Los Angeles Times

Troubling text messages

- Email questions to Amy Dickinson at askamy@ amydickins­on.com.

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 a while 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 she 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 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. 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.

Did I do the right thing, or was I being meddlesome? 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 stewed about this for weeks and then 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.

She was honest with you regarding how your behavior made her feel. At this point, without discussing his behavior or hers, you should talk to her sincerely about how this has made you feel.

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. (He’s 94 now.)

Children who 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, in many instances, 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.

If dozens of 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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States