My wife and I have been married for four years. Although we don’t have any children and have struggled to conceive for the past four years, we have always managed to make our relationship work and be content.
This past year has been considerably harder for us as many of our friends have been having babies.
We’ve ended up fighting and arguing over the smallest things and have found it harder to reconcile sometimes.
A year ago, a single woman joined the firm I work for and I instantly took a liking to her.
She’s smart, funny and we are so similar in personality. When I’m with her for lunch or during the working day, I just feel so comfortable in her company.
We even message each other when either of us is away on holiday.
My wife knows we’re friends and, over the past few months, she has started to mention to me that she thinks the friendship with my colleague is inappropriate.
She has even said she thinks one of us will fall for the other because of how close we are.
I know in my heart that I really like my colleague and I know if I wasn’t married I would have already told her how I feel.
But, as I’m married, I have a duty and a commitment to my wife.
What do I do? Do I give in to my feelings for my colleague? Or stay committed and work it out with my wife?
My fear is, the more time I spend with my colleague, the more I am falling for her.
OK, here’s the bottom line. Of course it’s easy and comfortable with your colleague because you’re not living under the same roof and you’re not going through the heartache of fertility struggles together.
Trust me, it would be different if you were going through the same stuff with her that you’ve been going through with your wife over the past four years.
If you’re in a committed, long-term relationship, it inevitably goes through challenging times and the whole world seems attractive compared to what you’re suffering at the time.
Your wife is clearly not an idiot and her instinct is telling her that there’s a bit more than friendship going on between you and this colleague.
I think you need to be more honest. Sit down and tell your wife that you feel stressed and disconnected from her, and that you seem to be arguing more and not getting over it as quickly as you used to.
If you think you can save your marriage, I’d consider relationship counselling (try relate.org.uk) and talk about the impact that trying to conceive has had on your relationship.
Try everything, then if it still doesn’t work you can walk away free of guilt, knowing you’ve done your best and not just fallen into the first open arms.
And if you do stick together and are still committed to having a baby, then do some practical things to move it forward.
Speak to your GP, get some tests done and, depending on the results, look at the treatment options.
But remember, the reason you initially got together wasn’t for the sole purpose of having a baby, it was because you fancied and loved each other. You need to rediscover that connection.
More of our agony aunt Coleen Nolan’s advice on your sex, family, health and relationship problems