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Annie’s Mailbox: Wife reconnects with an old flame on FB

Dear Annie: My wife of 38 years recently reconnected on Facebook with the guy she was seeing before we started dating. She spent a lengthy amount of time catching up with him on the phone and then asked whether I would be upset if she met with him to discuss the past 40 years. I didn’t tell her “no,” but I did say I wasn’t crazy about the idea. She met with him anyway, but didn’t tell me until I asked directly.

We briefly talked about their conversations, which included him saying that his wife told him their marriage would survive a one-night stand. Over the next two weeks, I discovered (via our cellphone bill) that he and my wife had had multiple long conversations. When I told her this upset me, she said she initiated the contact, adding, “I always cared for him and always had feelings for him.” She saw nothing wrong with her behavior, claiming I would feel the same about my old flames.

I was angry and hurt. I said I could not accept her being in touch with this guy knowing she still has feelings for him and that they have discussed intimate matters. Although I did not forbid contact, I made it clear that she was crossing a line and jeopardizing our marriage.

To my knowledge, she has not met with him again. However, she insists there is nothing wrong with messaging him on Facebook. I am still bothered to know she is routinely in touch with this man. What do I do? – Losing My Patience

Dear Losing: Your wife is flattered by this man’s attention, and he makes her feel young again. This is a powerful draw, but it doesn’t mean she is looking to have an affair. However, it is a betrayal for your wife to continue to be in contact with a man for whom she has feelings and who has made it clear that he is open to an affair. It is also disrespectful to you. If she cannot understand what a threat this is to your marriage, please ask her to go with you for counseling.

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