Ex’s flirty texts need to be explained to wife
Dear Ellie: I’m a man, 46, happily married for the second time. I’ve remained friends with an ex who moved to a different country, through exchanging texts about once a year.
Her most recent message was very flirtatious. I responded similarly, though meant in humour. Her message back was more suggestive, and I again matched her.
After one more exchange, she messaged: “Do you really want to go down this road?”
I couldn’t tell if she was being serious or calling me out for my going along with it.
I didn’t respond. What should I do?
I don’t want to end the friendship, yet the flirting’s harmless since we’re living in different countries.
Explain yourself to her that you are happily married and the texts were just responses-in-kind for fun, which you assume was her intention, too.
That way you’re being clear. And you can be open with your wife and tell her that your friend was likely bored and playing the tease.
Why raise it with your wife? Read on:
Repeated “mis-steps” in a relationship, which is what teasing, flirty texts with an ex look like to a partner, often get discovered eventually, and become a far more serious issue.
You don’t really know what your ex meant. So it would be hard to explain it to a partner wanting a straight answer to: What’s this all about?
She might even ask you to stop texting with your ex. Given the distance, her odd message and the pressures of the times, that might be the best idea, at least for a long while.
Dear Ellie: I’m “a hugger.” And the pandemic has restricted my natural inclination to be warm with people.
Seriously, it causes me emotional pain to withhold from greeting a close friend, neighbour, extended family, etc. with some level of physical contact.
Normally, I help strangers, e.g. picking up groceries they dropped.
Now everyone just watches as the person picks them up alone. It’s just wrong.
I feel like there’s a straitjacket on my personality.
You’re still good-hearted, so show it in words, such as: “Great seeing you healthy!” Show it with an elbow-bump or shoe toetouch, if they agree (explain first).
Show your caring by protecting your own bubble of contacts and that of others, by saying: “We’ll hug again when we can!”
Even with closest family members living together, you still have to protect each other from potential COVID transmission through aerosols reaching each other’s eyes, nose, or mouth, by washing hands frequently, especially after being out.
Ellie’s tip of the day
Don’t hide unusual flirty texts from an ex. Discuss them openly with your spouse.
Send relationship questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @ellieadvice.