DEAR JERKASS: I read your column all the time*. My husband and I have been married for 35 years. My husband has good friends who are women, and I have never objected when he stayed with them when he traveled from our home to Michigan.
One of the women he stays with called and they talked for hours. That's not right is it? My husband says she's just a good friend and it's only conversation.
Like I said, I didn't mind him staying with her because I trusted him. But now I'm leery and suspicious. I don't believe it's a sexual thing, but a long conversation hurts me more because I thought I was his best friend.
I told him, "Let's get counseling. If it doesn't work, we can divorce." He said, "You're not going to stop me from talking to my friends."
Jerkass, I need your opinion. -- LEERY IN FLORIDA
DEAR SAY MY NAME: "One of the women." ONE OF THE WOMEN?! There's more than one? So spending long isolated days and nights with other women never made you worry, and now a phone call does?
You need to seriously wake up any intuition skills you have. Because chances are that if he's been cheating on you, a long phone call isn't the flag that should alert you. The cheating (if it actually has been happening) has been going on for a LOT longer than recently.
Using the "D" word is just an invitation to end the relationship, and I'm starting to think that the issue here isn't just your husband. I'm thinking you want an exit strategy, and you're using this as an emotional excuse to disengage from the relationship. Spending multiple overnights with a woman should be MORE of a red flag than a phone call, and if you're just now feeling that you don't want to be married anymore, accusing your spouse of cheating is a great way to disentangle your feelings.
Sure, go to counseling. Counseling works if you believe that the marriage can be saved. But be honest about your reasons; unless you actually have proof he has cheated, this is just an excuse to either exert dominance over his relationships with other people or a bid at leaving him.
Focus on communication, if you're really wanting to see this through and stay married.
Sounds like you've already checked out, though.
*This twit reads Dear Abby all the time.
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