First, I apologize to you and your readers for being about to use the deeply offensive pejorative term, “trophy” wife.
It’s not my term. I don’t view my spouse as a marital commodity – to me, she’s a loving, affectionate, beautiful and exceptionally caring human being.
Not long ago, I married this woman whom I believe is the love of my life.
I got married later in life, because I’ve always viewed marriage breakdowns as a personal and moral failure (yes, I’m afraid of divorce).
I wanted to get it right, the first and only time.
My immediate family (parents and siblings) and my in-laws have been unconditionally supportive.
However, my extended family and close friends have been reluctant to accept my wife, perhaps due to her youthful appearance and age (a few decades younger than I am).
Those people are married with teenage kids and some are divorced raising kids as single parents.
When I was a single, I was constantly lambasted by friends as a carefree “playboy,” a “party boy,” etc.
Now that I’m married, these same people are calling me a “cradle-robber,” “show-off with a trophy wife,” even suggesting that my wife has “daddy issues.”
A couple of my friends’ wives have expressed disdain towards my wife behind our backs, because at social outings she was able to sport tight dresses and also because she had a bikini-friendly body.
The final straw was when my lifelong-friend’s daughter (in her first year of university and the same age as my wife) developed a close friendship with her.
This made her parents feel uncomfortable. So they insisted that my wife abstain from communicating or interacting with their daughter.
Should I limit communication with these people or just cut them off our lives totally?
Fed Up With Critics
It seems you were a lot wiser at choosing a wife, than you were at choosing friends.
The ones you describe are outrageously rude and likely jealous too.
It’s not just your long bachelorhood or your wife’s age and figure they envy/resent, it’s the freedom you’ve felt at making lifestyle choices that have been right for you at the time.
If your wife doesn’t care what these people think, withdraw from closeness with them and only see them if and when the occasion warrants it.
But if their opinions also hurt and offend her, cut contact, period.
There are plenty of fine, intelligent, warm, embracing people who welcome friendships with independent-minded people who find their way to happiness.
Your immediate families are the prime example. Enjoy your time with them.
You don’t have to fear divorce. Just fear and avoid the forces of intrusion, gossip, criticism, and judgment that can destroy a couple’s confidence in their own decisions.
Reader’s Commentary: “Reasons why NOT to ask people whether they have children or how many they have:
1) It may be a sore point, especially if they’ve tried to have children and couldn't.
2) If they're child-free by choice, then they’re annoyed by yet another instance of social pressure.
3) They may have children who aren't making them proud (e.g. a conscientious parent whose child is in conflict with the law.)
4) They may have had a child who died. The question stirs up their grief.
5) It implies that childbearing and childrearing are the only important things in life.
6) The question is often a jumping-off point for people bragging about their own kids.
7) It's nobody's business.
FEEDBACK Regarding excessive flatulence and its causes (April 3):
Reader - “Sometimes there’s NO controlling it. Medical conditions, or a medication can cause it.
“My mother, grandmother, great-aunt, and my father were all diabetic and thus took diabetic medication.
“This medication, as anyone who does take it well knows, makes you incredibly flatulent and often times, as with my family, the doctor will recommend that the patient take charcoal tablets along with it.
“However, the tablets do not stop the condition.
“As my mother put it, “it doesn't stop the farting, it simply stops the smell.”
“To the husband who's so bent out of shape, you're upset because she passes gas and you find it offensive and question her.
“Perhaps you should be questioning yourself, sir, why this very natural function of all animal kind, including humans, offends you that much.
“I'd ask, are YOU the right person for her?”
Tip of the day:
Those people who envy and critique the personal choices that make you happy, are NOT good friends or caring family.