Can This Marriage Be Saved? Q&A: My Husband Keeps in Touch with His Ex
Q. We went to my husband's 20th high school reunion last summer. His high school girlfriend was there and we sat with her and her husband at dinner one night. There was clearly still some chemistry between my husband and this woman, and they basically ignored her husband and me and flirted with each other the whole time. Now they stay in touch with e-mails and text messages. He says this is totally innocent but I'm upset. Am I right to be concerned?
A. Feeling insecure in the situation you describe is understandable. Emotional cheating is a very real phenomenon, and the Internet has made ongoing intimate relationships possible between people who wouldn't have had such constant contact in an earlier era. What's more, emotional infidelity can hurt even more than if your husband had a brief physical fling. That said, however, your husband is asking you to give him the benefit of the doubt. Trust is the most important ingredient of a good relationship. If you find it difficult to trust him, that's a warning sign that you need to examine together what's happening between the two of you. Have you been drifting apart because of the pressures of work and child rearing? If so, now is the time to renew your life as a couple. No matter how busy you are, make a point of finding ways to connect with one another. A tried-and-true method is to establish a weekly "date night" when you hire a babysitter and get out to a movie or dinner or just for a stroll in the park. Another idea is to find a common activity such as square dancing or a joining a book club. In the end, you may be glad that your husband's dalliance in cyberspace alerted you to the need to get closer to him once more.