Following are leftover questions from my online chat “Relationship Repair” (Oct. 22):
When my husband and I were engaged, he had to go out of town for his job, to an off-site meeting.
It was being held over a weekend when we were supposed to be deciding our wedding venue and numbers of guests.
We fought over my not wanting him to leave. He stormed out the door. But when he came back he agreed to some of the wedding plans that he’d previously been against.
We married 18 months ago, and I just learned (through another colleague of his who knows my cousin’s best friend) that he was “very tight” with a co-worker while they were away.
I’m so hurt I don’t even know if it matters whether they had sex. They were seen being close enough to create rumours that disrespect me.
If he cheated on me then, how can I ever trust him again?
If rumours alone can destroy your trust, your marriage doesn’t stand a chance.
Your then-fight over work obligations vs. wedding plans reflected some mutual (and natural) pre-marital jitters.
Instead of now rushing to assumptions of his infidelity (no evidence), consider your past 18 months together.
Has he been distanced, distracted, lacking affection, or desire for sex? Have you had reason to believe he was cheating?
If not, how likely is it he was unfaithful during that weekend?
Maybe, he simply found a workplace friend when he needed one.
Your marriage isn’t “broken.” The repair that’s needed is recognizing that if things are going well, it’s foolish to overreact to gossip.
Wait till you cool down to talk to him about it. No blaming or accusing.
Just say that there are always negative people out there who love a drama for others. So all couples need to be aware of the optics when they’re openly “tight” with people other than their spouse.
I’d been online with this guy for a few weeks; we talked every day.
We both joke a little, so when he called me “baby,” I asked if he was one of those dating-site players who can’t remember the name of the person they’re conning.
He was very insulted. He said he’d been ready to meet in person, but now felt I wasn’t the person he’d thought, if I could be so harsh and insensitive.
I’ve tried to explain that I’m not that way, and was joking, but was sorry I’d offended him.
He didn’t respond for a couple of days but yesterday he said he’s trying to forgive me.
Now he says I owe him a proper date, not just a coffee meet-up. What do you think?
Proceed with caution. He may’ve overreacted, since so-called joking doesn’t always translate well online.
But you can’t be sure – after three weeks of online contact only, you’re still “strangers.”
Also, his saying that you “owe him” a date (or anything else) is what’s made you uncertain.
Delay meeting in person till you’re a lot more comfortable. You need to feel sure that you’ll be safe with this guy.
Or that he won’t make you feel you owe him a lot more than a date. He’s already thinking he now has some advantage over you.
You owe him nothing beyond what you already said – sorry for any unintended offence.
Three weeks is not a relationship. If you remain uncertain about this guy, end your contact.
My wife’s mother constantly criticizes me to her. She’d wanted us to move into her house after we married, but I challenged her constant influence on her daughter.
We rented till we could recently buy a townhouse. It’s not good enough for my MIL. She keeps saying that I don’t make enough money, don’t work hard enough, etc.
We’re expecting a baby soon. Is it possible to repair this in-law relationship?
Your MIL hasn’t got over losing - she felt she was offering her home and her experience.
She still thinks her daughter needs her guidance.
Catch her off guard. Tell her you appreciate that she’s a caring mother, and you’ve learned from her example. So you intend to bond with the baby as soon as it’s born.
But don’t overreact if your wife thinks she also needs her mother’s help at the start. That’s natural. Show respect for her experience.
Your new family unit will be strong.
Tip of the day:
Negative people love creating drama in others people’s lives. Don’t overreact to rumours.