I know you love your wife. I know she’s the most important person in your life. I even know that if she left, you would be lost. Devastated even. You are a good person with a good heart. And this is precisely why I’m writing you this note. Your wife is harboring secret thoughts she isn’t sharing with you. I know this because I see women like your wife every day. She’s lonely. She complains to me that you don’t pay attention to her. That she feels emotionally disconnected from you. That you spend too much time watching television or surfing on your iPad. She keeps secretly wishing that you will come up behind her and put your arms around her waist and ask about her day. That you’ll listen attentively without dividing your attention between her and your phone. She tells me that you guys never do anything fun anymore. That you never dress up, put on cologne and flirt with her. She misses the days when you called her up in the middle of the day to tell her that you couldn’t stop thinking about her. She also tells me that sex has become a chore for her. She hates this and feels guilty about it. She really wants to want to have sex. But the desire isn’t there. She doesn’t understand why. Why is she keeping this a secret? Because in the past, bringing up “feelings” resulted in you rolling your eyes and sighing. Or in you becoming defensive. So she just keeps it to herself and hopes that somehow things will magically start to get better between the two of you. I know what you’re thinking. “What? Things are fine between us!” But deep down you know that’s not true. But you too are engaged in magical thinking. Here’s the important part, so listen carefully. Whatever you do, don’t choose to do nothing. Doing nothing is what led to her doubts that she is special to you. Doing nothing is what led to her feeling like you don’t care. That she’s just not that important. So please, do something. Anything. Tell her how you really feel about her. Give her more face time. Listen and be curious about her life. And in the event that you just don’t know what to do, remember that the answer is never, ever “nothing”. At least be honest and vulnerable and tell her you don’t know what to do. That you are confused or afraid of disappointing her. Ask her to be honest with you about her feelings, especially if she is doubting whether or not you two will be able to go the distance. I don’t want you to be the couple in my office who is divorcing due to years and years of benign neglect.
Two-thirds of divorces are initiated by the wife. And when she tells you that she’s leaving, you will be shocked. Blindsided. Because you kept telling yourself that everything was fine. And she kept these feelings to herself because you really didn’t ask. I’m telling you this because you are a good man. I see men like you in my office every day and wish I could have told them what I’m telling you, 15 years ago. When there was still time. Now that you know, do something.