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Ask Amy: Facebook delivers a tough marriage message

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I recently discovered that my husband was messaging and talking to three women through the dating portion of Facebook.

I saw messages on his phone from one woman. I also noted that he had a phone call with her that lasted for 44 minutes.

I confronted him about this and he said he was trying to learn how to communicate – and that he was not cheating.

I decided that if he thought this was OK, then it should be OK for me, too.

I started my own profile in the dating portion of Facebook.

My husband did not like the attention I was getting, and he shut down his activity and ended all communication with other women. I also ended mine.

We have a great intimate relationship, but I’m still hurt and I don’t trust him.

We have been through a lot over the past 28 years.

Do you have any advice?

– Feeling Betrayed

Dear Feeling Betrayed: Well, it looks as if your husband learned how to communicate.

You received his message – loud and clear – and sent him back a message of your own.

I think it would be great if you two actually put your messages into words.

You might start by sending him a private message on your favorite social media platform, sincerely inviting him to an intimate dinner. You might even use the terrifying phrase, “Honey, we need to talk.”

And then do that. Talk.

You two have been playing a fairly dangerous game, daring one another and leveraging your long and loving relationship in the process.

I suggest that you reveal to him how this episode has made you feel. Talk about your feelings, and invite him to talk about his feelings.

If you two can’t break through and have an honest, intimate conversation revealing your feelings about your own lives (and your feelings toward each other), couples counseling would help to give you the tools to talk.

I hope you’ll approach this episode as offering the potential for a relationship reboot. This could be the beginning of a new and positive phase.

Dear Readers: After 21 years spent writing my daily column, I have decided to leave this space; my last column will run at the end of the month. Interested readers can find me on Amydickinson.com, and read my newsletter at Amydickinson.substack.com.

 

In advance of my departure, I’m rerunning some “vintage” Q&A. The following is from 2017.

Dear Amy: I am very close with my oldest sister. Her daughter is planning to marry a woman many years younger than her.

I don’t believe in same-sex weddings, nor do I have any desire to attend this wedding.

My children feel the same way.

The wedding is out of town, with many expenses involved.

I hate to travel and have many obligations in town, including owning my own business.

Amy, my sister is not taking “No” for an answer!

How do I get out of this wedding without creating a rift in our relationship?

– Want to Stay Peaceful

Want to Stay Peaceful: I gather that you have already offered up all of your various excuses, and so now all you have left is the truth: You don't want to go to this wedding because you refuse to attend a same-sex wedding ceremony.

And so first, a public service announcement about excuses: When you make one, you really need to commit to it. Lean in! Think Al Pacino in “Scent of a Woman,” or Meryl Streep in, well, anything.

Because you seem to be throwing various excuses at the wall in hopes that one will stick, I’m concluding — and your sister will, too — that you are flailing around, trying to obscure your own truth, which is that you hold a particular prejudice, but you seem too embarrassed to own it.

Because this is your truth, and because your beloved sister’s truth is that she loves and accepts her daughter, there is no way you can get out of this wedding without creating a rift.

You can only hope that your sister is more tolerant of your truth than you are of hers, and that she will forgive you.

Dear Readers: I’m delighted to make way for your newest advice-giver: R. Eric Thomas, whose “Asking Eric” column will continue to foster the engaging relationship we’ve shared. Eric is young, smart, and a talented advice-giver — formerly of the Dear Prudence column.

You can help Eric get started by sending your questions to eric@askingeric.com.

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(You can email Amy Dickinson at askamy@amydickinson.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

©2024 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



 

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