It's Complicated Advice Q&A: He Said Another Woman's Name in Bed

I've been married for 27 years. I love my husband very much, but I can't seem to get past something that happened. The other night while we were in the middle of making love, he called me by another name. Needless to say, that ended the lovemaking for the night. He has apologized over and over for doing it. He seems to be sincere, but I still can't get it out of my head. I don't think he's having an affair, but one never knows. Am I being too sensitive? What can I do to get over this? --J.S., 48, Detroit

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You're not being too sensitive. Your man stuck his foot in his mouth at the worst possible moment and has shaken your trust, which is the basic foundation of the marriage. Way to go, hubster! Your shrugging this off with no thought to what it might mean would actually display a worrisome insensitivity on your part.

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That said, I'd like to suggest that maybe it really was just an innocent slip of the tongue. And even if he was thinking of someone else, that doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't love you or that he loves you less. Be honest: Have you never thought of someone or something else during sex?

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You ask how to get over this. If you can't shrug it off, then don't kiss and make up until you can say, "I forgive you" and mean it. You must respect the degree to which this incident upset you, which is also a way of respecting yourself.

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We sometimes forget that we can live with someone and be miffed at them at the same time. You can coexist and be civil and say, "You know, I'm still upset about that night. I'll get over it, but I haven't yet. Stay tuned." Over time, the event will recede into the past and your husband's overall good, loving, dish-drying-without-being-asked behavior will reassert itself -- and this bad moment will become a blip on the big screen of your long, happy marriage.

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And, yes, your attitude toward a possible affair is exactly right. Your instincts tell you he's not being unfaithful, but one really never knows. Give him the benefit of the doubt unless something else happens that fuels your concern. Otherwise, you'll make yourself crazy.
Karen Karbo is an award-winning writer and author of The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World's Most Elegant Woman. She's also a mom, a writing teacher, and a horse owner. Check out more advice from Karen.

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