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Forgive wife for missteps as teen

TUESDAY, MAY 1, 2012

Dear Annie: My wife and I have been married for 45 years. We both grew up in this small Midwestern town. Until 10 years back, I thought it was a good marriage.

The problem began when I found out some things that happened during our high school years. Through discussions with other classmates and conversations with friends, it became evident that there’s a lot I didn’t know about my wife.

However, from our very first discussion about these incidents, she said this was none of my business, it’s in the past, and she shouldn’t have to answer any of my questions. But, Annie, some of what was revealed is hard to forget.

I have sought counseling for this, and it has helped to some degree. My question now is: Am I in the wrong to want some kind of explanation or discussion of this information? Is a spouse in such circumstances required to clear the air? I don’t need every detail, but shouldn’t I have enough to settle my anxiety? – Surprised Husband

Dear Surprised: To your wife, these incidents are ancient history, and she’d like to forget about them. But you insist on picking the scabs off of her teenage scars because to you these incidents are fairly recent and you are still absorbing their impact. As far as she’s concerned, the explanation is simple: She was young and made mistakes. She grew up and changed her life.

We understand that you’d like more of an explanation, but she absolutely does not want to rehash her life before she married you. Unless something she did then has consequences that require action now, please accept that she is not that person any longer, and apparently, all for the good. You’ve been obsessing over this for 10 years, and we are certain it hasn’t helped your marriage. Whatever it was she did, please find a way to forgive her and let it go.


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