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Family & Relationship Issues

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Ask Dr. Schwartz
Psychotherapy and Mental Health questions

Marriage Question

Hi,

I've been married for 23 years and 3 of those have been pretty rocky. We separated for a year and I moved to another state, although we continued to see each other at least once a month. After I left he had a hard time but eventually found friends to hang with and ended up persuing another woman who was married and whose husband worked nights. I found out about it and he ended it rather quickly. Its been haunting me ever since.

The past 10 years or so I'd say he really pays attention to his dogs. He loves them. I mean he tells them daily, he hugs them, kisses them and with me there is nothing left. I remember when my kids were young they would ask me if he loved the dogs more than them and I thought they were funny, and told them of course not, but I get it now that I see it for myself.

I used to trust him 100% but he's a little sneaky with his facebook and his cell phone and I don't trust him. We have sex still about once a week, nothing compared to when we were young. So...if there's very little trust in a person, and he shows more affection for his pets than me, is that something to leave a marriage over?

I feel I'm in my mid 40's and I would like to be in a relationship with a little bit of affection and a lot more trust. I'm just perplexed and have been for about 3 years. I see him trying sometimes but it just feels like he's just there for the ride.

My kids have both moved out and I guess since there is an emptiness, I see all of our problems more clearly. He's very involved at work and is climbing the ladder, so to speak. If he gets this next position he will be traveling. Another worry area. The one thing that holds me to him is I've lost both parents and both of my kids have moved out and I'm looking forward to grandkids. I know he will be a great grandpa and really he's the only family I have. One brother lives in another country and the other lives in another state. I just need direction. I'm self employed and he does have benefits.

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