Friday, May 07, 2004

Infidelity


Are there any circumstances where you would or could understand, even accept infidelity? Let me present you with a possible scenario.

Jeff and Mary have been married for 25 years. He is 49, she is 46. They have 3 children, ages 19, 21, and 23. The oldest is a college graduate, married and has a baby on the way. The two younger children are in college. Jeff and Mary both have careers. They have a lovely home, a comfortable income, and from the outside, a full and happy life.
The problem? For the past 3 years Mary has refused to have sex. In the past year she moved Jeff out of the master bed room, into one of the other bedrooms in the house. Jeff has done everything within his power to reach out to Mary. He's tried romancing her (flowers, candy, little love notes on her pillow, surprise visits to her office with flowers, bubble baths with candles, weekends in the country, ect) . He's suggested they try counseling. He's even suggested sex therapy. Mary has told him flat out she isn't interested and "that part of our marriage is over". Jeff finally gave up and pretty much accepted that was how it was going to be. After all he still loves Mary and they do have a good life. Even with out the intimacy of sex.
A few months ago Jeff noticed himself becoming more and more attracted to a woman he works with. They have many things common. They both like the same tv shows, they both love to sail, they even drive the same kind of cars. He's found himself thinking more and more about this woman. She is recently divorced and he can tell she is attracted to him as well.
He is torn. He does still love Mary. He loves their family and their home. But much of the time he finds himself feeling lonely and empty. He misses the warmth and intimacy that comes from making love to someone you love. The cuddling and affection that should be a part of his life.
While it is not his nature to cheat on his wife, he cannot bring himself to even consider the nightmare that a divorce would be for his family.
What would you advise Jeff to do?
If your first instinct is to say, talk to Mary try to make her understand how he feels, keep in mind he has done this already. More than once.

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