One issue has my wheels turning. My husband and I started dating 11 years ago. Five years ago we married. Our son was born two years later. Our relationship is good as far as we are both concerned, with the usual disagreements that are common among couples, but nothing that a little talking can’t rectify.
A couple of months ago he became moody and irritable. I couldn’t understand what was troubling him. He would become anxious if he was left at home for an extended period. I thought I had done something wrong or made him angry.
I asked if everything was okay. He said a lot of things were going through his head. He thought he may need a therapist. Finally, he talked to a friend about his “things.” At first, I took offense, wondering what he couldn’t talk to me about.
Finally, I got him to reveal his secret. He wanted to contact a high school sweetheart he hasn’t heard from in 14 years. When I asked why, he said he just wanted to say hello, tell her how successful he is, and brag about our family. He told me he wants her to know he is not a loser.
I know you never forget your first love and certainly not the person you lost your virginity with, but why is it so important for her to know this so many years later?
Though I had mixed feelings, I encouraged him to do what he needed to do, and he located her. She’s a distance away, I believe on her third marriage, with one child. He wrote a letter he may send, if she is willing to give him her address.
I thought he had dropped the issue once he knew he could come to me with his feelings, but when I discovered he knew where she lived, I felt angry, betrayed, and hurt, just to name a few. Now he is upset. He feels he never should have told me. I said I would rather have him tell me than find out by accident.
To my knowledge there has been no contact to date. I love my husband very, very much and he says he loves me too. He says he is happy with his family and home life and wouldn’t change it for anything.
Am I being jealous over nothing? I try to let it go, but when he is up late at night, I can’t help but wonder if he is waiting for an email from her.
Mindy, your husband is obsessing about another woman. But why? Her life is her life. Why does he need to prove anything to her?
It would be a mistake to think this is something that is your fault, or jealousy. But there are other possibilities. He dated you a long time. Was he carrying a torch for her which he is still carrying? If he “settled” for you, the length of your dating could be a confirming factor. Or perhaps she broke up with him, and he wants to get even. But grinding her nose in his success will be a hollow victory.
It boils down to what you can’t yet say. What he thinks another woman thinks, a woman who may not think of him at all, is more important than what his wife thinks right now.
You ask, should I be concerned? You should ask, can he be steered away from the cliff’s edge before he ruins the present over an obsession?
He is destroying your trust in the marriage. He can’t do that while saying he is completely happy. His words and actions don’t match up, and you must find out what is true, his words or his actions. You need to seek a go-between or mediator, a neutral third party who can uncover the truth.
+ Wayne & Tamara
Column for week of February 18, 2019
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