Dear Carolyn: I’m married with a child and another on the way. I’ve seen a couple of emails on my wife’s phone related to dating websites, like eHarmony.com. After a little investigation, it appears that there is no way to sign up to receive those emails without posting some type of profile.
I am suspicious that she is or was out looking for alternatives. I just don’t know what to do. Should I approach her or, because I don’t know for sure, just let it go? Mostly we seem happy and have a good life. I just don’t know what to think about it. – Confused
Given your (appearance of) happiness and “good life,” I suppose I can see why you’d consider letting it go – but how would you un-see what you’ve seen, and un-think what you’ve thought?
If you’re content to get along superficially, or, alternately, if you’re comfortable with a lot of lumps in your marital oatmeal, then you’re one of the people suited to looking the other way. If you aren’t a roll-with-it risk-taker, and just want to know what’s going on with your wife, want to be close, want to raise kids with a full emotional partner, and want these things knowing you don’t have any say in the outcome beyond what you bring to your 50 percent, then open your mind and confront this thing.
Specifically: Tell your wife that you saw these emails and that asking her what they’re about makes more sense than letting your imagination churn up ideas, which it has been doing a lot of lately. Maybe it’ll be that simple.
If it isn’t – if she balks, strains credulity or turns it on you – then tell her this: That you’d rather have her just tell you what she’s thinking and feeling than worry how you’ll react when you hear it. It doesn’t make sense, after all, for either of you to look ahead to cleanup or repairs till you both know what problems you face.