting him to stop. You have bigger fish to fry. Yes, it is dangerous and a good many husbands in his position would have already had a sexual affair. There’s certainly a good chance that it’s at least an emotional affair. The fact that you didn’t know about it means that he’s already betrayed one of his responsibilities to the relationship (ie. to keep a partner informed about personal dealings with the opposite sex.) The fact that he’s undecided about staying in the marriage would be a time when he would need to be even more careful and accountable about contacts with the opposite sex. However, it sounds like he’s more interested in getting sympathy from the opposite sex than confronting his ambivalence with you in a marriage counselor’s office. I would suggest that you not focus on the female confidant right now and focus instead on getting together with a good couples therapist. Good luck.