Dear Annie: I’ve been married to “Julia” for 30 years. Last November, she was contacted by an old boyfriend through a reunion website. Since then, they have been trading e-mails and text messages several times a week. Julia has told me about the e-mails and texts, but she deletes them as soon as she responds.
I accidentally opened Julia’s e-mail account and saw that this guy has tried to convince her to meet secretly for lunch so they could hug each other and talk for several hours. He says he is sexually attracted to Julia, but is afraid of regrets if they “did something.” He also wrote that he does not have frequent sex with his wife. This guy has a cell phone with an unlisted number and an e-mail account unknown to his wife. He also has not mentioned this correspondence to her.
I haven’t told Julia about seeing the e-mail. She knows I have concerns about this guy, but insists she isn’t attracted to him. She says she loves me and would not cheat. She hasn’t had an opportunity to respond to his lunch suggestion yet because we have been on vacation.
Julia has offered to cut off the correspondence if I ask. Should I let this play out as two ships passing, if no damage is done? Just glimpsing at his technique, I suspect he has done this before. Should I contact his wife and possibly risk destroying his marriage? – Internally Torn Apart
Dear Torn: No. That would be overly aggressive on your part. We think your wife is having a flirtation and nothing more, but these things can take on a life of their own, and we don’t blame you for being concerned. Julia has offered to stop contacting this fellow. Take her up on it, and make sure she follows through.