I’m afraid I might lose my wife to another woman. Earlier this year, I rushed home from our sons’ Little League game to retrieve a forgotten mitt. When I arrived, I saw my wife and one of her girlfriends massaging each other in sexually intimate ways as they sunbathed nude on a big floating mattress. They were obviously enjoying it very much. I watched in secret for a few minutes. After the friend left, I tried to ask my wife about what I saw. She became very upset at me and defensive. She said I was invading her privacy and unfairly accusing her of being a lesbian. I didn’t even use the L word, but she became so enraged that I haven’t said anything since. But since then, when I return home from work and ask her about her day, she says she was sunbathing in our backyard with her girlfriends. I have secretly come home and seen her doing the same thing with other married girlfriends while their kids were in school and their husbands supposedly at work. Each time I left without interrupting. Now that the weather is changing, she is planning vacations to sunny places while I am taking our sons skiing. We can afford the expenses, but I’m not sure our relationship can afford what seems to be going on. I love my wife, and I want to be understanding. I think we have a mutually satisfying sexual experience together, but I am feeling threatened. The Internet sites for her vacation destinations list one as clothing optional and another as catering to a lesbian clientele. What should or can I do, if anything?
Think deeply about when intimacy first began eroding from your marriage. Intimacy is a willingness to reveal all of your innermost thoughts and feelings to another person. Sex can be a form of physical intimacy, but even spectacular sex is not enough to sustain a relationship. At some point, one partner will want more. If a person is inclined toward the call of the material world, he or she will try to fulfill that desire with greater physical pleasure (within a committed relationship or out of it) and pop culture must-haves. If the person understands that relationships are a spiritual path, he or she will engage in the personal transformation necessary to be intimate emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically with his or her partner.
Obviously such a profound level of union doesn’t contain room for privacy. Perhaps your wife is not ready to admit to herself that she is attracted to women sexually. So admitting it to you would be impossible right now. But it seems more likely that she wants freedom to explore her attraction while maintaining her security. How does this impact the sacred contract that you established through marriage?
The threat you feel could be a signal of betrayal. Have you also betrayed yourself? You used her anger as an excuse to silence yourself. Are you also walking on eggshells, afraid of pissing her off or losing her? If so, you are not behaving as an equal partner in the relationship. I also wonder why you continued to spy on her. Was there a thrill for you in the experience? Have you ever fantasized about being with two women but expected it to look different?
Talk to your wife about attending counseling together to work on your relationship. If she won’t go, go without her. You deserve consistent support through this experience, for your sake and for your sons.