Life Advice



Ask Amy: Marriage has porous borders

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My husband of 13 years is having boundary issues with a colleague. They became close when he had a depressive episode last year and confided in her instead of me. He said a lot of things to her that made me uncomfortable, including comments about our relationship and our finances.

I read his messages and have proof.

I confessed to him that I read his messages, and we talked about it. He said that he no longer considers her “a friend.”

I am still reading his messages because I don't trust him, and today I read a reply from him to her where he said he would “love to see her.” He hasn't told me about it. Hmmm. They aren’t friends? I don’t believe him.

We have a close and intimate partnership otherwise, and I never make him feel unsafe with his issues.

I know they don't have a physical relationship, but I am sick of being lied to and don't understand why he can't just be open with me.


We both have therapists but can't afford therapy together. I feel like I've already done the nuclear option and now I don't know what else to do. I also know what I am doing is very bad, but I can't just stop, knowing all this. What now?

– Upset Wife

Dear Wife: Your husband isn’t the only member of your household who has boundary issues. Your own choice to continue to violate his privacy is leaping over an important personal boundary that is affecting your relationship. Stop it.

Yes, he erred when he confided in his friend at work about your relationship and private life. His choice to do that denotes the possible first stages of an “emotional affair,” fostering emotional intimacy with someone other than his spouse.


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