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Coming To Terms With Her Affair

Question:

My wife recently had an affair because she said I traveled too much on my job and was never around. I did not see the signs and she did not discuss the problem with me. I’m also the type of personality that tends to avoid conflict. I have since discovered the affair and confronted her about it. We are working it out. My problem is anger and hurt, how to express it and get it out. It’s affecting me in a lot of ways both mentally and physically. Thanks for your help.

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
  • ‘Anne’ bases her responses on her personal experiences and not on professional training or study. She does not represent herself to be a psychologist, therapist, counselor or professional helper of any sort. Her responses are offered from the perspective of a friend or mentor only.
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Answer:

The average working person spends more hours a day with co-workers versus family members (not counting sleeping). In addition, people often find themselves traveling great distances or working long hours due to their occupation(s). This tends to influence many things in a relationship. For instance, quality time spent together is diminished, lower energy levels and stress factors influence interaction with family, and in general, dealing with people all day will make anyone crave “down-time” once they get home from work. Part of marriage is recognizing this and learning how to accomodate the need for balance of your time. This can only be done with effective communication on both parts. I’m not saying that any of these factors directly influenced you wife’s decision to have an affair. What they may have led to is a general lack of communication in your relationship. Your wife may have felt slighted, unwanted, or unneeded, but did not seem to express these feelings to you. Her fault; not yours. Could this be from a tendency to avoid conflict on her part as well? in my opinion, this does not give her the right to have an affair, but it does bring up a valid concern. I believe that your relationship is lacking in communication. Your tendency to avoid conflict will also play a major factor in getting through this rough time in your lives. Your feelings of anger and hurt are normal, and you should not repress them, but you need to work through them with your wife. Have you thought about seeking professional advice? Take care, – Anne

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