For the last six months Ricky has avoided discussing a potential problem with his wife, Elena, because he s worried that he may be at fault. His first wife had cheated on him for a full year before he figured out what was going on. That had rocked him to the core . Not only was he devastated by her infidelity, he reeled at his own inability to spot the early-warning signs of something as serious as adultery.
Ricky was slow to enter another long- term relationship: Once bitten, twice shy. That explains why he dated Elena, a friend from church , for four years before convincing himself that his first marriage was a fluke and that Elena was unlike his first wife. Then he took the plunge. After three years of marriage to Elena, Ricky fell into a running debate, constantly bickering ”with himself. He began to see signs that maybe something bad, even hideous, was going on behind his back, but he wasn t sure if Elena was acting inappropriately or if he was being too suspicious. Thus, Ricky remained silent.
Clearly, Elena had changed. She appeared to be more secretive about her e-mail, quickly exiting from it when he entered their home office. She took more phone calls out of the room than ever before. As Elena successfully explained those behaviors (it was job- related and thus uninteresting), a third issue drove Ricky s internal debate to new heights. Elena had begun working a great deal more overtime. This had happened off and on throughout their relationship. But what made extended hours more troubling lately was that her new supervisor was an ex-boyfriend, and some of the late-night work was with him.
Let s walk through this delicate crucial confrontation with Ricky. Read the following sections carefully . Two times he ll have to step out of the confrontation and restore safety.