25 Червня, 2024 9:26 pm

Carolyn Hax: Wife downplays sending money and hundreds of texts to ex

Carolyn Hax is away. The following first appeared June 10, 2009.

Dear Carolyn: I have just recently discovered that my wife has been communicating with her ex since last year. (More than 1,000 texts sent in one month.) She also has wired him money at least twice over the past month. She says it is no big deal and thinks I am overreacting when I discuss leaving. Am I?

— Anonymous

Anonymous: If you are still just discussing it while she continues to insult you openly, then please consider that you are underreacting. Say your wife’s behavior is innocent (dubious but just for the sake of argument). If your marriage is her priority, then she will apologize for upsetting you and patiently explain how 1,000 texts to an ex can be innocent.

Even if she believes you are unfair, paranoid, controlling, whatever, again, just for the sake of argument, and even if she believes it is her right to choose her friends, none of those concerns would trump the need to be sympathetic to and transparent with her spouse. In other words: People who care about you will care about the effect they have on you. Your wife’s main concern is to shift the blame for her behavior onto you. That looks worse than 1,000 texts.

Dear Carolyn: An old friend moved back into town and was immediately welcomed by a clique of women of which I am not a “member.” At first I was hurt, then I decided my friendship with “Sue” stands on its own and does not need anyone else’s approval.

Then Sue made the mistake of writing in her annual family newsletter that she spent her 50th birthday at a spa “along with my dearest friends.” It was a party to which I was not invited. I was stunned, confronted her and got the “I had no intention of hurting you” reply, after which I crossed her off my list.

Now she is making overtures, and I am confused. I feel all of the following:

1. Angry and bitter with a sprinkle of vengeful.

2. No longer awfully interested in her friendship.

3. A little ashamed at my “junior high school” feelings.

Can you help untangle?

— M

M: By your account, the spa incident itself never changed any of the fundamentals of your friendship: You still are not part of the clique, but she still is. Presumably, Sue herself has not changed, and you also make no mention of dramatic changes in your personality or circumstances. Plus, you gave her an opportunity to drop you in favor of her spa friends, and she is not taking it.

So here are the reasons we have left that her spa trip will end your friendship:

1. You were okay with being excluded from the clique privately, but her public announcement now has you feeling exposed and embarrassed.

2. You do not believe in hyperbole, so you are taking her at her literal word that these are her “dearest” friends, which means you are less dear to her than you thought.

3. You no longer want to be friends with someone who talks about her spa trips in an annual family newsletter.

If any or all of these seem like worthy grounds to end the friendship, then the friendship has probably run its course. It happens. But if none of these seems as important to you as her friendship, then you will probably regret screening her calls.

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