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I Thought My Wife Was Staring at Another Man 

Dear Athena,

My wife and I went to a party. I saw a man and his wife show up — we did not know this couple — and for some reason I thought that this is a guy who women would look at. As the party went on, I noticed my wife staring at him. I didn't say anything because I wanted to see if I was making something out of nothing — plus, I didn't want to ruin the day. The staring never stopped, even after we moved to a different area. I said nothing 'til we got home. She said she was hurt that I thought she was looking at someone else with sexual thoughts. She said he was a jerk for drinking so much and she couldn't believe he was a father and that's why she was staring. In the end, I was the one in trouble. Help!

Sincerely,

In Trouble With My Wife

Dear In Trouble,

Hey, now. Don't beat yourself up. We've all felt insecure and paranoid at times. It's not the end of the world, and, when it really comes down to it, I bet your wife isn't too bent out of shape. But let's dig a little deeper so you can avoid this kind of incident in the future.

It's normal in a marriage to feel insecure every once in a while. But these feelings should be fleeting and easy to overcome. If you often worry that your partner is attracted to someone else, maybe some heavier issues are going on.

How have things been going lately? Are you two generally happy? How's your sex life? When was the last time you enjoyed a romantic evening together?

Life can get hectic, but your marriage needs to be a top priority. Like your body or your car, your relationship needs regular checkups. Make sure you're scheduling time for just you two. The courting process shouldn't end at the altar. No matter how long you've been together, she needs to feel that you're making the effort to make her feel special.

But wooing is a two-way street, and that feeling you had at the party didn't come out of nowhere. Maybe you feel that she's been distracted lately. When was the last time she did something to make you feel special? Do your insecurities stem from a sense of distance from her? How about if you initiate the closing of that gap?

It's understandable that your wife got upset when you accused her of checking out another guy, but your feelings are important, too. Tell her why you felt that way, and that it was a result of how you much you care about her attention and affection. Find a way to connect with her again so you can feel confident in your marriage.

Yours,

Athena

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