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My husband wants to play video games with her

‘I am having a hard time trusting him’

Love Letters

Love Letters

Q. I met my husband in college in the late 1990s and we have been together ever since. We have three children together and a happy marriage. He works at a school that does outdoor trips. He went on an outdoor trip with his female co-worker a few years ago and started texting her a few times after they got back. I told him I was not OK with that, and it appeared that things were resolved. This school year I noticed that he was listening to a love song all the time, and it made me wonder why.

Then I saw that he was texting her again. When we were traveling and listening to music in the car, I found a playlist they had made together. I also know that my husband was asking about a video game because he wanted to start playing it with this woman.


I confronted my husband and he said that he has made bad decisions, but it is not what it appears. He apologized, but I am having a hard time trusting him. He is still close with this woman at work. How should I feel? Am I wrong to be mad and not trust him? And how should I proceed?


A. Your husband says this relationship isn’t what it appears to be. Could it be a friendship? Have you asked him how he defines it for himself?

You didn’t tell us whether their communication has been romantic. Not to be too naive, but people do make friends, especially at work. They talk about music and video games, and sometimes they text about it. I wonder whether you’d be open to your husband developing new friendships with any women. If not, you might be putting him in a position where he feels he has to lie about something platonic that enriches his life.


Of course, I could be wrong, and maybe this is all about love songs and big feelings, but that’s why you should ask about it. Have a talk with your husband about what this is and, more importantly, whether it has anything to do with your marriage. What are the boundaries when it comes to friendships? Would this be more acceptable if you spent more time with each other’s friends? Also, do the two of you have time for fun together? Maybe you need your own shared video game, or something like it.

If your husband stopped texting this woman to follow your rules, you’d still have the same questions about whether you’re still happy and in love. Find out how the two of you are doing. Don’t let this woman distract you from your real questions.



Here’s the thing: You can’t make someone want to be with you. He’s either happy in this marriage or not. So have that conversation. Tell him how you are feeling. If you are trying to keep him from having female friends, that’s not going to wear well, so you need to really find out what his relationship is with this person.


I totally disagree with Meredith on this. Love songs and playlists? No way this is just friendship. At the very least, he has a crush on her. At the most, they are having an affair. I think the bigger question is: What is really going on and what is missing that he is connecting with her so much?



Oh, Meredith. If they were just chatting at the office, that’s one thing. Once it leaves the office and spills over into family time, it’s something more. Creating a playlist together is something I did with guys I was into. Nothing physical may have happened yet, but stuff’s going on emotionally. The letter writer is right to be suspicious.


What bad decisions did he make? What does this appear to be, and if it’s not what it appears to be, what is it? These are questions you have to ask your husband. You seem to be having trouble communicating. You might want to get some marriage counseling. P.S. It doesn’t matter how anyone else thinks you should feel. Your feelings are your own.


You know full well what you need to do, which is to really pursue the truth about his feelings for her and his feelings for you. You’re avoiding that due to fear, which is completely understandable, but avoiding it will make it worse. You’re probably imagining all sorts of things that may or may not be true. Plus, to him, avoiding it could mean a pass to continue whatever it is he’s thinking/doing/feeling.


I am not always one to throw the therapy card, but I actually think some kind of marriage counselor would be beneficial here. You need to figure out where the lack of trust on your part and the apparent dishonesty on his part is coming from, and what you can do to reconnect. If it’s genuinely platonic on his part, just making him cut it off because you don’t trust him is only going to breed resentment, while if it’s romantic (even if it hasn’t gone anywhere much yet), it signals serious problems in your relationship. I have platonic friends who are women, and I am a firm believer in the value of those friendships. My wife also knows them all. We’ve had them (and their partners) over for dinner. Nothing is secretive about it, even though I am genuinely close friends with them.



Send your own relationship and dating questions to loveletters@globe.com or fill out this form. Catch new episodes of Meredith Goldstein’s “Love Letters” podcast at loveletters.show or wherever you listen to podcasts. Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters.

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