The Sassy Housewife is weekly advice column on Momaha.com by Danielle Herzog. She’ll cover the adventures in housewifery — from parenting, entertaining and recipes to the interests of a been-there-done-that and somewhat-know-it-all wife. Sassy Housewife runs every Saturday. Have a question for her? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Dear Sassy Housewife,
I never thought I would be writing to an advice column for this but I’m completely lost. I think my husband is having an affair. We had our first child together last year. He’s been married before and has two older children from his previous marriage. Their marriage didn’t end because of infidelity so there isn’t a history of it. Recently, I’ve been noticing him not as interested in having sex, working later than ever before, and sneaking away to take calls and check email in the middle of the night. I haven’t had the guts to check his phone or computer, but I’m starting to really worry. I haven’t said a word to anyone. What do I do?
A Worried Wife
First things first. Take a deep breath. Our mind plays some crazy tricks on us when we are sleep deprived with a new baby. I once heard my husband through the baby monitor sing a lullaby to our crying infant daughter with the words, “Why are you doing this to me? You have taken away my sanity, now go to sleep.” We start to take things personally and see things in a different, very tainted light when it is 2 a.m. and we haven’t slept for more than three hours.
There are logical reasons for your husband’s actions that might not include having an affair. He might not want to have sex as much because you have a new infant that is keeping him awake more and sleeping less. Geez, my youngest is almost 2, and I’m still exhausted every night. Also, is something happening at work that is causing extra stress or workload issues? My husband often gets up in the middle of the night, types something onto his phone so he doesn’t forget, then comes back to sleep. Of course, I desperately try not to hear him when he does that because then it hits me that I’m awake, and I immediately feel the urge to pee. I seriously hate that.
With all that said, you need to talk to him. And no, not at 2 a.m. when you’ll say something you might regret, like, “Are you having an affair? I’ll cut that girl.” That wouldn’t be helpful.
Talk to him when things are calm and there’s time to have a real discussion. Don’t jump right into your assumptions – tell him what you are seeing, and what you are feeling. Give him a chance to explain. If the conversation isn’t moving in a way that comforts you, be honest. Tell him that you are worried he might be looking elsewhere for attention.
The hard part: It’s up to you to believe him. There’s no advice column in the world that can help you with that. We also can’t tell you what to do if he is actually having an affair. I will share this with you. Life goes on either way. You just have to make sure to keep living it – especially for your child.
Danielle Herzog, a married mother to two, blogs for momaha every Wednesday. She taught middle and high school students and served as a student counseling advisor in the Washington D.C. area prior to moving to Omaha. She was a project manager for the Washington D.C.-area’s Boys and Girls Club and is currently completing her master’s degree in counseling at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
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