Husband's Traveling Sparks Worries of Infidelity

By Martin and Josie Brown

December 13, 2012 4 min read

Dear John: Mitch and I have been happily married for nine years. We have two children, ages 5 and 7. This past year, Mitch started flying extensively for his job. He's a homebody. He doesn't drink, and he spends his free time working around the house or with the kids and me.

When he's on the road, we speak several times a day, including just before we turn in for the night. I am not worried about him straying. Still, I would like to know the statistics on marriages that fall apart when one spouse travels and the other stays home. —Nervous Wife in Omaha, Neb.

Dear Nervous Wife: I'm not aware of any statistical data on infidelity in spouses who are frequent flyers versus homebound husbands and wives. However, it has been my experience that those who fall into affairs do so for a variety of reasons. Of those reasons, opportunity is far down the list.

If, for example, Mitch was unhappy in your marriage and traveling frequently to a city where, say, an old girlfriend lived, and she was alone and lonely, then opportunity becomes a real factor. As a general rule, though, a guy doesn't land in another city, get to the hotel and say, "Wow, I'm 1,500 miles from home! I should go have sex with another woman." That's more Hollywood fantasy than real life.

It is possible that the insecurity you're feeling is an outgrowth of your missing him, and your regret that, for much of the week, he is not close by. Bottom line: if a spouse is in search of an affair, crosstown can be every bit as tempting as cross-country. People were having affairs thousands of years before anyone ever heard of frequent flyer points. If that's your only concern, let it go.

Dear John: I'm a divorced mother of two. I've been in a committed relationship for almost five years. We've always talked about getting married, and we are even engaged, but when it comes down to setting a date, my boyfriend changes the subject. I know that he loves my children and me, but I don't know what his problem is. —Waiting for the Date, in Kansas City, Mo.

Dear Waiting: It is common in many relationships that, when all else is going well, to push the really tough questions aside and hope that they will somehow resolve themselves. You're reluctant to ask this tough question — regarding the long-term viability of you as a couple — because you secretly fear that it may lead to a chain reaction that will bring the whole relationship crashing down. At the same time, you resent the fact that he is not taking that a decisive step to set a date.

Unfortunately, an issue like this won't just resolve itself. Meaning, it is likely that you'll stay on edge. It is time for an open and honest dialogue. So sit down and write out some of your thoughts before proceeding. Knowing that your relationship is on a sound and hopefully lasting basis is important to you and your children. Collect your thoughts, process your feelings, open your heart and ask.

2012 John Gray's Mars Venus Advice. Distributed by Creators Syndicate. John Gray is the author of "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus." If you have a question, write John in care of this newspaper, or by email at: www.marsvenus.com. All questions are kept anonymous, and will be paraphrased.

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