“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Apr 17, 2014
DEAR AMY: Sometimes people write to you because they can't cope with their grief. I have the opposite problem.

My wife of 43 years died of cancer three years ago, and I still don't feel that I have had the appropriate reaction.

I went to a shrink last year because I thought I should have been crying or something. I was given homework to get rid of her clothes. I did get teary-eyed when I saw the dress she wore when we eloped, but I never broke down and cried or got inconsolable.

I started meeting women for coffee from online dating sites about a year after my wife died. I even had sex with a few. I still think I should have been sadder after my wife's death -- we were married for 43 years and had two children together.

The doctor also prescribed some medication for me because I told him I slept too much (like any time I wasn't working).

Have you ever heard of this type of problem? Am I just cold?-- Cold

DEAR COLD: I don't know if I would call you "cold," although you do seem emotionally muted. Your oversleeping is a common sign of depression. Your physician and therapist should offer remedies that lead you toward insight, not just medication.

If you were with your wife as she endured a lingering illness, I assume you grieved before her death.

But the thing about loss is that there is no "right" way to express it. All we have to guide us is what we think of as the norm. I assume that your reaction is more common than you know and that there are a lot of people like you who are baffled by the lack of tears.

My hope for you would be to focus less on trying to force some tears (and thinking there is something wrong with you when you don't cry), and more on appreciating your very long marriage -- and moving forward with an optimistic attitude about the future.

DEAR AMY: I recently found out one of my "best friends" has been propositioning my wife. My wife is very good friends with his wife, and we used to socialize a lot as couples.

My wife said no to the propositions but did not want to jeopardize all of our intertwined relationships.

I think she used the reasons: "What about his wife? What about me?" She didn't say, "No because I don't want to" because it would have made him feel rejected.

She kept getting advances by email, text, phone calls, etc. for months, and my wife was too "nice" and did not put an absolute end to it. She tried to just keep things "normal" by semi-ignoring it, but communicating with him.

I found out by checking her cellphone. I understand I violated her privacy. She finally admitted it, then he found out and things have stopped. His wife does not know and the wives are still friends. I am not going to tell his wife, and I don't want to talk to him.

Now things are scr---d up in my relationship with my wife. Because I "don't trust her" things here are tense, intimacy is almost nonexistent, and I don't know how to turn things around. Was I wrong for snooping?-- Need Help

DEAR NEED: Yes, you were wrong for snooping. Furthermore, you don't seem to approve of the way you assume your wife handled these advances. That does indicate a lack of trust on your part.

Show your commitment to working this out by acknowledging your breach. Then make an appointment with a marriage counselor so you can negotiate an emotional settlement together.

DEAR AMY: I'm responding to "Bothered's" letter. She loved her haircut but said the person's station was filthy.

Hairdressers are licensed by the state in which they do business and are required to follow certain hygienic practices. If he doesn't clean up his act, she should notify her local health department and the appropriate state regulatory agency.-- Disgusted

DEAR DISGUSTED: "Bothered" wanted to continue going to this particular person, but I agree that if he doesn't clean up, he should be reported.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#2 Apr 17, 2014
1 You're normal, like amy said, you probably did all your grieving during her illness. Quit second guessing yourself and get on with the business of living.

2 NO amy, it is not the dudes fault. He snooped because she was not forthcoming about this guy. He was a threat to their marriage and she should have told her husband about it. I cant believe you are bashing the man for this. Or can I?

3 Yeah, great way to keep a stylist you like <eye roll>

“Checks and Balances”

Since: Apr 13

Location hidden

#3 Apr 17, 2014
LW2- What did your wife do wrong? She said No in a way that protected a friendship that was obviously important to you. She did not lead him on, she did not create a scene, she did not cheat.

What is it that makes you lose faith in her? Maybe it is because you are insecure. YOU need counseling.
liner

Bellport, NY

#4 Apr 17, 2014
L1: Gee, I don't know. You seem like you've handled your grief pretty well to me. You know, meeting chicks for coffee and.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#5 Apr 17, 2014
ScarletandOlive wrote:
LW2- What did your wife do wrong? She said No in a way that protected a friendship that was obviously important to you. She did not lead him on, she did not create a scene, she did not cheat.
What is it that makes you lose faith in her? Maybe it is because you are insecure. YOU need counseling.
wait, what? If a "friend" of mine propositions my wife...REPEATEDLY, my wife would not be doing me any favors by protecting that "friendship". That's no friend.

