I’m in a common-law relationship of 10 years. I recently came across someone's Facebook picture that looked a lot like my husband.
A woman had posted it for everyone to see that my husband took a selfie while he was at work and sent it to her.
She then posted it via FB and wrote in her caption, "He's my Ex. But is and always will be the LOVE OF MY LIFE. 25 years together❤️”
Now I’m mad because we’ve been together for these past 10 years. This picture seems to have been sent a year ago. How should I handle this situation?
Start with a calm, non-angry or accusing question, as to whether there’s another woman in his life. Then show him the Facebook post. Ask what it means.
If you know nothing of this “ex,” ask him about her and what was their connection (if true) of 25 years.
If your partner denies all or gives an offhand explanation, ask what he intends to do about this woman. Say that she’s upset you terribly and in a way for all who know you both to gossip about.
Do NOT deal with this conversation or your feelings on social media, not about him or the woman either. It’ll only escalate the matter which may be related to her desire to break up your relationship.
But if you find that there’s truth to her story, you need him to explain the whole story so you can decide what you want to do about your relationship and your own future. Counselling about this can be helpful.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman whose long-bullying sister intends to travel with her husband and dog to stay for two weeks in her home (April 19):
Reader – “What’s the reason for this visit during the pandemic... who needs more anxiety which will certainly happen?
“She needs to firmly say "not welcome" and next time, “stay at a hotel with your husband and dog.” Is this abusive sisterly relationship even worth it?”
Reader #2 – “We can’t choose our blood relationships, only enhance them if they’re supportive or break them if they damage us. But if they cause or threaten unlimited suffering, they must be abandoned.
“The letter-writer needs to push back hard for the well-being of her marriage, her spouse and her aged dog. Even at the cost of this particularly dysfunctional relationship.”
Reader #3 – “A simple ''NO'' until the difficult sister stops bullying her. Telling the ''whole family'' of the planned visit to which she wasn’t invited, is more bullying.”
Reader #4 – “A neutral place, when the pandemic’s all over, that accepts dogs, each family with their own cabin or room? Much better to be somewhere where one can leave if necessary.”
Reader #5 – “If her sister continues her bullying then NO visits. This woman has apparently been tortured all her life by her sister. It needs to STOP.”
Ellie – I had initially responded: “No house guests until it’s safe — everyone vaccinated, social distancing and masked indoors, all other socializing outdoors.”
Those were immediate reasons to end her sister’s plans under the ongoing threat of COVID-19, especially as lockdown orders were issued across the country.
But the strong, protective response of readers supporting this woman who’s been her sister’s constant tormentor - even ruining her high school years - makes it clear she should be avoided until - this is unlikely - her behaviour’s no longer intolerable.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the wife of 44 years who admitted cheating 25 years earlier (March 29 and April 19):
“I’m a 42-year-old married male (four kids) in the process of overcoming porn addiction. In my current non-porn-induced clarity I’ve reflected on my thinking patterns and remember being in the mindset that this guy is in.
“No one’s more faithful than my wife, yet I always felt an undercurrent of paranoia that she’d find someone better than me.
“I’ve been working through this stuff with a psychotherapist and understand where it’s all coming from... but until I was truly honest with myself, it was always something or someone else's fault for the way I felt.”
Ellie - Their long marriage had many phases including when her husband worked a late shift and, she admitted, her loneliness triggered the long-ago cheating which now makes her husband feel insecure.
But with both mutually loving, there’s renewed hope for them.
Tip of the day:
Social media posts can be real OR not. Don’t overreact till you have the facts.