After 20 years of marriage, my husband had a brief affair with his secretary. How does one get trust back without constantly scrutinizing the other person? Even though he says it is over, he tells me that he is unable to get rid of the secretary because she is valuable to the company. I feel uncomfortable about this. We are also having serious financial problems at this time.
Financial strain often causes disharmony in a marriage, often on other aspects of marriage besides the bank book. Men in these circumstances sometimes feel that they are letting down their families and not living up to their part of the bargain.
For years, the major complaint for women has been lack of communication. I am finding that a major complaint for men is not having their spouse listen to them. Men do not always share their fears or anxieties with other men as women do. They often depend 100% on their wives for emotional fulfillment.
Is it possible that you have been going through so many obstacles emotionally that you have built up barriers to each other and this has caused him to go elsewhere for emotional fulfillment? Emotional intimacy leads to great sexual intimacy for men and women.
Start by setting aside 15-30 minutes a day uninterrupted to have some conversation that is nonjudgmental and not argumentative. It might feel a little strange at first, but after a couple times it will begin to feel like old times when you first met.
Get to know each other again. Nothing should be as important as your marriage, the person you chose to spend the rest of your life with. It is a basic human need to feel-loved and understood. Sex is not the only reason men cheat. They want to be understood and listened to in a nonjudgmental way and they would prefer that it came from their wives.
Buy him a copy of Sam Keen’s Fire in the Belly and read it yourself. It will spark some interesting conversation. Remember: Positive energy breeds more positive energy. Take action to enhance the marriage, not criticize it. In addition, I agree with you that having the secretary around is not therapeutic for your marriage. Your husband may be afraid of a sexual harassment case.