My wife and I were having margaritas on a date night last weekend. The alcohol helped both of us open up. We talked about our marriage a lot. How hard the last two years have been, and how our marriage changed over the years. The effects of med school and residency on both of us. It was nice to be able to talk to her about it.
Then she brought up Meredith. She knows we were really good friends, becoming great friends, and she shared with me how that made her feel.
It was around the same time that my wife and I started having our initial discussions about our sex problems. It was not ironic timing as Meredith helped me understand my own desires. This was before we were having a physical affair.
My wife put those together, and told me that she felt awful that our sex life was so bad and making me that unhappy. Then she saw that there was this other woman with whom I had such an easy way of communicating. That Meredith and I were able to converse deeply about difficult topics like religion without ending in arguments. Something my wife and I have struggled with. My wife noticed that when Meredith told me things that she had been trying to tell me for years it seemed I heard them for the first time. There was something different in communication styles.
My wife even commented that she felt the two of us had a very good working day to day relationship, but that we did that at the expense of deeper connections both intellectually and sexually. We avoided the hard conversations that really form the bond of a marriage. She also noted that most of that was on her side as she recognized many times over the years I have attempted to delve deep only to be shut down by her.
All in all the sex issues combined with having Meredith be my deep connection friend caused my wife to feel like a roommate rather than a spouse. She started to question what her role was to me. If she was not the lover I desires and she was not the one I could connect with on deep topics then she felt much more like a coworker who also does laundry and cooks dinner sometimes. Honestly I’ve felt that way many times, too. I think I’ve even written about that on this blog.
My wife also felt bad that my friendship with Meredith was cut short. Even though she wished she could have that connection with me she was glad Meredith was there for me. I told her I think it’s a good thing it ended as it was difficult for me to have another relationship like that, and not have it impact my marriage. Although Meredith taught me many things that helped me open up, understand my feelings and potential, she also showed me what I was missing. My wife totally understood that.
That was the closest we got to talking about the affair. I’m glad we acknowledged that my relationship affected both of us and also that it had an impact on our marriage.
Nothing really changed for our future and there were even a few times where we uncomfortably contemplated a future apart. We will continue with our plans to see a counselor together.