Baltimore Sun

Audacious text spurs husband’s angry reply

- By Amy Dickinson askamy@amydickins­ Twitter@askingamy Copyright 2022 by Amy Dickinson Distribute­d by Tribune Content Agency

Dear Amy: My wife of over 25 years is foreign-born.

She travels to her home country for an extended period almost every year. I’ll join her for a few weeks, and she’ll stay longer after I return home.

Recently when she returned home, she told me that after I had left, she was introduced to a male acquaintan­ce of her family’s. She said that they did not have a conversati­on, but did notice that he stared at her constantly.

Afterward this man tracked her down and sent her a text message, which she let me read. It was quite lengthy and frankly, incredibly audacious. He told her how attractive she is, how he wanted to spend time with her and suggested how to discreetly contact him to arrange a rendezvous.

Her response to him was overly polite: “I’m flattered, but I’m busy. Perhaps some other time.”

I made a note of his phone number and a few weeks later sent him a terse message (I’m fluent in his language), that he was rude, unmannerly, interested only in a sexual encounter with my wife and to back off.

He did not answer my message; instead he forwarded it to my wife, who got angry and said that I embarrasse­d her and violated her privacy.

I told her that while I may have ruined her other man fantasy, someone had to put him in his place, and I was proud to do it.

My wife is a very attractive woman. I am aware of the attention she receives.

To me, however, that man went over the top. Did I do the right thing? — Just Wondering

Dear Wondering: Your wife shared this man’s text message and her reply, which you describe as “overly polite.” I interpret her message differentl­y.

In its ambiguity, “Perhaps some other time” can be read as something of an invitation.

The politeness she extended was to this acquaintan­ce, but not necessaril­y to you.

In response, you acted out in anger. You were trying to protect your marriage by being direct, but your wife is the one who should have drawn a firm boundary around your marriage.

You could have asked her to make a more definitive statement, rather than doing it yourself.

Without discussing his behavior or hers, you should talk to her sincerely about how this has made you feel: “This text exchange made me very sad and angry. I’m worried about our relationsh­ip, and I’m trying to protect it.”

Dear Amy: You recently wrote: “I have mentioned this many times (especially lately), but the ubiquity of DNA testing is basically coming for everyone. Each of us should try to anticipate the possibilit­y of being contacted by DNA relatives.”

Our situation is that an uncle who was an OB-GYN donated sperm to a bank many times throughout his career.

Children that were conceived from his generosity and kindness are not our relatives! They are members of the family that raised them!

This seeking out of bio parents is an invasion of privacy and totally disrespect­s the love, sacrifice and support of the family they were raised with.

— DNA isn’t Everything

Dear DNA: You say your physician uncle donated to a sperm bank. I assume he was not a fertility doctor. (If he was a fertility doctor using his own sperm to inseminate women without their consent, then he was a liar and a criminal.)

If infertile couples within his own community used his donations to conceive, these children all have important reasons to learn their DNA heritage.

DNA-related siblings growing up in the same community could conceive children together and face extreme health, emotional and social consequenc­es.

So buck up. Any people coming forward may not be family members of yours — but they are related to you.

Dear Amy: “Overwhelme­d” asked about a yard sale to get rid of a deceased girlfriend’s stuff.

My idea of a brutal hell is holding a yard sale, and I’m not the only one. You should have suggested arranging with the owner of a secondhand store to come get all the stuff and negotiatin­g a price to haul it off. Easy, quick, relatively painless.


Dear K: This is a great suggestion, and thank you.

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