I’m married to a man who’s both attractive and charming. It’s always made him popular with women, socially and at work, while I’m less outgoing and more conservative looking.
One of my close friends recently learned that her husband has cheated on her in the past. She now believes that all men cheat and says my husband’s the perfect candidate.
I’ve always trusted my husband (seven years together). He says he loves me, is easily affectionate, we have pretty regular intimacy, though with two young children it’s limited by time.
My friend says I’m naïve because I accept that when he says he’s working late or travelling for work, he’s telling the truth.
She says I should be snooping and checking up on him every way possible.
That’s how she finally discovered her husband’s past affair (it happened when they were going through a bad patch, they have a young son, but she’s determined to punish and divorce him).
What’s your take on searching for red flags and signs of cheating past or present?
Am I Naïve?
You’re not naïve, you’re trusting. You look at his daily behaviour rather than dig about for hidden alarms.
And you see a husband who shows you love, intimacy, and affection.
Your friend’s snooping uncovered infidelity, and she’s chosen retaliation rather than sought couple’s counselling to understand the past and consider moving forward together.
She’s trying to justify her choice by putting you in the same rocky boat. Her belief that good looks and charm signify a likely cheater ignores whether a man has integrity.
You believe in your husband and I urge you not to snoop.
Talk to him without suspicion. Ask about his work and his travels, and show your interest.
This isn’t about being suspicious; it’s about connecting with him about that part of his life.
I ask you, Readers, what do others think about this woman’s question: Do you believe that snooping’s the only way to know the truth?
I’m mid-30s, married, with no children. I work in a field with a lot of women.
I’m shocked to hear how many of the ones of my generation confide that they don’t have sex with their husbands for weeks or even months.
These aren’t all busy parents of young children.
They’re mostly women in marriages of about four or five years, with one or no children yet.
They toss off this information casually, saying things like, “I can’t be bothered,” “I’m too tired,” “I’m just not that interested.”
They even joke about it.
What do you think is going on?
Why No Sex?
I get enough information of this kind from similar-aged women to be able to pass on some thoughts which are of course both general, and mostly related to current factors in society.
As one woman wrote me, “It’s a lot easier to come home after work and go on my social media, than to listen to my husband complain about his day.”
Distraction: Many people busy themselves with checking up on their Facebook contacts, reading about celebrities’ lives, watching Netflix series, etc.
Avoidance: Both women and men alike can get “entertained” without doing the harder work of communicating deeply and nurturing a bond with their partner. Less bond means less sex.
Porn: its widespread availability creates distance between many couples. Self-pleasuring has a guaranteed result, while intimacy requires work - giving as well as receiving.
Sex with a real person differs from what people see on a screen. But emotionally, getting naked together can be far more satisfying.
I’m a struggling writer, late 40s, renting in the home of a longtime male friend who’s a late-70s widower.
I cook and clean for him for a small salary, and work only part-time, so I can keep up my freelance writing, which is going well. It’s my dream to afford to write full-time.
My landlord/employer has unexpectedly proposed. He’s a fine person whom I like, but don’t love.
There’d be more security, but I fear marrying him would affect my goal.
Be sure you know which goals matter most.
Security looks attractive. But marriage also means a commitment of time and companionship, not just a quick conversation in the hallway.
Also, his age could place caregiving obligations on you, as his wife, sooner than later.
You naturally don’t want to offend him. So tell him you need time to think this through and will discuss it with him further.
Then do so.
Tip of the day:
Knowing your partner’s character and work life details, challenges unfounded suspicions and snooping.