Direct Answers – Column for the week of July 21, 2003
I don’t know whether to call it jealousy or insecurity. My husband and I have been married almost 30 years. Last year at my husband’s surprise birthday party, one of my friends asked who a certain woman in the room was.
When I asked why, she said, “She and your husband have been making eye contact all night, and he seems to be paying her a lot of attention.” From there on I started watching the behavior between them.
My husband participates in a sport with this woman’s husband, and at times we are all together. Each time I noticed more and more eye contact between them. Just to be sure I was not imaging things, I asked my sister. She thought with the looks they gave each other, something might be going on.
Late one evening, I confronted my husband. He replied, “Don’t be ridiculous.” He said he loves me and goes to participate in the sport and that is all. He was furious. I told him I loved him too, but I also said my first warning was to him, the next will be to her, and thereafter to her husband. He said if something is going on, it is all on her side.
At the next sporting event, this woman avoided me like the plague. It was like she was scared to death of me. Obviously someone told her something. When I asked my husband if he had, he said no.
Now even though I did nothing wrong, I am very uncomfortable around this woman. I have three decades invested in this marriage and love this man dearly. Still it is hard to get past this and be friends with this woman again.
Helene, you didn’t smell perfume on your husband’s shirt or see lipstick on his collar. All you found was a woman publicly flirting with your husband. Possibly she flirts to make herself feel good, with no real desire behind it. But when the word got out, she stopped.
You did three things. You let your circle of friends know you are an observant woman who defends her territory. You let your husband know you will confront this issue head on. And if anything was going to happen, you dumped water on the embers.
Mission accomplished. Now the key is to drop this. If the situation has stopped, let it go. If you let it go, your husband may even take it as a compliment. You have let him know how much you desire him.
With the other woman, you don’t need to be her enemy and you don’t need to be her friend. Talk to her as you would to any other slight acquaintance. Hold your head up high as a confident married woman who will not allow anyone to sneak around behind her back.
Wayne & Tamara
I am a 21-year-old female in a committed relationship with a man I love and want to marry. We plan to live together when I go to graduate school. My dad says he can’t imagine me finding a sweeter, better man who loves me so much.
Now I’m worried about the whole living together thing because studies say that living together leads to divorce, and I don’t want to lose him! His dad is concerned he will be tied down, and we will have kids. I don’t see that happening anytime soon! I feel ready to marry now, and I don’t want to lose him.
Daryl, even if you believe the research on living together is valid, you need to realize that marriage does not prevent divorce, abuse, infidelity, or unhappiness. If you are afraid moving in together will stop a wedding, then don’t live with him. But if you want to marry him because you think you will lose him, then he isn’t yours to have.
Wayne & Tamara