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There was a woman there who was high school friends with my husband. She was being extremely flirty — hugging on him, etc. (and when I say hugging, it wasn’t your typical “Oh, good to see you again” hug. It was a long, lingering, roaming hands type of hug). And he reciprocated. Before we left that night, she whispered in my ear: “You had better be good to him because he is a wonderful guy and doesn’t deserve to be hurt.” This woman was very loaded so I didn’t pay it much mind. She is married but chose to not bring her husband. She pretty much spent the evening flirting with everyone good-looking. My husband said they never dated or “did anything” in school, sexually speaking. They just hung out a lot.
So fast forward to this year — he has been invited to another reunion for the class who graduated a year before him. This same woman who was all over him sent him a private facebook message about the reunion coming up, asking him to go and telling him spouses or girlfriends are NOT invited. His response was: “That sounds even better.” WTF? Because we had some trust issues early in our relationship (a few years ago), he has given me passwords to his email, his Facebook, his phone account, etc. He says I can have these passwords, but he expects me to respect his privacy and not delve into his accounts.
I am learning to trust him again and I rarely ever look at his email. But I happened to look today and found that message from her. I don’t feel threatened by her, but I really did not like the way she was hanging all over him in front of me and with him doing nothing to stop her. So, my question is: do I say nothing and conveniently book us to be out of town that weekend? Or do I ask him about the comment he made to her? Or do I just let it go and hope he doesn’t go to the reunion? — Wary of the Class Flirt
Well, my first feeling is that you didn’t just happen to look through your husband’s Facebook messages. Even if you had trust issues several years ago, there must have been something that provoked you to snoop this week. Had your husband mentioned being invited to the second reunion before you snooped? And if so, did you have concerns about this specific woman? Was there another reason you thought to check your husband’s messages?
Obviously, this woman is not to be trusted around other women’s men. (Whether she has marital problems of her own, is simply a flirty drunk, or is looking for an affair, she doesn’t respect boundaries and that’s an issue). But that wouldn’t be such a big deal if your husband’s interaction with her were appropriate and respectful of you. It’s not. From reciprocating her lingering, hands-y hugs at the reunion last year to his enthusiasm over the (no-spouse) reunion this year, your husband isn’t behaving like someone who’s concerned about his wife’s trust, especially considering trust issues you’ve had in the past. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he has any interest at all in this woman or that you have anything to worry about. He may just be enjoying the attention. Maybe he likes feeling like an unencumbered teenager again.
But he’s not an unencumbered teenager and you need to remind him of that. Let him know that you didn’t like the way he behaved toward that woman at the reunion last year and you’ve been concerned about future interactions with her. Tell him you saw the Facebook messages and you weren’t happy with what you read. Tell him you feel very uncomfortable with him going to a party that you’ve been explicitly excluded from and where there will be a woman who can’t keep her hands off him and whom he has proven he doesn’t know how to handle in a way that shows respect for you, his wife whose trust he is trying to earn back.
If he decides to go to this reunion despite your protests and without calming any fears you may have, I’d take that as a clear sign that his devotion to keeping your trust is sliding. Does that mean you should MOA? No. But it does mean you should start counting the red flags and, when you get to three, re-evaluate the future of your marriage. It also means that some sessions with a marriage counselor may be in order to help you work on communication and building trust.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.