Dear Barb—Facing Separation

Dear Barb:

Hi, hope you are doing well.  I am in my early forties and my wife and I have been married for 12 years.  During the last few years we have begun to drift apart.  We each have different interests and therefore developed our own group of friends.  Initially it seemed like a good idea for us to branch out, plus it gave us something new to talk about.  However recently my wife has been very withdrawn and uninterested in discussing what she does with her friends.  I have a strong suspicion that she has been seeing one of the men in her bowling league.  She goes bowling almost every day, even on off league days, (or so she says.) I love my wife very much and do not want to end our marriage.  I was the one that suggested we get involved in other activities and now I’m regretting that.  I am not sure whether I should confront her or will that just make matters worse.  Looking forward to your advice.  Thanks, Ben.

Hi Ben:

Thanks for the email.  Sorry to hear of your dilemma.  I would not suggest you confront your wife since you don’t know for a fact that she is having an affair.  It seems you are simply suspecting she is seeing someone, while it could be any one of a number of other things.  You need to have a discussion with your wife and find out if something is bothering her.  Perhaps she is not feeling well or experiencing depression.  The worst thing you can do is jump to conclusions.  If she assures you that nothing is wrong, then just leave it be for a while and see what happens.  If you truly believe she is seeing someone else, ultimately you may have to confront her with your suspicions.  At that point you will know what you are dealing with and what you need to do.  Best of luck Ben.

Dear Barb:

I recently had to put down my 15-year-old dog.  I cannot believe how much I miss her.  I cry all the time and even sleep with her stuffed toy.  Is what I’m feeling normal, or do I need to get some help.  Thanks, Sad and Lonely in Ontario.

Hello Sad:

I think what you are feeling is perfectly normal.  I assume your dog has been by your side for 15 years, and it is going to take time to get over the loss.  Losing a treasured pet is like losing your best friend.  Grief is different for everyone so take the time you need to remember your special friend.  Thanks for sharing.

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