DEAR ABBY: My husband is currently at a job that, at first, he complained was a “drag.” It later became a place he seemed to be OK working at.
A new male employee was hired — a man who is on his second marriage — and he became friendly with my husband. Over the last few months I have noticed my husband texting him quite often during his days off, including very late at night.
One day I confronted him after I checked his phone to see what they were texting and saw he had deleted some messages, even those he had shared with me as they were texting. He admitted that he had asked him about his first marriage and divorce since we were having some issues and said that’s why he deleted the messages.
When my husband starts drinking at home, he starts texting him, occasionally throughout the night until he goes to bed (it could be until 5 a.m.). He deletes all those messages so I can’t see them. What do you think is going on? Even on days he is off, he goes by his job to take care of something or help out. — SUSPICIOUS IN TEXAS
DEAR SUSPICIOUS: What I think is going on is less important by far than what YOU think is going on. It appears your husband has found a kindred spirit in this new employee — or something more. Dumping on his co-worker about problems in your marriage won’t lead to satisfactory conclusions.
The two of you need to resolve your issues — including the fact that you no longer trust him — by talking them through with a licensed marriage and family counselor. Please don’t wait until the situation deteriorates further to consult one.
DEAR ABBY: I was involved in a nearly fatal car accident some years ago. My problem is people are always telling me I should be over it by now, and there shouldn’t be any more complaints or pain at this late date.
Well, that one day changed my life drastically. I’m still healing emotionally, not to mention there are lifelong injuries I will never be able to overcome. My back is in constant pain, and I can no longer lift anything. I also get daily horrific migraines. Because of that, I lost the best job I ever had, which has affected me more than anything.
People can be insensitive, patronizing and just plain rude if I mention any current issues regarding my condition. Most times I respond aggressively; at others, I try my best not to be offended by their lack of empathy. While I certainly don’t want or need pity, the fact that my near-death experience is shrugged off as just an “incident” bothers me greatly. What more can I do? Or should I just stay silent and count my blessings? — SURVIVOR IN MISSOURI
DEAR SURVIVOR: There is nothing more you can do, other than politely refuse if you are asked to do something that’s now beyond your capacity. As you have discovered, responding aggressively is counterproductive.
Because these individuals have conveyed that they no longer want to hear about your accident, you may have to confide in a willing friend or a licensed therapist when you need to get things off your chest. The latter might be more satisfying than trying to talk to people who can no longer tolerate hearing about something they have no solution for.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
To order “How to Write Letters for All Occasions,” send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby — Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.