Face­book mes­sage cre­ates mar­i­tal mess

Orlando Sentinel - - HOBBIES -

Dear Amy: My hus­band and I have been to­gether for more than 25 years. Two years ago, my hus­band got a mes­sage on his phone while he was driv­ing. He asked me to look at it. I got on his phone and it was a Face­book mes­sage from our son. But I also saw an­other mes­sage ex­change be­tween my hus­band and an ex-girl­friend from col­lege. When I read it (with him sit­ting right next to me), I was shocked and an­gry. I read the mes­sage out loud at his re­quest. He de­nied that it was him, and was ag­i­tated I had found it.

The woman asks what he was up to, and states she is di­vorced. Then she sug­gested they meet up and go to a foot­ball game soon to catch up.

She re­ferred to his pre­vi­ous di­vorce. But my hus­band made no men­tion of me or our kids, and replied that he had a busi­ness trip com­ing up in the area she lived in. Now, he had promised to take me on that trip, he ended up mak­ing some ex­cuse about why I couldn’t go. (I found this Face­book en­try af­ter that trip.) I asked him to tell the truth, and also to un­friend this woman on FB.

He con­tin­ues to deny he wrote that mes­sage and that he met up with her. Since the in­ci­dent two years ago, I can’t even face sleep­ing with him with­out think­ing about this. I have just found yet an­other old girl­friend he has been say­ing sweet things to, and I am heart­bro­ken and fu­ri­ous. He doesn’t know I have found the lat­est mes­sages yet. I’m not sure if he is just FB flirt­ing or if he is se­ri­ously look­ing for some­one else.

I have been putting money away to be pre­pared for any­thing that comes next, but I love him. I am also re­al­is­tic, and un­der­stand that he may not love me or care about “us” any­more. Any ad­vice? Dear Fu­ri­ous: Your nar­ra­tive out­lines a mar­i­tal stand­off in your home. You’ve ac­cused your hus­band of con­tact with an old girl­friend, and he de­nies it. (Let’s stip­u­late that his de­nial is not cred­i­ble.)

I’m won­der­ing what could be worse for your re­la­tion­ship than the way you two are cur­rently con­duct­ing it. I’m not blam­ing you for qui­etly seething while you squir­rel away di­vorce money. But I am won­der­ing what you’re wait­ing for. Con­fronta­tion can seem fright­en­ing, es­pe­cially if you’re afraid of fac­ing the truth — that your mar­riage might have gone stale, that you don’t trust your hus­band, and can’t stand to sleep with him.

But con­fronta­tion and its con­se­quences must be bet­ter than this. You should be com­pletely trans­par­ent about your fears, and in­vite your hus­band into coun­sel­ing with you.

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