Ask Amy: Couple copes with texts and subtexts
Dear Amy: I recently went on a two-week vacation with my husband “Rob,” and “Patsy,” the wife of another couple we have traveled with in the past.
The husband did not want to go on this particular trip, so it was just the three of us.
From the first day, my husband was fawning all over Patsy, while completely ignoring me.
The three of us were communicating on a group text, but on the second day of the trip she said, “Oh, Rob just texted me,” but when I looked at my phone, I didn’t see a text, so I asked him why he sent a text to her alone, instead of using the group text.
He said he doesn’t know how to get on the group text, which is a lie because he was on the group text as recently as two days before.
When we got home (call it “women’s intuition”), I just had a feeling that he was still texting her, so I looked on my phone’s activity log and sure enough he was.
Apparently, Patsy sent Rob pictures of me and her from the trip, but never sent the photos to me, which I thought was very odd.
I approached him about it, and he got angry with me and called me “insecure.”
I’ve had issues with him before, due to him going onto dating websites, so I guess I am insecure!
Luckily, Patsy lives out of state so I don’t think an affair would happen, but I see this as emotional cheating.
How can I get him to stop?
– Tested, not Texted
Dear Tested: If your husband has been cruising dating sites while married to you, and now has a habit of testing your trust by feigning ignorance about how to send or reply to a group text, then I’d venture an educated guess and say that there is no way for you to get him to stop being himself.
I wouldn’t go so far as to call this “emotional cheating,” because he doesn’t seem to demonstrate an emotional involvement with “Patsy,” and to be fair — she sent the photo and text to him.
If your description is accurate, this seems more a case of a guy who perhaps gets a little charge out of connecting with women who are pointedly not you. Furthermore, this is a guy who doesn’t mind that his behavior makes you feel off-kilter and insecure.
Rather than search for ways to change him, you might look for changes you can make. If you change, everything around you will also shift.
Dear Amy: When will people realize how rude it is to ask a couple if they are pregnant?
It is no one’s business why a person is choosing not to drink or smoke anymore, and if it is because of pregnancy, then they may not be ready to discuss it!
People outside the relationship may not have any clue if there has been infidelity, a miscarriage, an early pregnancy that the couple may or may not be planning, or something completely different.
Pregnancy is a private matter. It is also rude to ask people when they plan to have kids.
Even telling a woman, “You don’t look pregnant” when she says she is pregnant is rude.
– Tired of Questions
Dear Tired: I agree with you that pregnancy is a tender topic. It can be a physical and emotional minefield for women (and couples).
Any woman who has attempted to walk through the world while hugely pregnant will notice how her private physicality seems to become fodder for public comment. I once had a stranger follow me down the street, saying “It’s a girl!” (and, to be fair, they turned out to be right).
But – to answer your question – some people will never stop treating pregnancy and childbearing as a fascinating and public topic.
Let your own feelings about this be your guide when dealing with others.
Dear Amy: I really liked your answer to “Not Savvy,” the woman who disliked her husband’s friend, but didn’t know why!
You chalked this up to “bad chemistry,” and suggested that she say as much to the guy.
I had a similar situation. Just awkward chemistry with someone. The tension made things uncomfortable until I finally just admitted that I didn’t like him very much, but didn’t know why! He accepted this well, and it definitely helped.
– Been There
Dear Been There: It turns out that: “It’s not you, it’s me” is not just a cop-out.
©2021 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.