Wife Cheating On Him!

Q: I'm a 33-year-old male who's been married for 10 years to the love of my life. I received a rude awakening the other day when I went on the internet and her instant chat service loaded. Someone on her list opened up a chat with me and asking me how things were going with the loser husband. I confronted my wife, but she just blew it off. I grew more suspicious when she changed the passwords on our shared internet account and instant chat service.

I am afraid that she is carrying on with someone behind my back. I do know that many of the people she chats with are men, and a few call on the phone, and even one came to visit. He came for a visit while I was out of town and took her out to meet with her friends. The ones that call our house make sure that I'm not home before calling.

Do I have anything to worry about here? Is there something I'm doing wrong as a husband? I'm having trouble eating and sleeping because of this. -- Joe

Dr. Susan: Yes, Joe, you have a major problem to worry about: your wife is being unfaithful to you. Let's recount the evidence. She's having regular conversations with someone in which you're referred to as a "loser." She refuses to fully account for her actions on the chat service. She had the audacity to change the passwords on shared accounts after you discovered what she'd been doing. The men she chats with have reached their long hairy arms into your very home by calling her when you're not there, and even visiting her -- while you're out of town. And you believe that they only "took her out to meet with her friends"?

The main thing I can see that you might be doing wrong as a husband is trusting her way too much to carry on behind your back. Internet affairs are the same as real affairs, insofar as they involved emotional infidelity. They also have a way of turning into physical affairs, and I suspect very strongly that this may have already happened in your wife's case. Her denials have all the earmarks of someone who's covering up an affair.

You need to sit down with your wife immediately and talk about this. Let her know that her excuses aren't preventing you from feeling betrayed and devastated. Does she want to preserve your marriage? If so, she can't continue chatting with strange men over the internet, having them call her only when you're not there and certainly not meeting them personally without you present. If they're just friends -- how likely is that? -- then they can be your friends too, or at least you need to have the option of interacting with them if you want to. If you can't get her to open up and be honest with you about her actions and about any dissatisfactions she's been having in her relationship with you, I'd strongly urge the two of you to see a therapist, if only to talk about your fears. She owes you that. She's playing innocent, and I, for one, don't buy it.

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