My wife received an email yesterday from a man she knew 20 years ago before we met and married. He wanted to re-connect.
She showed me the email and confessed that she’d had “a brief fling” with him when she was single.
I trust my wife and she trusts me. We’re both busy with our children, work, friends and travel.
We don’t read each other’s emails or check each other’s phones. We have a close, happy, emotionally and sexually satisfying relationship.
I’m not naïve, yet I find it curious that a man would reach out like this (and I’m aware that some women also do this) from a two-decades’ absence of contact, to suggest they connect again.
To talk about what? Her entire life, including work, interests, physical pursuits, etc. have all changed and progressed.
Does he want to be “friends” and also meet me? Or is he trying to light a spark to see if he can create a flame?
Then I think, maybe he’s a man who’s on his own, possibly lost his partner and lonely, reaching out to someone he once thought was a good person.
BUT they had a “fling” way back then and to me, that’s territory you don’t cross again out of nowhere.
What do you think she should do… not respond? Tell him she’s happily married? Ask what it’s about and bring me along?
Blame the Internet, which has brought us all the possibility of some great new connections and the ease to pursue some old ones, even if they could cause problems.
Then, be pleased that your wife is obviously worthy of your trust. She told you about the email and shared it with you. She also revealed the background information despite knowing that it would cause a reaction of concern.
No need for worry. Yes, he may’ve been lonely and reaching out to someone he remembered as a nice person. There’s no suggestion of anything more.
He doesn’t even ask to meet, leaving it open for her to say whether she’s available for exploring a connection.
She need only respond that she’s very busy with her marriage, children and work and hopes his life is happy too.
What do readers think?
My wife and I hadn’t yet made our marriage official with a paid dowry, according to our custom.
During my university studies, she pushed for marriage, which I accepted, because I loved her.
She/her family supported me financially. When I graduated, I got a job in town and we agreed that she’d stay separately at home, managing investments. We had a baby daughter and every Friday I visit them.
Shocking news reached me that she’s cheating.
She cried and begged for forgiveness. She admitted (cheating) and blamed Satan. I got stressed and went to bars.
I choose to look for another woman but I love my daughter dearly. And my wife writes hundreds of apologetic texts. What can I do?
Shocked and Stressed
Whether it’s a woman or man who cheats, the heartache it causes the innocent partner is difficult to bear.
Yet, with a child affected, it’s worth looking at all options.
Start with getting couples’ counselling together to find out what’s really behind “Satan” as her excuse. Was living apart a poor decision? Was she overwhelmed with a new baby and her financial responsibilities?
Do you two still have a love that can be renewed through explanations from her and forgiveness from you?
If yes, therapy may help renew your relationship.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the woman who cheated once (August 18):
“While she must find the cause of dissatisfaction with her marriage in order to fix it, if she wants to stay married she must be honest about her indiscretion.
“Relationships need to be built on mutual trust. Hiding the cheating because it doesn't define her, leaves the door open for further indiscretions…
“But it's okay, because this doesn't define them, right? Or it's okay, because they’re not happy with their relationship, like this woman. These are all terrible excuses for poor behaviour.
“Cheating in any agreed exclusive relationship should be treated seriously. The cheated party should be respected, informed, and allowed to decide whether to continue with the relationship or not.
“Accountability and honesty will go a lot further toward building a strong relationship than stacking skeletons in the closet.
“Especially if/when these skeletons get uncovered months or years later, as they so often do.”
Tip of the day:
Heard from a past fling? Respond that you’re busy.