Woman not sure if it’s OK to be jeal­ous over hus­band’s texts

The China Post - - LIFE -

DEAR AN­NIE: Sev­eral years ago, my then mid­dle-aged hus­band worked for a com­pany that em­ployed sev­eral young at­trac­tive girls. He be­came friends with one of them, and they be­came tex­ting bud­dies. Even when they both later left the com­pany, they con­tin­ued to text. I found this out af­ter the fact. When I con­fronted him, he said they were “just friends.” I got him to un­der­stand how un­com­fort­able their con­tact made me, so he fi­nally stopped. I also asked him to un­friend her on Face­book and re­move her from his cell­phone, and he did so.

This woman is di­vorced and has kids. When I found out about the tex­ting, I told her I knew all about it and that I do not like other women tex­ting my hus­band. She was very co­op­er­a­tive and said she meant no dis­re­spect. They never com­mu­ni­cated again as far as I know. But this en­tire episode left me feel­ing in­se­cure and jeal­ous. I stopped trust­ing him. I think he be­came a lit­tle too in­volved in her per­sonal life.

The en­tire episode was out of char­ac­ter for a hus­band who’s been faith­ful for 30 years. I think the tex­ting was ex­cit­ing and a safe out­let for him. I also think it be­came a habitual part of his day. But be­cause it all hap­pened be­hind my back, I haven’t felt the same about him since. It hurt me ter­ri­bly. Can a man be just friends with a fe­male? And should I let this go?

— Still Feel­ing Hurt

Dear Hurt: Yes, men can be friends with women, and yes, you should let it go. You have a good han­dle on what hap­pened: Your hus­band prob­a­bly found this ex­cit­ing, yet “safe.” And be­cause you were un­aware of the so­cial as­pect of the tex­ting, it felt like a form of cheat­ing. We’d add that the woman’s age fed your in­se­cu­ri­ties. But it doesn’t seem any­thing hap­pened be­yond tex­ting, and both read­ily agreed to stop con­tact and have done so. Please ex­plain to your hus­band why this hurt you so much. His protes­ta­tions that “noth­ing hap­pened” are in­suf­fi­cient. He needs to un­der­stand that you re­quire re­as­sur­ance in or­der to re­gain your trust.

DEAR AN­NIE: I have a ques­tion about when some­one gives some­thing to an­other per­son.

A cousin gave my sis­ter sev­eral nice ar­ti­cles of cloth­ing. Af­ter sev­eral years, the cousin now wants the clothes back. She even re­quested that the items be de­liv­ered to her house. My sis­ter never asked for th­ese ar­ti­cles of cloth­ing to begin with. My cousin sim­ply thought my sis­ter needed them. Is it cor­rect for my cousin to re­quest the re­turn of the items? — C.P.

Dear C.P.: It de­pends. When your cousin gave the clothes to your sis­ter, did she say it was a loan? Did she say, “You can bor­row th­ese”? If so, she didn’t in­tend for your sis­ter to keep them. But oth­er­wise, when some­one gives some­thing away, it be­longs to the re­cip­i­ent, who is un­der no obli­ga­tion to re­turn it.

Of course, if your sis­ter wants to main­tain a good re­la­tion­ship with this cousin, she might con­sider re­turn­ing the items any­way just to avoid ill will. An­nie’s Mail­box is writ­ten by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, long­time ed­i­tors of the Ann Lan­ders col­umn. Please email your ques­tions to an­nies­mail­box@cre­ators.com, or write to: An­nie’s Mail­box, c/o Cre­ators Syn­di­cate, 737 3rd Street, Her­mosa Beach, CA, USA.

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