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'Til Death-Grip Do Us Part
Just posted another Advice Goddess column. Here's the letter from the rabidly jealous wife:

My husband of 10 years has an old friend he dated for a few years before we met. She comes into our lives about once a year when she’s in town. Her e-mails sometimes seem flirty, and my husband says I take them too seriously. But, she also seems edgy around me, making me suspect she still has feelings for him. When she was here for a funeral, I told him he could join her and some friends for a night out if he didn’t make me look bad. Two days later, I got a mass e-mail with pictures of him and his ex cheek-to-cheek! That argument lasted a month. He finally agreed to do something, but I think he isn’t making it clear enough that she shouldn’t call or e-mail again because she hasn’t stopped. He claims he feels bad ending one of the only friendships he’s maintained for the past 20 years. Well, their relationship’s taking a toll on ours. How can I cut off their contact?

--Irate Wife

My answer starts like this:

If you love someone, turn off the electrified fencing. If they hang around, they’re yours. If not, at least you won’t be facing manslaughter charges.

The guy married you, not her. Why work so hard to make him sorry he did? Sure, he’s still with you after 10-plus years -- maybe because he’s too beaten down to crawl to the phone and start ringing divorce lawyers. To your credit, you did decide to let him see this woman -- before you decided that he can never see her, talk to her, or even e-mail her again. Excuse me, but who decided that you get to decide these things? I’m guessing you were pronounced “husband and wife,” not “husband and warden.” Yet, at the moment, your relationship is basically prison with better towels.

The rest of my answer, and a pile of comments, is here.

Posted by aalkon at August 29, 2007 9:50 AM

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