“Checks and Balances”

Since: Apr 13

Location hidden

#6 Apr 17, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>wait, what? If a "friend" of mine propositions my wife...REPEATEDLY, my wife would not be doing me any favors by protecting that "friendship". That's no friend.
I would tell my husband, but he is more important to me than any friendship. We have read enough letters to advice columnists to know that many men just brush off things like this, though, and tell their wives that they are making too much out of people just being friendly.

I think it is more important that she kept saying NO.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#7 Apr 17, 2014
ScarletandOlive wrote:
<quoted text>
I would tell my husband, but he is more important to me than any friendship. We have read enough letters to advice columnists to know that many men just brush off things like this, though, and tell their wives that they are making too much out of people just being friendly.
I think it is more important that she kept saying NO.
That certainly is the most important thing, I just took issue with your assertion that she was doing a good thing by preserving this friendship. She's not. He deserves to know what a dirtbag his friend is.

And no. No man is just going to brush it off ad "just being friendly" if it came in waves over email, text, phone calls, and presumably in person over the course of many months.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#8 Apr 17, 2014
LW1: You sound just fine to me. Stop worrying about how you think you should be grieving and just live your life.

LW2: She wanted to protect the friendship with this propositioner's wife, and to do that, she felt like she had to be "nice" or he might retaliate in some way that would be hurtful all around.

Clearly, in your opinion, this was not the "right" way to go about it, but you need to focus on the fact that she repeatedly said "no", regardless if you approve of the way she said it. She needs more feelings of "glad you said no" instead of the "I don't like how you said no" she's currently getting from you.

LW3: Flowbee

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#9 Apr 17, 2014
squishymama wrote:
LW1: You sound just fine to me. Stop worrying about how you think you should be grieving and just live your life.
LW2: She wanted to protect the friendship with this propositioner's wife, and to do that, she felt like she had to be "nice" or he might retaliate in some way that would be hurtful all around.
Clearly, in your opinion, this was not the "right" way to go about it, but you need to focus on the fact that she repeatedly said "no", regardless if you approve of the way she said it. She needs more feelings of "glad you said no" instead of the "I don't like how you said no" she's currently getting from you.
LW3: Flowbee
lw2: I think preserving HER friendship with the wife is legitimate, so I can understand not blowing it up. However, she should not have kept this from her husband. He deserved to know so, at the very least, he could decline any invitation to hang out as a foursome. Let the wife socialize one on one.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#10 Apr 17, 2014
LW1: Not everyone is demonstrative when grieving. There’s nothing wrong with that.

LW2: I can’t stand Amy. She totally bashes the guy and doesn’t say anything about the wife.

His wife should have told him. He has every right to be pissed at his wife for carrying on with a friend of his behind his back who was repeatedly propositioning her … even if she said no. Whether to continue with the friendship is not just her decision under those circumstances. Her priority should be her husband, first and foremost, not the preservation of a friendship that her husband would not want to have if he knew what was really going on with this guy.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#11 Apr 17, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>wait, what? If a "friend" of mine propositions my wife...REPEATEDLY, my wife would not be doing me any favors by protecting that "friendship". That's no friend.
I agree but perhaps she thought she was protecting the wife who is her friend. Personally, I'd tell the wife of any guy who propositioned me - especially if I had proof in the way of emails from him. The guy is a jerk and needs to be "outed." How many other women has he already had illicit sex with since his marriage? I can understand not telling a person his/her spouse is having an affair if you don't know for absolute certainty or have proof (seeing a person have dinner/lunch with someone not his/her spouse is NOT proof). But the lw's wife should have told her husband what his "friend" was doing and told his wife as well. I won't go so far as to say she was trying to protect this guy or that she secretly would have wanted to have sex with him though. She could have just not known what to do at the time. I can't count the number of situations I've been in in my lifetime and didn't respond the way I now think I should have and I think in some cases I was too shocked to even think straight and/or other factors clouded the main issue. Hindsight it a great thing. Too bad we don't always have that insight when we need it. So I think a marriage counselor would be the way to go. It would be an opportunity for both of them to express their thoughts & feelings with a neutral third party to help them along and perhaps know what questions need to be asked and answered.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#12 Apr 17, 2014
ScarletandOlive wrote:
<quoted text>
I would tell my husband, but he is more important to me than any friendship.
By the way, I meant to comment on this as well. Can we then assume that by not telling, this woman's husband is not more important to her than the friendship? That can't be good for a marriage.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#13 Apr 17, 2014
Sublime1 wrote:
LW1: Not everyone is demonstrative when grieving. There’s nothing wrong with that.
LW2: I can’t stand Amy. She totally bashes the guy and doesn’t say anything about the wife.
His wife should have told him. He has every right to be pissed at his wife for carrying on with a friend of his behind his back who was repeatedly propositioning her … even if she said no. Whether to continue with the friendship is not just her decision under those circumstances. Her priority should be her husband, first and foremost, not the preservation of a friendship that her husband would not want to have if he knew what was really going on with this guy.
1: I agree. From his letter, I'd say the guy IS grieving but not in an "in your face" kind of way. Since HE thinks he has a problem, he should seek a therapist who is experienced with grief counseling. Perhaps a support group would help but I think one on one with a therapist is a better first step.

