Has Someone Come Between Us? (I See the Telltale Signs.)

Letter #1


I was driving home today and listening to the oldies channel on the radio when I heard the Righteous Brothers singing, "You've Lost That Loving Feeling." It just made me think of us, especially when they sang, "something beautiful is dying." I remembered how we were when we first got married and how you couldn't wait to get home to see me and nothing was important enough to keep us apart. We were so happy then, and life was so good that I thought it would last forever. Lately, though, I'm worried that something is happening to us and you really are losing that loving feeling.

Now it seems you stay at work later and later and have started going out of town on unscheduled business trips without me. I can't remember the last time we went out to dinner together or to a movie, or even spent an entire evening at home relaxing. We used to share our deepest secrets with each other, but now we hardly even talk anymore. When we first got married, nothing I ever did seemed to annoy you, but lately, as in the song, you "criticize little things I do" more and more often. I'm beginning to worry that something beautiful really is dying and wonder if it's because another woman has come between us.

I want you to know I still love you. You're the only man I've ever loved and my stomach turns over when I think about you leaving. Do you still love me or have you found someone else? I need to know where I stand and I don't want to imagine things that aren't true. The strain of worrying is already starting to take its toll, so please be honest with me. I need to know what is on your mind and what you are planning to do. There's no point in trying to save this relationship if you've already found someone else and there's nothing left to save.

If you're not seeing anyone else and we have other problems, maybe we should think about going to a marriage counselor. A third party might help us get everything out in the open. Counselors try to remain neutral because they know that's the only way to help people to reach an understanding. It might be worth a try if you still love me.

As it is, I don't want to continue the way we are any longer. Without total commitment to each other, we really don't have a relationship worth saving, and we would be better off separated. There's an old saying that two's company and three's a crowd, so please let me know if I'm the one who's crowding you. If not, I'm willing to work at improving our relationship, but only if you are, too. You need to decide--soon. I'm waiting for your answer.

Letter #2


You know, when we first started seeing each other and then started dating seriously, I felt that I was the happiest man in the world. We were in graduate school then, and even though we were both so busy, we always made time for each other, even if it was only a quick bite at the student union or a hasty e-mail written around study schedules. Now we are settled in our careers and yet we are spending less time together than we ever have.

I thought when we moved in together that we were really committed to this relationship, but now I feel like we're living worlds apart. You're never at home anymore--you always say that you're "Going out" with this girlfriend, or with that group of friends, but lately I'm beginning to wonder. You come home late almost every night, and I wonder what you are doing. Are there that so many movies to see, restaurants to try, and clubs where you mingle? What's more, when I try to talk to you just to see how things are going, you seem to brush my questions, and me, aside. We never do anything together anymore, not like we used to. No more star-gazing sessions, trips to antique stores, or evenings spent at home cooking and eating together. What happened to those days?

I love you. You're the bright spot in my life. But I need to know what's going on. If I've done something to upset you or hurt you, please tell me so that I can fix it or--and I hate to suggest this--if there's someone else, I need to know that, as well. I need to know the truth, and I need to know where we stand. I'm willing to work through any challenges we may have, if you are, but if there's no hope of having a meaningful relationship, if someone else has stolen the place I once held in your heart, then we might as well end this farce now. I can't go on this way any longer.

Letter #3


I should never listen to the radio. Today I was listening to the Beatles singing, "Ticket to Ride." I got all choked up (you know how I get emotional over silly things). They were singing about a guy that was losing his girl, but it could have been the other way around: "He said that living with me was bringing her down. She would never be free while I was around." Well, I got teary-eyed. When I pulled up to a stoplight, a woman looked at me and seemed concerned.

When we first started dating, we couldn't be apart from each other for a single day. Then we married and the courtship continued. You would call me at lunch and during breaks. Flowers and love notes showed up unexpectedly. Early in our marriage, we discovered that we had a passion for baseball, and we spent evenings watching ESPN, eating popcorn and cussing the umpires. And we had other passions, too. Where did all that go? I used to tell my friends and family that I had never been happier. I think you were, too. What happened?

Are you becoming bored with me? Or worse, is there someone else? (I'm sorry, but I need to ask.) Please believe me when I say that I love you. I think you know that--I tell you often enough. But how do you feel? I really need to know. We have often said that honesty is the basis of a lasting relationship. Would you be honest with me now? I feel that something negative has crept into our relationship; something has changed. I can sense it. You seem preoccupied with work. No more daytime calls. No more flowers. We have stopped having our weekend dates. We haven't watched a ballgame in over a year. If I'm lucky, I get a quick kiss on the cheek before we say good night. When we talk, you seem to pick at me--and I feel belittled and small. Do you still love me?

I have hesitated bringing this up, but maybe we should seek some advice from a third party. A marriage counselor might help us get everything out in the open. The way we are going is not healthy. It can only go in one direction. If we have a love between us that is worth preserving, I believe it is worth the effort. If the worst is happening and you have given your heart to someone else, I feel that I deserve the courtesy of knowing--now.

I'm sorry if I'm jumping to a conclusion, but the deterioration of our relationship has been so dramatic lately that I don't know what to think. Please let me know and, if you're willing, please come with me to a counselor. Please decide--soon. I need your answer.

Letter #4


Do you remember how it was between us in the beginning? We laughed all the time; we were spontaneous. It wasn't unusual for us to jump in the car and drive somewhere for the weekend. We just wanted to explore someplace new, and we enjoyed every minute of it.

We would hold hands anytime we were walking side by side. If you passed me in the house, you would touch my cheek or kiss my forehead. There was always a kiss hello and a kiss goodbye. You told me you loved me at least twice a day and every time you said it, I could feel that you meant it.

Lately, though, things have been changing. I need you to tell me the truth. Is there someone else? All the classic signs are there. You're working late almost every night and on weekends--or at least you say you are. There have been several occasions when I answered the phone only to get a dial tone. We never seem to touch anymore or go anywhere together. Our home has been devoid of laughter for a while now.

At first I thought that I was just imagining things. I tried to talk myself into believing that you were just busy at work and that some local kids were making prank calls to us. But I know now that's not it, and I can't pretend anymore that it is.

In the past, we've always been able to talk to each other and we've always been able to trust each other. Honesty has been an important cornerstone of our marriage, so if there is someone else, please be honest with me. Tell me now. I need to know what's going on.

I need to know if you think this marriage is worth saving. I'm willing to give it another try if you are. I'm willing to see a marriage counselor to find out if there is any hope that our marriage can continue, but I need to know if there's someone else. I need to know that you're totally committed to us and that you love me and want to make this work. If you don't feel that way, it doesn't make any sense to continue the way we are.

I love you. I want to know if you love me the way you used to. If you don't, please let me know now.