Another woman wants my man!

My husband came home from his holiday office party talking about a female coworker. From what he told me about their conversation, it's obvious that she is after him. My husband says they are just friends. I don't think my marriage is bad. Is there something wrong with my relationship that he would enjoy/need this friendship? I'm friends with men at work, but I know when to back off and I'm careful not to encourage anyone with hopes of anything more than friendship. What should I do? --G


Dear G: This walks the edge of what is okay and not okay in a long-term, committed relationship. Did you know that it's common for men and women to be attracted to other members of the opposite sex throughout their lives? That does not mean that any actions are taken. Everyone in a marriage is entitled to meet new people and even develop substantial bonds with others. However, when that bond consists of sexual or erotic attraction, havoc can result.

Often, couples I work with tell me that they are jealous of the new or old friendships that their partner has developed. They feel that it takes away from their friendship with their partner or that their spouse is really not telling them the truth about this other friendship. Above all, remember: Not all male-female friendships invariably end up in the sack. Still, sometimes that sense of closeness, maybe even intimacy, can be felt as a threat to your own primary relationship. It's what a person does with the attraction that he or she feels that matters -- whether they keep things friendly or allow them to turn erotic.

Daily life in a marital duo -- with scheduling the dry cleaning, doing dishes, paying bills -- can alter the eroticism and stimulate the wandering eye. Make sure that you are investing enough time and energy in making your marriage a sexy and comfortable place to live.

I suggest that you sit your husband down over a hot cup of mocha java and tell him how much you love him. Express to him how hot you find him as your lover. Tell him that this marriage means the world to you. Explain to him that you are sensing that this female coworker is attracted to him and interested in more than just hanging out at the copier. Then focus on affirming that you understand that most people find others interesting and attractive at different times over the course of a marriage, and what really matters is what you do with that. Encourage him to set clear and careful boundaries with his coworker about what's in store for them. Cajole out of him what's on his mind, and in his heart and groin for her -- real or fantasy. Then, gently nuzzle him with your mouth on his neck, reminding him of the babe he married and why. You are in charge of this. But, unless you set the record straight, up front, before he dallies, he may get lost in the confusion that results when a man realizes that he's found attractive by another woman. Remind him of just who his Number One Woman is. That would be you, forever and a day. Keep it that way.