Dear Dorothy: My Wife Says I Don’t Meet Her Emotional Needs


Dear Dorothy,

My wife, who has been cheating on me for some time, now wants a divorce. We’ve been married for 10 years, and have two lovely kids, a comfortable home and good jobs.  Like all married couples, we have had our issues, but have found ways to overcome them and remain faithful to our vows. However, she recently came in contact with someone in our circle of friends during our University days. Following their chance meeting, she has been texting him all the time and they have spent hours talking to each other on the phone or over lunch.  My wife told me it was nothing but just catching up on old times. I have now found out she lied, and feel betrayed. I have asked her to give up this her mad infatuation for the sake of our family, but she surprised me by asking for a divorce. Her excuse for her actions is that I have not given her the kind of attention she craves, and this made her feel lonely and neglected for a number of years. She says it’s too late for me to make amends.  The new man in her life has made her come alive she claims. I am so heartbroken and emotional because I really didn’t know how bad she felt. So, what can I do?  I don’t want her to go.  I want to show her that I really do love her and need her.  How can I get her to see this?

My dear,

I have always advised couples to get to know each other. To make an effort to understand what makes each other tick and to communicate their thoughts and feelings to each other. I get the feeling from your email that you really do love your wife, and want to live your life with her. Does your wife have a close friend or relative whom she trusts and whom you know you can confide in, and not have it make the gossip rounds? If she does, speak to him or her to help you tell your wife how much you and the kids love and need her. That she should give you a second chance to prove how much you love and care for her. That you are willing to work on your ability to communicate intimately, and work on whatever it is in your personality, or past experiences that made it hard for you to show love in the way that she wants to be loved.  That you are sorry it took her doing something so far-reaching for you to wake up to the problem and that you took her love for granted.

I hope your wife will listen to wise counsel and give your marriage a second chance. 

Good luck.

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