What’s it mean if my husband is suddenly secretive? We’ve been married for 11 years. He went to his high-school reunion a couple of months ago, and ever since, he now goes outside when he’s on the phone.
He says its business, long-distance, and there’s not a good connection in the house.
Also, after we’ve already gone to bed, he’ll get up and go on his computer for over an hour. Am I being forced to snoop to know what’s really going on?
You’re being forced to talk, not snoop. The High School Reunion’s become notorious for inducing nostalgia, even fantasies, when old friends/romances meet again (despite the added laugh/stress lines).
But your husband’s been obviously affected enough to block you from overhearing his conversations. Unless you’re his business competitor, there’s no harm in your overhearing something… except if it’s something he’s trying to hide.
Confront, but gently. There’s no substantial evidence of anything beyond chat. Say that you feel hurt that he’s suddenly (that’s the operative word, because it makes his actions significant) behaving secretly. Say that his late-night computer activity is new and worrisome. He’s distanced you from whatever’s driving these changes.
If he overreacts angrily, or just denies and shuts down, then one snoop session may turn up the evidence you need to insist on discussing this openly. That’s ONE snoop.
I do not advocate snooping as a habit. If pursued frequently, it means trust is already gone and the relationship’s in trouble. At that point, marital counselling’s needed more than sleuthing.
I’m a male, 25, and have a great group of friends from various walks of life. I’m good-natured, compassionate, extroverted, and I accept my friends for who they are.
However, I feel like I’m part of the “revenge of the nerds” or “misfits” group. Three of my friends, I suspect (and so have others like my parents), have Asperger’s Syndrome or minor forms of Autism, as they’re each a little bit "off," and very socially awkward in group settings.
One-on-one, they’re all normal and we share many common interests together (namely sports).
Another friend is morbidly obese and she always gets weird looks from strangers on the street. Perhaps her size can appear intimidating, but she’s very friendly.
I’m having a birthday party next month for the seventh year in a row, expecting 10-15 people, and will be inviting some new friends whom I met in my profession.
If they come, I’m afraid they’ll pass judgment on me because of these socially awkward friends, based on the company I keep.
I’m also afraid that when I find a girlfriend in the future, she may misjudge me as well.
How do I proceed without excluding anyone?
Pal of Misfits
Either you’re the person you think you are, or you’re not. Compassionate? Not so much here, with your deepest anxieties. That’s okay in this anonymous forum, but use it to examine your true feelings and how to handle them.
IF you’ve been a collector of so-called “misfits” for your own self-congratulations, it’s time to do them a favour and decide whom you’re friends with for their own value. Those are whom you invite to your party. Hopefully, that means all.
If you sincerely like them all, but worry about others’ reactions, you’re wavering in your own self-confidence and true friendship. Straighten your spine.
If you need to impress your work colleagues in some way, go out with them separately, as you’re not really seeing them as friends, but as “contacts.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the many men who complain to you that their wives (some become ex-wives) aren’t that interested in sex with them:
Reader – “My ex-husband had that complaint about me, that I wasn't interested in having sex with him.
“What he didn't factor in to that fact, is how his everyday treatment of me - bullying, controlling, devaluing and criticizing - affected how I felt about having sex with him.
“And when I didn't perform adequately or often enough, he made me feel like a failure there, too.
“I eventually left him. With my new partner, sex is a 100% different experience, and it’s definitely something we’re both valuing and worth doing often!
“To my ex, I now say: Guess what honey, I wasn't the problem!!”
Ellie – When sexual distancing happens within a couple, it’s often the relationship that’s the problem, not any one person’s libido.
Tip of the day:
A spouse’s sudden move to secretive behaviour, calls for talking about it, before snooping.