Wife’s online chats with man irk hovering husband

Published 8:40 am Thursday, November 9, 2023

DEAR ABBY: I discovered last year that my wife was exchanging flirty texts with a local man and had been doing so for years. I found out when I uncovered an image of an adult toy in her phone’s deleted images. At the time, I nearly divorced her, but although our marriage went through a tumultuous period, we are still together.
She told me then she’d stop communicating with this man, but a few months ago, she reached out to him for help with a social media account issue she had, and now they chat daily on social media. Although it seems platonic now, it bothers me and has been a source of contention in our marriage. She says she has problems finding female friends, that he understands her medical issues and he’s her friend, and they are back to messaging regularly. I can see what’s being said, but it still gets me upset.
Am I an ogre for asking her to stop? She says that she has changed her mind and will continue to contact him. I feel like our marriage may be on rocky ground again, but she thinks I am being awful for saying anything. What are your thoughts? – UPSET HUBBY IN ALABAMA

DEAR UPSET HUBBY: I am sorry you feel so insecure, which must be painful. You didn’t mention in what context your wife had a deleted image of a sex toy. Many people shop for them online and couples enjoy them together. During the COVID-19 pandemic, sales of adult toys went through the roof.
You say that you read all of the communications between your wife and her male (platonic) friend. Why isn’t that enough? Women are allowed to have male friends, and these days, many of them do. If your marriage is in trouble, perhaps the cause is your ongoing effort to control her. It might improve if you back off.
DEAR ABBY: My son, who is 5, has a rare spinal cord injury from birth. He can crawl, but he does not walk well. We have spent many months and a lot of money ensuring he is getting the best physical therapy and medical care possible for his condition, and we adhere closely to the medical advice of these experts.
My mother, who lives 2,000 miles away, loves my son and wants to spend time with him. However, whenever we visit, she obsesses over the fact that my son can’t walk well. I have reminded her not to fixate on his disability and to just enjoy time with him, which is what my son wants. But during this last visit, she told him “big boys walk, they don’t crawl.” And, “Try harder to walk.”
My son has tearfully asked me twice if he can still be a big boy and crawl. (He also uses a wheelchair). I’m fed up with my mother and would prefer to keep her away from my son, but I don’t want to create a dramatic familial rift. Advice? — GOOD MOM IN MONTANA

DEAR MOM: It is your duty as a mother to protect your son from harm. Tell your “helpful” mother that if she says anything again to shame him, it will be the last time she sees him. The person who creates the familial rift won’t be you, it will be your incredibly ignorant and insensitive mother.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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