Saturday, August 14, 2010

They'll Always Have Paris – Or Not

"Stewing" wrote in to Dear Margo:

I’ve been married for 20 years, during which time my husband has never given me any reason to mistrust him. He is a good father with a strong sense of responsibility, and he takes his marriage vows seriously.
Great!

A couple of years ago, after 30-plus years, he reconnected with his high school friends through the Internet. He’s met a few of these friends during his travels, and some of them have even come for dinner. Here comes the situation. He’s been going to Paris every three months or so for business, where two of the high school friends live. One is a married male friend, "Sam." The other is a divorced female friend, "Lila." All three have gotten together for dinner, but on a couple of occasions, Sam couldn’t make it, so my husband had dinner with Lila.
He's never given you a reason to distrust him, but have you given yourself a reason to distrust him, by not being a good wife?

I know he has no romantic feelings for her, but I’m still uncomfortable with his having dinner with her alone.
It isn't appropriate. Well, it is in France, but they're messed up that way.

Just because something hasn’t happened in the past doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future.
Keep saying that about everything in life. That will make you happy and healthy.

Would I be overreacting if I asked him not to see Lila alone?
No, as long as you don't allow any man to come into your house (plumber, cable guy, etc.) while you are home but your husband isn't. Okay, it isn't quite the same thing as having wine and dinner, but he wouldn't be out of line asking that from you.

Margo responded:

I think you would seem insecure and controlling if you asked that he only see Lila with the male classmate present.
How is that controlling? He can say "No" to his wife's request.

I'm glad that Margo encouraged her to save herself the worry and give her husband the benefit of the doubt.

The husband is a great guy by the writer's own assessment. If she is being a good wife, she doesn't have anything to worry about. But he should be more respectful of the fact that he's a married man.

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