Dear Coleen

I’m a woman aged 40 and have two young children. I’ve been with my husband for 12 years and over the past few months we’ve been going through a really rough patch.

He’s consumed with work, which is stressful, and he’s away from 6.30am until 9pm every day. The kids barely see him and neither do I.

I feel resentful that he’s absent so much and I’ve been losing interest. Recently, I hooked up with a guy I know locally – it was just friendship at first, but then he started hinting that he found me attractive.

It was flattering and intoxicating, and we ended up kissing one day. Since then we’ve had a few liaisons, although we haven’t had sex.

He’s abroad with his job a lot, but we keep in touch via Instagram and ­Facebook. We used to send each other very flirty and sometimes sexually explicit messages, but recently he’s just stopped replying or liking my posts.

He won’t reply to direct messages either. I find myself thinking about him all the time now and agonising over why he’s switched off from me like this. I feel he lured me in and now he’s dropped me.

I also feel foolish and my confidence has been shattered.

Coleen says

I think it’s obvious why you were vulnerable to this friendship – your marriage is in a rut and you don’t feel loved, desired or even noticed by your husband because he’s simply not present right now.

Maybe this guy behaves like this with a lot with women, particularly if he’s single. He knows you’re married and it probably won’t lead to anything, so he’s just playing around and he’s probably moved on to someone else.

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So I don’t think it’s anything you’ve done – I think it’s probably just how he is. But is he the type of person you want to end your marriage over?

If you love your husband – and you don’t say in your letter whether you do – then you need to find a way to ­reconnect with him and work on your relationship together. You need to support each other instead of retreating to your separate corners.

Work can be all-consuming and there’s nothing like stress to extinguish desire and intimacy. So, I think if you can help him (and he can help himself) to relieve some of the stress, then it’ll help a lot.

This other guy is just a distraction and he’s taking your attention away from what you really need to focus on.



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