Dr. Love,My story is somewhat long, but I’ll try to keep it short. About four months ago I noticed my 39 year old wife of whom I’ve known for twenty years and been married to for thirteen yrs. , begin to act strangely. We have four BEAUTIFUL children ages 11, 9, 7, 6 and a new home.She all of a sudden stopped wearing her wedding rings, and started going out w/friends. She also thinks nothing of strolling in at 4am. She also started wearing sexy undies, and deleting phone incoming and out going logs in her cell phone. I finally couldn’t take it any longer and had her followed.She lied to me as to where she was going, only to have been observed going to and emerging from a single man’s appt. When I confronted her she denied ALL of it up to and including the fact that the person leaving her vehicle and entering the house was not her. I finally confronted the guy and he has confirmed that she has been w/ him several times.He says there is no sex(???) I’m not quite sure whether to believe him and her or not (she is already a liar in my book). She tells me she loves me but she’s not sure she’s in love w/ me. I don’t quite get this but!!!! She says she’s burnt out, (job, kids, life, etc. . )She is also one to NOT talk. She keeps it all inside and leaves you to have to guess whats going on w/her. My question here for you is does this relationship stand a chance?Should I cut my losses and ruin my family (she ruined it not me) or wait it out in hopes she gets her head screwed back on right?? Could this be a mid life crisis?? and if so typically how long do they last?? I asked her if she wanted me to leave and she said NO, not unless you want to.I’m basically staying to spare the kids, and hoping she will come around soon. ANY advice you have or ANY reading you might suggest will be greatly appreciated.I’m sick to death over this and sinking fast. . . . Thanx in advance
I’m so sorry to hear what’s been going on. Your wife is clearly out of control. We can label what’s happening to her in many ways–a mid-life crisis, being burned out.Whatever name we assign to her behavior isn’t important. The bottom line is she’s behaving in a relationship destructive way and if she wants to preserve the relationship with you, she needs to stop misbehaving, lying, sneaking around, and start talking about what’s not working for her in all aspects of her life.Time isn’t going to solve her problems. Talking the issues out will. So you need to put your foot down and demand that she go with you to couples therapy. In therapy she must talk about what is going on inside her head and discuss what it is about the marriage, the job, and the kids that isn’t working for her.If she wants the marriage, she needs to commit to behaving in ways that support the connection, and not destroy it. As long as she’s willing to talk about the problems and work on solving them with you, then you have a relationship that ‘s worth keeping and fighting for. If she refuses to commit to doing this work with you, then she, herself, is bailing on the relationship, in which case, it would be unhealthy for you to stick around and allow her to continue to disrespect you.I also think you should point out the fact that she is behaving very passively. Rather than saying that she wants out, she appears to be forcing you to deal the death blow. She even said that she didn’t want to end, not unless you did.In therapy, she needs to look at her passivity and inability to act on her own behalf. She doesn’t assert herself, gets fed up and burned out, and, even now she’s still not taking charge but rather trying to get you to pull the trigger for her.Please let me know what happens after you put your foot down.