Dear Amy: I learned via text message that my husband is in a relationship with another woman. He made the mistake of sending a text to me instead of the woman he is having an affair with.
After more than 20 years of marriage, every single person we know is stunned by this.
I am absolutely LIVID with this woman and have every intention of letting her know how this affected me, and what it’s going to do to her husband when he finds out (which he will, as she will eventually make the same mistake my husband made).
I am also LIVID at cellphones and what they’ve allowed to happen in our society.
It’s so easy to take a picture today but send it tomorrow, essentially lying about where you are. It’s so easy to text and say, “I’m here,” when you’re actually in a different location.
When did cellphones become like another person in our relationship? I used to say to my husband, “You hardly talk to me,” and now I know why: He was talking to her!
At one point, he received a text late at night. I asked him about it, thinking it was an emergency, and he told me it was none of my business who texted him.
That should have been a HUGE red flag at the time, but honestly, I just put it out of my mind.
At this point, I can only say to women (and men), that if you CAN’T see, touch or use your spouse’s cellphone, there’s probably something on it that he/she doesn’t want you to see.
My husband would not have been able to “hide” this relationship without the cellphone. I am so embarrassed and saddened that my marriage is over.
I would love to know what other people have done when confronted with this.
— Devastated Wife
Dear Devastated: I think your reasoning may be faulty. Your husband’s cellphone use is what concealed, but eventually revealed, his affair. Don’t blame the phone; blame the guy using the phone.
In the days before cellphones, the clandestine method of communicating with an affair partner would have been landlines, and before that, the printed letter, etchings, stone carvings and smoke signals. People got caught then, too.
Blaming cellphones for your husband’s behavior is a classic “shoot the messenger” reaction.
All the same, this sort of misdirection is common during the early, bewildering days after an affair has been discovered. I hope that you and your husband can communicate about his choices as well as talk about your relationship. Your marriage might recover from this, if you are both willing to try.
I do agree on an important point: If a partner is hiding a cellphone and won’t reveal who a call or text message is from, that is a red flag.
Dear Amy: Good manners are as important as ever, especially in these complicated times.
My question is simple, but I bet a lot of people have this problem.
My brother had a surprise baby with his longtime friend, “Candace.” They operated as a couple for a while after the baby was born, but then they split. They are very involved co-parents.
Our two families know one another well and see one another often.
My question is what to call my nephew’s mother in casual conversation.
People who know the situation know her by her name. But with co-workers, new friends, etc., there’s no easy substitute for “sister-in-law” or “my brother’s girlfriend.” “My nephew’s mother” sounds dismissive and clunky.
What would you suggest? Your insight would be much appreciated.
Dear Mannered: I disagree that “my nephew’s mother” or “my nephew’s mom” is either dismissive or clunky — to me it seems perfectly descriptive, as well as correct.
Otherwise, you could describe “Candace” as “my brother’s ex,” which (to me) seems even more dismissive. Both titles describe Candace only in terms of her relationship to your family, but, given your intent, I don’t see many options.
Dear Amy: “Weirded Out” described his concern that his (normally nondrinking) girlfriend went out with some friends and they all got drunk. You described her, favorably, as “getting drunk in good company,” which you said was a “good idea.”
Getting drunk is never a good idea!
Dear Horrified: The sentence you (mis)quote reads: “This sounds like a case of getting drunk in good company, which, if you’re going to do it, is the best way to go.”
I stand by this assertion.
(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: [email protected] Readers may send postal mail to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or “like” her on Facebook.)
Copyright 2018 by Amy Dickinson
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