My husband and I are online gamers. We enjoy the time and the people we often play with throughout the world. In the past year, he has developed this relationship with another female that I believe has gotten out of hand. Not only is she on when ever we are, but now they email and chat on msn constantly. I have expressed my distress about this, but am told I am petty, as they have never met, and there are no plans for this. I expressed the hurt I feel and the intrusion on our lives as she is almost always on whenever we are together. My trying to explain my hurt has not helped and frankly this is killing me. Help.
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I’m with you. A marriage is about drawing a boundary around two persons who decide they will be more important to each other than others will be to them. By weakening this boundary to accommodate a strong friendship with this other woman, your husband has harmed the marriage. He may not be up to anything sexual or even intimate, but his shifting his attention to this other woman has removed it from you and you are suffering. And if you are suffering your marriage is suffering. It would be the same, by the way, if it was you withdrawing from marital intimacy and not him. You don’t need to rationalize your feelings of hurt. They are real and present and don’t need to be explained in order to be legitimate. If your husband cannot see that then he is acting as an individual, and not a marital partner. This is not a recipe for long term marital success. Frankly, I think the situation is serious enough to warrant marital counseling. I think you should talk to your husband about getting yourselves into brief marital counseling, so that an impartial third party can help you two to hear each other clearly. Right now he is probably only hearing you asking him to give up something that feels good and he is probably feeling like you are whining and not taking care of him. But that is not really the issue. What is more the issue is that through some action he is taking, he is causing you to hurt. He needs to be able to empathize with that hurt rather than to be told what he can and cannot do. I hope he’ll be open to listening, but if he is not it’s probably good to know his limitations so that you can plan accordingly.