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TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3623
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Professional Coach
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- my wife and I have been happily married years and

Customer Question

Hi - my wife and I have been happily married for 28 years and still in love, my wife is 18 years older than me but looks more my age! I am 50, my wife 68.
a few weeks ago we had a major fight, which is rare, after a lunch party where a guest openly flirted with me for 2 hours, I feel that did not want nor encourage this attention, my wife feels I should have exited the attentions sooner.
We are both feeling aggrieved, my wife feels she was ignored by me and hurt that I did not do more to avoid the attention, and I feel that I did my best to push the attention away but I am not experienced with this type of behaviour or this type of woman. My wife says that she would not have allowed it had this been the other way round or would have walked away after 20 mins, I say that we are different people and I had no idea it had gone on so long. We are stuck and continuingly arguing about this and feel at an a dead-end... can you offer any advise..?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 2 years ago.

Hi and welcome. I'm a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families on a variety of issues.

Thanks for providing all of the details. I am sorry you have both gone through a difficult time but it is a time for opportunity. I am not hearing that you enjoyed or encouraged this attention and I clearly hear how it was uncomfortable for you and you did not know exactly how to push it away since it was a new experience. I also hear how hurt your wife was and is...so now both of you need to come back together on this and remind each other of the stability of your love and your marriage and how someone elses behavior cannot have such an impact on your current happiness.

I hear that you are continuing to talk about things but feel at a dead end. I believe that your wife needs her feelings validated in order for her to move on. She needs to know that oyu can see and udnerstand her feelings and that is never your desire for her to feel hurt or ignored and how sorry you do feel that she even had that for a moment. If you enjoyed this attention at all, then you must look at that and see how you might have left your wife feeling alone. I think it will really come down to you taking the ownership and understanding position of how she felt and how certainly that was not your attention and if that type of situation were to happen again you would be more ready to handle it. Acknoweldge that you didn't handle it well...that is okay...you are human, this was new for both of you. Then reaffirm your feelings for your wife and let her know how you care and are sad and sorry for her hurt feelings.

It can feel scary to see your loved one get that kind of attention from another...it shakes the internal foundation and can cause some insecurity. so get back in there and reassure and love..shore her up with love and care and empathy.

It may take some time for her to feel some security but in time and with your openness it can happen.

Expert:  TherapistJen replied 2 years ago.
Mark, just wanted to let you know I will be out of the office for the next 2 hours, but I will respond to you then if I hear back from you. I just didn't want you to feel as if I wasn't reponding. I am back in my office at 12:15 EST. Thanks.
Jen
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 2 years ago.
Hi Mark,
I am back and available to hear your response from above. If you don't need anything from me further, please take a moment to click on the rating tab. I am still here if you need.