From the U.S.: Last October while out for the night on Halloween, my wife’s friend rubbed my butt with my wife across the table from me and immediately removed her hand and said sorry. The night went on with no other instances, but as we went home in a crowded bar, we said our goodbyes and our hands grabbed each other’s and I’m not entirely sure what that meant. Anyways, we have been around them a few times since and have not had an issue.

Fast forward 10 months and while I was at a business conference, I got drunk and flirty (first time since being married in 8 years) with a girl at the bar and initiated a butt rub of my own on her. I got the idea from the what had happened to me. I immediately panicked and got out of the situation. Upon my return home, I confessed to my wife what had happened and we had a rough month of fighting.

The incident with her friend from a year ago now lingers in my head and I feel bad about that situation but am afraid that if I share that with her it will end in divorce as we have a relationship on the rocks for a couple years now and we are just getting over my transgression.

Should I open up and tell her or should I just keep it to myself and know that nothing will ever happen again? If I don’t say anything my wife will keep her friend, I will keep my marriage, and my kids will be in a stable home. If I don’t tell her, I will just feel wrong about it.

I don’t think the specific incidents are the problem. I think you may be playing with a way to get out of your distressed marriage without taking full responsibility for it. Apparently, either telling your wife of her friend’s pass or confessing to flirty behavior while drunk will tip the balance and your wife will end it.

You said your relationship has been “on the rocks” for a couple of years. Why aren’t you and your wife doing something about it? I strongly urge the two of you to make an appointment with a couples counselor and work on the core problems in your relationship.

Yes, it will be difficult. Although most couples benefit from counseling, there are no guarantees. But even if you do not stay married, you and your wife will have a better understanding of what went wrong so you can separate honorably. Either way, you’ll both be better able to move on with your lives.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie