Annie Lane: Growing suspicious

Published 5:05 pm Friday, June 3, 2022

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Dear Annie: A few months ago, my wife of four years went out for drinks with her girlfriends and did not return home till the next day. She had told me repeatedly she was coming home but never did, and when she did come home, her story as to why she was gone overnight was flimsy at best. I went behind her back to verify with a friend/bar owner where she was that night, what time she left, and with whom, which I know was an overreach. She had never given me a reason to doubt her prior. I should have gone straight to her and asked, and I have since then apologized.

In the months since that point, my wife has been extraordinarily distant from me and constantly asks for space. I’ve done my best to accommodate those requests, but sometimes she’s gone for hours. Sometimes she comes home at 7 a.m., sometimes not until the next day and, even a few times, not for multiple days. When I ask where she’s going or when she will be home, she makes it seem like I’m interrogating her and says, “This is the reason I need my space,” but I feel it is unfair to expect a partner to give such a wide berth with no follow-up whatsoever.

At what point do I cross the line from being an understanding husband trying to let his wife work through some things and becoming a sap, wearing blinders that let him get walked over?

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— Wanting To Be Married Forever

Dear Wanting: It sounds like you’ve given your wife plenty of time and space, and the benefit of the doubt more times than she deserved. Her erratic behavior and secret-keeping are nothing but red flags of something bigger going on. Couples counseling, if she would be willing to attend, would be the best next step to getting answers and insight into your marriage.

• • •

Dear Annie: I have maintained a friendship for many years with a college buddy. We are both now married and have kids; I have two, and he has six. Here is the issue: While we both share interests (sports, etc.), invariably during our conversations and interactions, he will make reference to how many kids he has, how expensive they are, and how my situation is much easier with “only” two.

Annie, my wife and I have been blessed with our kids and have had four miscarriages, all of which hurt. My friend knows this. How do I tell him to quit complaining and be happy with his six kids? Yes, they are expensive, but neither he nor his wife did anything to prevent the pregnancies, and all of the kids were planned. How can I tell him that he needs to quit complaining and accept his responsibility for his role in creating the kids as there are those who would love to have that many?

— Fortunate Dad to Two

Dear Fortunate Dad: I’m so sorry for your loss. Children are among the biggest, most precious blessings we can be gifted in life.

The next time your friend makes one of his comments, try something simple and true: “You have such a beautiful family,” or, “My wife and I would wish we had a few more of our own.” A subtle reminder of how lucky he is might make him realize there are others who wish they were in his shoes.

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