Dear Coleen: I'm upset by my wife telling pals she's bored with me

Man and woman are sitting at sofa and arguing. Relationship problems.
Man and woman are sitting at sofa and arguing. Relationship problems. -Credit:STOCK IMAGE

Dear Coleen

I'm a married man in my 30s with two children aged three and five and I would like your opinion on whether I should speak to my wife about some things she said about me to
her friends.

First of all, I saw a WhatsApp exchange between my wife and her best friend, which she’d left open on a shared laptop.

My wife was asking her friend what she ought to do about me, going on to say I was driving her insane and that I was boring and unambitious.

I felt upset and betrayed but I didn’t bring it up.

Then, last weekend, I went out with some mates to the pub and my wife had a small group of friends over to ours. I walked home and decided to have a cigarette before going inside to “face the music”, so I sat on a bench under our kitchen window. I overheard some really upsetting stuff.

My wife was joking that I was more interested in watching rom-coms on TV than actually being romantic and that our sex life was dull and unadventurous. She admitted she couldn’t be bothered with sex any more and then talked about who she fancied, including a couple of school dads and one of her colleagues.

I feel awful about myself and it’s down to her. She acts like everything’s my fault when she makes no effort whatsoever, yet expects me to jump through hoops for her. Please help.

Coleen says

I do think you should talk to her and tell her what you overheard and how it made you feel. If you don’t, you’ll become more resentful and the already huge communication gap between you will get even bigger.

But, while I understand why you’re angry, hurt and a bit humiliated, approach it calmly.

Explain that you feel it’s time to have a truthful discussion about the state of your marriage and the future of the ­relationship. Show you mean business – arrange a babysitter for the sole purpose of talking about your future as a couple.

You already know a bit about how she feels but don’t make this all about what she wants and needs – use it to get across how you feel. Hopefully, confronting this will make her sit up and pay attention and she might regret not talking to you instead of blabbing to her friends. Or maybe she won’t. There’s only one way to find out.

We all need to let off steam sometimes and perhaps your wife was enjoying getting a reaction or a laugh from her mates but, the bottom line is she said hurtful things, which are going to be hard for you to get past.

With that in mind, relationship therapy could help bridge the gap, so you both feel seen and heard, and hopefully understand more about where the other person is coming from, so you can make informed decisions about what happens next.

Don't miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond.

Sign up to our daily newsletter.