Go­ing yon­der

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - An­nie Lane

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

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.

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 New York

Jeal­ousy is a mon­ster. The more you feed it the big­ger it gets.

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