It’s time to leave hus­band’s com­puter his­tory far be­hind

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST/TELEVISION - CAROLYN HAX Chat on­line with Carolyn at 11 a.m. Cen­tral time each Fri­day at wash­ing­ton­ Write to Tell Me About It in care of The Wash­ing­ton Post, Style Plus, 1150 15th St. N.W., Wash­ing­ton, D.C. 20071; or email

DEAR CAROLYN: I’m from the U.K. I’m mar­ried to a man who is a self-pro­fessed ar­ro­gant liar. He’s proud of it. I am not.

We have been to­gether for 20 years.

He has joined a pro­fes­sional net­work­ing site and some­times he deletes his com­puter his­tory but now and again I guess he for­gets. I’ve al­ways had my sus­pi­cions. He has checked out so many young at­trac­tive women on th­ese sites. He says that it’s purely pro­fes­sional and that they have re­quested him.

I’m not stupid. All of the women are in­cred­i­bly at­trac­tive. I turn heads but I’m cer­tainly not as beau­ti­ful as th­ese women. I feel like such a mug. We have two chil­dren. I just need to know is it nor­mal that men do this or have I mar­ried an arse?

— I Mar­ried an Arse DEAR READER: You didn’t in­clude a sig­na­ture so I pro­vided one for you.

Any­one who de­scribes her hus­band as “a self-pro­fessed ar­ro­gant liar” knows ex­actly who she mar­ried.

So the real ques­tion is, what are you look­ing to get from writ­ing to me? Val­i­da­tion for your dis­trust? Done. Sym­pa­thy? Done. Per­mis­sion to go (or stay)? You’re your own per­mis­sion.

I sus­pect what you re­ally want is “why” — why he does this, why you’ve stayed, why you’ve mis­taken this for a beauty con­test — and the over­ar­ch­ing “what” they com­pel: What now?

Please get out of his his­tory, and seek an­swers in your own emo­tional health. Find a ther­a­pist, some sup­port­ive friends, some healthy out­lets. Find you. Your confidence will speak for it­self.

DEAR CAROLYN: I re­cently faced a gut-wrench­ing de­ci­sion when my fa­ther passed away a few days be­fore my son’s wed­ding. My sib­lings were un­will­ing to de­lay the funeral and it was the same day as the wed­ding. I could not at­tend both.

I de­cided to go to the wed­ding, ob­vi­ously miss­ing my fa­ther’s funeral. What do you think of my de­ci­sion?

— Right De­ci­sion? DEAR READER: I’m so sorry for your loss.

Your de­ci­sion was a mat­ter of con­science, so whether it was the “right” one is be­yond the reach of out­side opin­ion.

If it helps, I’d have cho­sen the wed­ding, too, for two rea­sons. First, fu­ner­als are for the sur­vivors, and as a sur­vivor, you had stand­ing to de­cide what bet­ter served your grief — to ac­cept sup­port for your loss or show sup­port for your son.

The sec­ond is sim­ply, life. Given a choice be­tween look­ing for­ward or look­ing back, for­ward is the joy­ous path, of in­vest­ing in the fam­ily that your dad started and that now car­ries his mem­ory for­ward.

A choice to at­tend the funeral would have with­stood scru­tiny, too — to take your one chance to mark the end since there will likely be many to em­brace this son’s new be­gin­ning. It’s not so much that one choice was right as that nei­ther was wrong.

You didn’t ask this, but I’ll an­swer it any­way — I wouldn’t have cho­sen as your sib­lings did. Ab­sent a re­li­gious im­per­a­tive, it’s quite com­mon to de­lay ser­vices a bit so that more peo­ple can at­tend.

But what that means, ul­ti­mately, is that both par­ties had choices, you and your sib­lings. It might con­sole you most just to ac­cept that they did what they felt they needed to, and so did you, and to see it needn’t res­onate be­yond that.

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