2: See my response to Tonka. I agree that she should have told her husband; he deserved to know (and so did the guy's wife). But when one spouse messes up (and she did), they need to talk things out and figure out why. If a friend propositioned my husband and he didn't say anything to me (admittedly, I can't see my husband not telling me), I hope I'd be open to discussing it with him and finding out the reason rather than screaming at him or whatever. I think I'd also want to give marriage counseling a try before running toward a divorce or even simply deciding I could no longer trust him.

“Checks and Balances”

Since: Apr 13

Location hidden

#14 Apr 17, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>By the way, I meant to comment on this as well. Can we then assume that by not telling, this woman's husband is not more important to her than the friendship? That can't be good for a marriage.
It does sound like they need to work on respect and communication. She hides things, he snoops, she doesn't respect him, he assumes the worst in her.

Either this marriage is doomed, or they are perfect for each other.
boundary painter

San Antonio, TX

#15 Apr 17, 2014
LW1 was probably told "boys don't cry" for so long as he remembers.
He is grieving in his own way with what he knows.

LW2 may be a fake letter; (it sounds a lot like the story of Patty Boyd Harrison.)
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

#16 Apr 17, 2014
LW1: Team everyone. Don't compare yourself to anyone else.

LW2: I'm with S&O. You aren't content with the fact that your wife repeatedly told him no and did not cheat; instead you are upset because she didn't explicitly tell him, "No, because I don't want to." The person that you need to be upset with is your so-called friend who is definitely NOT a friend, IMHO. Your wife may not have handled the situation as elegantly as she could have, but she handled in honorably. You ask if you were wrong for snooping. Technically, yes, but I think as an intimate partner you suspected that something was "off" and you felt driven to find out what it was. I think your wife needs to stop blaming you for that transgression. Really, you both need to get over this and move on. Try marriage counseling.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#17 Apr 17, 2014
Pippa wrote:
<quoted text> I hope I'd be open to discussing it with him and finding out the reason rather than screaming at him or whatever. I think I'd also want to give marriage counseling a try before running toward a divorce or even simply deciding I could no longer trust him.
I didn't say anything about divorce.

Trust would naturally take a hit, tho, if your wife is carrying on and on with a friend of yours who is repeatedly propositioning her, and she doesn't tell you about this and you have to find out by snooping.

Trust would take an even bigger hit if she gave you lame excuses for why she didn't tell you about it, instead of just owning up to it, admitting it was 100% wrong, apologizing for it, ceasing any contact with the person, and allowing you to determine how you two should handle the relationship with this couple going forward and allowing you to determine whether you are comfy with it.

When you are tip toeing on the line, and arguably crossed the line when it comes to being open and honest with your spouse in a matter that concerns infidelity, when the shyte hits the fan and it comes to light, IMO the wronged party is in the drivers seat about how to handle it. IF you don't want that to happen and want to have some say in the matter, then just be open and honest about things in the first place.
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#18 Apr 17, 2014
1: Maybe he's not telling us she was a psychotic shrew who made his life miserable.*shrug*

2: I see both sides, but I lean more to the dude.
Wife did say no, but she was such a weak pansy about it!
Your hubby should be your teammate ad best friend--you tell him everything! If my SO's buddy was propositioning me, he would know.
Communicate, dummy.

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