Jealousy Is a Red Flag
Dear Annie: I am a woman in my mid-30s, and my wife is in her early 40s. We met a little less than two years ago and haven't left each other's side since. We got married about a year ago. Needless to say, we both fell fast and hard for each other. When I met her, my whole world changed, and I look at the world in a completely different way. She makes me want to be a better person altogether. But we have a problem. My wife already had trust issues from a previous relationship in which she was betrayed. Well, several months ago, I broke her trust by talking to my ex on the phone. It was an innocent conversation, but I knew that it would upset my wife. I felt terrible and immediately admitted what I'd done, admitted that it was wrong and promised that it wouldn't ever happen again.
Fast-forward four months, and nothing seems to be enough for my wife. She continues to throw it in my face. Every time my phone makes a noise, she wants to look at it. There's not a day that goes by that she doesn't make a smart-aleck remark about my talking to my ex on the phone. I am truly lost because I love this woman more than life itself and have never been happier. But I can't continue to allow her to say the mean and hurtful things she's been saying, and I can't take the distance between us, and I can't take any more of the barrages of questions. I love her and don't want to ever face life without her, but the cruelty is breaking me down quickly. I don't know what to do anymore. -- Heartbroken Wife
Dear Heartbroken: Jealous, controlling behavior is not the stuff of a healthy relationship, and it can veer into emotionally abusive territory. Your wife's past relationship issues don't give her license to treat you poorly. You love her and want her in your life -- but she needs to seek individual counseling and/or to attend couples counseling with you so that you can both have a shot at a healthy, sustainable life together built on trust.
Dear Annie: So many of your letters come from disgruntled people who feel alienated by other people's text messages. I think it is important to realize that when you read a text message, you do not hear the inflection of the person's voice. The sender's words can come across totally differently to the person reading it. A simple phone call following up a text might solve many misunderstandings. -- Wiser in North Carolina
Dear Wiser: Wise words indeed. I know many people who have ended up in huge arguments over misunderstandings that arose over text message. Reserve texts for light chitchat, words of encouragement and basic logistics only. Anything other than that deserves a phone call.
Dear Annie: You recently told "At Our Wit's End," a couple whose adult child was struggling with alcoholism, to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. You should have told them to attend a meeting of Al-Anon, the organization for family and friends of alcoholics. I hope you will publish a correction. -- Grateful Al-Anon Member
Dear Grateful: I regret the error. That was indeed due to a mix-up. Thanks for setting the record straight.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book -- featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to email@example.com.