I’ve been married for four years and never got used to my wife using nicknames like, “Honey” and “Sweetie,” when talking to other men.
Her mother was a classic “Southern belle” so, during my wife’s childhood, she heard those greetings used a lot.
But when she uses that welcoming tone with our divorced male neighbour who frequently texts her, it hurts me and also makes me wonder if I’m being deceived.
I get angry and unsure of what to do.
I’d never lash out physically, but I do start to raise my voice when I ask her what’s going on, and she just says I’m imagining it all.
I force myself to just walk away.
Her reasons for responding to his messages never gets discussed.
She was outraged when I asked her to show me a history of his texts. She insists he’s just a friend.
But why is she so intent on communicating with him daily, when she knows it bothers me?
I’ve never felt jealousy before this and previously always trusted her as my partner in life.
Unsure and Uncomfortable
There’s a reason that jealousy’s been described as a “green-eyed monster:” Its bitterness (from inner bile) changes us.
A small kernel of suspicion can swell to anger then rage, and from insecurity to feeling convinced that you’re being humiliated.
It’s often at its worst when it revolves around a romantic partner and the belief that someone’s stealing her/him away.
But you can overcome it, and you must try… for your own sake, as much as the marriage.
If jealousy starts to dominate your emotions/behaviour, get counselling help… starting with acknowledging that you need it, and that it’s bound to push your wife away even if she’s innocent.
You both need to learn how to talk about this. Tell her: If you were communicating daily with another woman, she’d want to know why.
Explain (without raising your voice) how you feel inside - hurt, confused.
Consider together, that perhaps the stress of the pandemic and not seeing family/friends was harder on her than you realized.
Or, were you the one more stressed, worried about getting the virus, financial losses, and open to feeling insecure?
Jealousy’s the enemy here, if you both want to work this out.
Growing up in my South Asian family, you had four professional options from birth: Doctor, engineer, lawyer or failure.
I study the development and design of land use in the urban environment, to help people live a more comfortable life through the redesigning of their cities.
My brother studies in the research laboratory field which my parents consider equal to entering medical school.
Now, he’s awarded much more time and respect from my parents whereas I’m just brushed off.
As a child, your career/education is what parents use to boast their status to respective uncles and aunties. It sucks.
I just want to put it out there, that parents shouldn’t put their kids in boxes with respect to career aspiration. All of our jobs contribute to help society in one way or another.
All Work Matters
Yes! We’ve learned that every way that a person can contribute to helping others during one of the most challenging crises of our time, COVID-19, is valuable - from essential sanitation workers to front-line hospital workers.
Your parents should be proud of both sons having made thoughtful career choices, staying with studies during difficult times, in two important fields.
I’ve been in college for two years where I was very open about my sexuality.
I was living with LGBT people and had a large, supportive Gay community.
Due to quarantine requirements, I’m now living with my homophobic grandfather who doesn’t know I’m gay, and here until next January.
I’m struggling with the transition of being out and proud, to having to be back in the closet.
You know your grandfather’s level of intolerance. You also know your own limitations - e.g. what you can afford.
I suggest you contact the local LGBT association in your community and ask what else is possible and safe regarding the virus, during stay-home rules.
It’d be wrong to stay in your grandfather’s home, and also socialize in the gay community, since you’d be risking his health re: the coronavirus due to his age.
You can accept his hospitality but not his prejudice. If you stay, thank him, then tell him.
Tip of the day:
Fight jealousy’s negative emotions within yourself and learn to discuss and resolve its cause, with counselling help if needed.