By Paul Hokemeyer, PhD, JD for GalTime.com
Dear GalTime... I need help. My husband works really hard for our family, but he has a 'work wife', and I can't get comfortable with it. One of his colleagues is female and they work long hours. He's with her more than me. He doesn't give me reason not to trust him, but I still feel uneasy. Is it just something I need to deal with? How can I feel more secure?
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ANSWER: Dear Mrs. Insecure, While happiness is an inside job, it's also nice to get attention from our loved ones! Sounds like you're coming up short on the latter. It also sounds like you could be experiencing a tinge of what is known as "emotional infidelity."
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In contrast to sexual infidelity where one person has unauthorized sex outside of their relationship, emotional infidelity involves a displacement of time, attention and emotional connection to another person or thing. What struck me about your question was how in touch you are with your feelings. Trust the "uneasy feeling" in your gut and talk about it with your husband.
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Tell him how you feel in a loving and non-threatening way. Don't point a finger at him and accuse him of this or that. Point it back at yourself and tell him you love and miss him. Also tell him that you're sad and lonely when he spends so much time at work. See how this goes. If he argues with you or tells you you're wrong to feel that way, you may need to step up your game and schedule an appointment with a Marriage and Family Therapist. In either event, always remember to trust your instincts and find your voice. Problems grow in silence. They resolve in open and honest communications with others.
Love on, Dr. P.
Does your husband spend a lot of time with female coworkers? How do you handle? Guys, this works in reverse, too, so feel free to weigh in on work hubbys as well!