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Advice: ‘My wife accuses me of flirting. What should I do?’

Advice: ‘My wife accuses me of flirting. What should I do?’

Dear Maam, I am the only child of my parents. I have been married for the last three years and have a wonderful kid. Everything is actually perfect around us. I feel blessed to have such a wonderful wife and she is also very happy. She also has full liberty to pursue her career as a doctor. In fact, it took us great effort to assist her in completing her house job. Now again she is free to follow her will.

The problem is she has started suspecting me because I talk to my friends on Facebook and at times she comes across text messages. Then she loses her temper, starts slinging mud on my character. Initially I tried to explain to her that there is nothing and she needs to stop checking my mobile secretly.




But all my efforts were in vain and I had to tell her if she wants to be separated it’s her choice! Today again she accused me about a similar thing as last night I was online, but as she found no conversation she thinks I have deleted everything that is only present in her imagination. I admit and have accepted to her that I am not an angel, but I will and can never cheat on her. I don’t like giving explanations all the time and it’s really hard to accept that she keeps monitoring my mobile phone. I never mentioned any girl as my friend.

In short, I talk to my friends (males or female). I don’t want to include her in my personal conversations. Right or wrong that is my personality and she knows me very well. Actually she was the one who persuaded me to marry her even though I refused once and I greatly value her for being with me. But I am tired of the same stuff popping up again and again.

This time I told her I am not giving any explanations, and that we can live separately if that makes her happy (she always says she wants to be with me). I have never thought of second marriage. I love my family, but I can’t stand someone asking for explanations. Please help if you can.

I am a practical guy, I know everyone is not meant to be together, but my mother and father love their daughter-in-law and grandson a lot and I don’t want to make them sad.

Tormented

Dear Get-through-this,

You have Auntie’s sympathies. It is a shame that an otherwise good marriage is being affected by such a problem. What is even more disturbing is the talk of separation that crops up in the middle of your email. For the time being I suggest you put these thoughts aside and work on your relationship with your wife.

Usually someone who is so suspicious of a spouse has some deep-seated insecurity that could be a result of having been betrayed or criticised as a young child. However this may not be the reason behind your wife’s insecurities. From the sound of it your wife’s mistrust is pretty undeserved. However, your chatting online privately on social media is not helping the situation. You may want to work out some rules regarding online communication with friends, which your what wife is comfortable with.

Next try to figure out where her fear and anxiety is coming from. Your wife is basically scared and you need to come from a place of understanding to deal with this. Sometimes the natural reaction to inquisitive questions or a jealous fit is to withdraw and become unresponsive to the partner. You may feel like not responding to your wife’s questions and may even become evasive about your activities.

Such a response can make things worse and your wife may end up becoming more and more jealous and suspicious over time. Instead encourage her to talk about what she feels and what she fears. Then listen to her and try and understand the root of her issues. Do not dismiss or minimise what she is saying.

Get her to talk about her feelings and make sure that he or she feels understood. Listen to her and be there for her when she is insecure and scared. Help calm her down and demonstrate that she can count on you. It might help her to trust you more. It may not be easy for you because this approach requires a lot of patience on your part. It is also difficult when you consider that your instinctive reaction may be to get irritated or become more secretive and not tell her anything. On the other hand, being more understanding will require more of a commitment and a lot of energy from you, but it is worth doing this to save the marriage. You have a son and your marriage sounds like it is generally a good one and so it is worth saving. This will require that you take the time to sit her down and work things out. It is a long term approach that will yield results over time, so don’t expect things to change overnight.

If this does not help you may want to seek counselling for your wife.   Dear Auntiejee,

I am 35 years old, married and father of one three-year-old child. My problem is that I want to remarry, but it seems difficult. What do you advise?

Confused

Dear Husband-Already,

Have you thought about what has stopped you so far from marrying again? Is it the fact that you are already married? Is it the expense of running two households? Is it that deep down you think you won’t be able to treat both wives and both families fairly? Is that that you think it will complicate your life?

Really delve deep inside and figure out why you haven’t already done it. Why are you delaying things by writing to an agony aunt and asking her opinion? That will be the best answer to your question.

Auntie will not reply privately to any query. Please send concise queries to: [email protected]

Published in Dawn, Sunday Magazine, December 11th, 2016

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