I’ve been married for seven years to the most loving, kind man I’ve ever known.
He goes to a local bar almost daily, so he knows people wherever we go.
Three days ago, we went out for breakfast and he knew the waitress though he didn’t introduce me. She told me her name is Heather.
During breakfast he repeated stories his buddies told him about Heather's sex partners and her drunken “sex-capades.”
Later that day, he went to watch some football at the bar but later said he watched the end of the game at a friend's house.
I then learned that this guy’s allowing "Heather" to stay there until she gets back on her feet.
Why, after knowing this guy for years and an entire football season, did my husband decide to go there on this day?
Yet I trust my husband.
He had the next day off while I worked. He normally goes drinking with his buddies.
That evening he said they went to the bar where Heather works.
My response was, "imagine that…"
He became super convincing, saying "I love you and only you."
I don't know what to think. Do I say more to him about it, or just watch and see if his behaviour changes?
He’s never cheated or made me feel like he has or even would.
Up to Something?
There’s too much “Heather” in his story.
He may just be caught up in the gossip about her, and the titillation of her “sex-capades.”
But that doesn’t mean you ignore the coincidence of his frequently mentioning and seeing her.
Be clear: You’re not accusing him. You’re alerting him to what he may not realize himself - that he’s showing too much interest in another woman’s life.
If you were to come home from work repeatedly talking about the “sex-capades” of a male co-worker, would he find that okay from his wife? You think not.
Your message: For a couple to trust one another, there are boundaries each draws on interest in other people’s private lives.
Something else emerges from your letter: Your husband drinks daily. It may be social drinking he has under control, but that sets the scene for blurred boundaries.
Reader’s Commentary “I grew up emotionally neglected which I realized years later.
“When asked why I didn't receive as much attention as my siblings, my mother responded, “You're strong, you didn't need me.”
“But every child needs to know they're loved and important.
“I made my own choices. If they weren't good, I started over.
“I raised two sons never letting them doubt that I love and am there for them. But I gave them the independence to choose their own life's path.
“They're in their 20s now, happy and successful.
“At 47, I could've been angry and depressed over another failed relationship, but it was doomed because I didn't believe I deserved better.
“At 51, I've never been happier. I met the man who I’m supposed to be with. I don't need his validation to define me. I’m secure in the knowledge that he loves me for who I am because I love me.”
I’m getting married in April, but have a problem with my mother.
She started saying horrible things about my future husband and even tried to tell me he was cheating on me! He wasn’t.
She hasn’t spoken to me since that day. She keeps telling everyone else that she's not going to my wedding because her ex (my dad) will be there.
I heard she also said my fiancé said something about her she didn't like.
I'm not phoning her. I'm hurt and angry.
Half of me wants to yell at her, and half of me wants to just throw my hands up and say "fine."
You’ve written me previously but left out the most significant detail included here – she’s spooked about your father’s presence.
This is about her history, not about your wedding. You may naturally see it as selfish – and it IS self-centered – but it also shows how vulnerable she is.
Focus on your wedding, and your love for your fiancé. If you have siblings who can manage your mother at the wedding, ask them to do so.
Call her with one simple statement: You’re my mother, and I want you at my wedding.
Even if you’re conflicted about that, it’s worth saying once, then leaving the decision with her.
Tip of the day:
Lines of trust between a couple shouldn’t be handled loosely.