Woman not sure if it’s OK to be jealous over husband’s texts
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA, USA.