Dear Amy: My husband has girls from work who message him. Sometimes these are work related, and sometimes not.
When I insist that I don’t like it, he says it’s nothing I should be worried about. He also says that it is unattractive for me to behave this way, that they are his friends, and that I need to get over it.
I know he’s flirtatious (whether he realizes it or not). Girls like him because he is such an attractive and nice guy.
If the situation were reversed and I was getting messages from men, he would hate it. I don’t give my phone number to other men. He is comfortable with this double standard.
I’m at my wits end because he doesn’t get it.
We’ve had infidelity issues in the past (on both sides), and I don’t trust him or the intentions of others.
Am I wrong for feeling this way?
Dear Troubled: You are not “wrong” for feeling the way you feel. Your feelings are your feelings, and you get them.
However, because you and your husband have a history of infidelity and lack of trust (on your part, of course), you haven’t “normalized” friendships, work relationships, and communication between people.
You don’t give men your phone number. Why not? Do you not have the right to communicate with male colleagues and friends?
I think it’s because you’re trying to display the behavior you want your husband to show.
Well, he’s not taking you on this.
You can do some work yourself to rebalance your attitude toward your friendships with men, trying to understand what a comfortable, confident, and completely trusting friendship with a man would be like for you.
Your husband is making fun of your concern and your behavior when it comes to the fore. Yes, your response may be “unattractive,” but when he can – and should – be reassuring, it’s unkind for him to toss it at you.
Standard practice when rebuilding trust is to share any contact that causes partner anxiety. So he’ll show you his messages, tell you who he’s receiving (or calling), and you’ll do the same.
And, even though he may be a blatant hottie in the world, he should always have you at the center.
You are both continuing to play the dynamic leftover from your mutual infidelity.
You can take this to a skilled counselor’s office, and come up with a new understanding and a new way of treating each other.
Dear Amy: I received two college graduation notifications and am unsure what to do.
The first is from a friend whose daughter graduated from a prestigious college.
When she graduated from high school, we attended her graduation party and brought a gift that was personal, unique, and useful for years to come.
We never got a thank you. I personally picked it up and made sure we got it well before his graduation. He barely recognized us when we went to his party.
I know she may part ways after four or five years, but it’s still troubling.
The second bachelor is the son of a niece we haven’t met since he was a kid, if even that.
Coincidentally, both graduates went to the same college, although they do not know each other.
My plan is to simply send congratulatory cards to everyone.
am i small minded?
What is your suggested action? Should I still attach a check?
Dear Surprise: Because one of them is a young stranger and the other has little history with you, you should mainly think about what will happen. you feel the best.
Would you love to ignore ungrateful grades? (It could be…).
I would probably send both a card and a very modest amount, congratulate them and tell them their first post-grade cappuccino (or martini) is on you.
You will not be thanked.
Dear Amy: You are great at what you do, but I wish life was as easy as you make it seem.
For several days my wife and I discuss your advice. I’ll read a letter aloud, and we’ll both try to guess what you’ll say.
After it’s our turn, I “reveal” and we decide who was closer.
Dear Randy: Many families report doing this together – and that makes me very happy. Thank You!
You can email Amy Dickinson at email@example.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow him on Twitter @askingamy or on Facebook.