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MEN AVOIDING INTIMACY – When and if a husband, like “Rob”, is tempted out of his “fidelity,” it is likely to be by some other woman who admires him and seems to find him irresistible, in person.

She doesn’t have to balance a checkbook, keep the house neat or get along with his mother; when a man cheats, he’s not looking for another wife.

Which explains a good part of why a man’s extramarital relationship rarely goes on to become a successful new marriage.

“Rob” was so busy juggling his time to accommodate his extra woman, that he got off his wife’s case about almost everything. With no awareness as to why he had become less demanding, his wife was grateful for his new attitude

Then the pressures increased… everywhere. The no-strings-just-because-I’m-crazy-about-you thing turns out to be a great big fantasy. The girlfriend wanted more from him than he had to give. The affair, at the beginning, had made “Rob’s” troubled marriage tolerable.

Back now, undiscovered and relieved to have re-simplified his life, he was ready to work things out with his wife. So he buys her some pretty lingerie to demonstrate his renewed effort. “Are you into that again?” she says.

WOMEN AVOIDING INTIMACY – Some women have come up with a new, so-called “safe” formula for avoiding intimacy. They find some other man to act as a substitute “listener”. “Jennie” said that she found “Bob” on-line.

“Jennie,” what are you saying?

Why do you prefer to download your daily concerns and successes with a stranger, when your hubby is in the next room?

“I’d bet my husband wouldn’t care if he knew about “Invisible Bob,” she had insisted. “I’ve never met him and we don’t talk about sex or anything like that. I think my husband is relieved that I’ve stopped telling him about my ‘nonsense.’

If you are a woman, this kind of “emotional infidelity” can be at least as damaging to your marriage as a full- blown affair.

It was after a time, when “Jennie” began to wonder if the invisible guy could actually be her soul mate, that she made an appointment to see me.

“I know this is crazy, but we have this connection,” she reported.

A man who volunteers to participate in this sort of fantasy “friendship,” has learned, big time, that women get jollies from openness and intimacy and conversation, even on-line. His needs get met by acting as a hero of sorts, with no responsibility for his words, or so it can seem.

“Bob,” it turned out, doesn’t have a job, which is why he is so available to “Jennie.”

“My husband’s too busy for me.” she said. “He set this stage.”

“Jennie” could now choose to make an effort to re-set her marital stage, for a new act. She wouldn’t be in my office if she hadn’t considered that as a possibility.

I wondered what it was about her husband that made her want to share a life with him, in the first place.

Send him an e-mail, I suggested. Like the one you’ve be sending to that internet dude. Maybe he thinks you’ve forgotten about him, too.

You may be surprised by your husband’s reaction. Make sure to include an invitation to do something different than you usually do.

P.S.: When “Invisible Bob” tried adding a little cyber- sex to their communications, “Jennie” fell out of fantasy.

P.P.S.: “Jennie” and her husband are working hard to re-sparkle their relationship.

HUSBANDS AND WIVES: Long term marriage can become boring . Take responsibility to inject new excitement into your union and don’t forget, ever, to share your dreams with your spouse.

There are some really good things to say about security, love, stability, comfort, a shared sense of history and sex with a partner who understands your body.

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