A True Story
Let me tell you about a couple who saw me for relationship issues but avoided the more damaging issue of infidelity. This is their (abridged) story.
They had their second child and the kids were less than 2 years apart. The husband was frustrated with the lack of sex and intimacy. She was exhausted a lot and the last thing on her mind was having sexual pleasure. She just needed to get through another day. They both loved their children and were devoted parents but she had no energy left in her gas tank for her husband after the children were finally in bed.
There was an attractive female co-worker of the husband who was beginning to come onto him. He was enjoying the attention and it was beginning to fill up the hole he was feeling in his marriage. He did not give the coworker any outward encouragement but was weakening and wanted to go with the urge. He started thinking about her even when at home.
He told his wife what was happening and how he was feeling and how he was thinking about this person more and more. He said that he felt dangerously close to cheating. Of course this brought some urgency to the situation. They found their way to me. I helped them do what I call an “energy budget.” More specifically, I helped the wife find some energy for her husband. We did this with me encouraging more babysitting, helped them find ways to get the older child to bed earlier and helped him develop a better approach that would make him more inviting to her.
As for the co-worker, he clearly set boundaries with her after our first visit together and she quickly became a non-issue in our work together. They were better off and the healing was relatively quick and easy. Another happy ending that happened in large part because of the husband’s honesty and the couple’s willingness to make the necessary changes.