Taming fears of husband’s infidelity
Dear Annie: My husband is a consultant and travels frequently for work. When he travels, he’ll sometimes leave Sunday and return the following Friday. He will sometimes do this for three weeks out of a month. The projects may last six months or three years. It grows lonely without him.
I’m the product of divorced parents. My father left my mother after she found out he was having an affair.
This experience has had an obvious impact on me, particularly with my jealousy. I am always searching my husband for any evidence of an affair, whether it’s going through his phone and email or searching his pockets. I’m never certain he’s been faithful.
He’s been on an extended project in Europe, frequently leaving on Saturdays or Sundays. He’s missed several events for our children and also birthdays and our anniversary. I’m becoming increasingly concerned that he’s having an affair.
All the while, there is no real evidence of this, and he is clearly struggling with his travel schedule and leaving the family. Also, I know he is so loving and caring toward me and our family. I need to know: Am I crazy? And how do I tame my fears? — Jealous Wife
Dear Jealous: It’s funny how when we let our imaginations run wild, they could go anywhere yet often go to the same bad familiar places — in this case, the memory of your father and his affair.
You’ve said yourself that there’s no actual evidence that would support your fears about your husband’s fidelity. If he has always been honest and trustworthy, I see no reason to question that now.
Jealousy is a monster. The more you feed it the bigger it gets. Before you know it, you’ve let it tear, Godzilla-like, through your entire life. So you must stop feeding it. Resist the urge to go through your husband’s texts, emails, phone logs and pockets. The more you exercise the trust muscle the stronger it becomes. And a robust sense of trust is fundamental to a healthy marriage.
All that aside, communication is also fundamental. It sounds as if his time away from home has been hard on your relationship. Talk to each other about this. If he can’t work fewer hours and travel less, you can find other ways to maintain intimacy and emotional closeness.
Dear Annie: Whoa! Your response to “Scared of My Friends” really smacked of ageism. I just turned 70. I live in a rural area and
drive every day.
Do you know who is really dangerous on the road? Someone who is driving with his knees because he is texting or someone holding a cellphone to her ear while driving. Those are the folks who are going to cause accidents, not me because I turned a magic number.
I have a very thorough eye exam every year. My eyes are precious to me, and I want to take the best care of them. I work out six days a week, with an hour and a half of cardio and some weights. So do not judge people by a number on a calendar. And certainly do not encourage a government agency to begin using age discrimination to keep folks from driving. Take the texters off the road. They are really dangerous. I’m not. — Stephanie in