Q. My wife started a new job about a year ago and really hated it up until Christmas 2018. She even said she’d look for something new after the holidays. But after Christmas, it all changed. She says it’s the best job ever. It’s all she talks about, and she’s constantly texting co-workers. But she never leaves her phone down, and I’m never allowed to see it.
She has started to meet up with her work friends at one of their houses. I’m never told who they are or where they live, and she won’t take our car or let me give her a ride. She gets a Lyft.
She actually went as far as almost canceling her plans one night when I insisted on driving her. I find this very strange. Am I being paranoid, or does it sound suspicious?
A. I’m trying to imagine what your wife would say in her own letter. Maybe she’d tell us that the happier she gets, the more you push for control. Perhaps she’d complain about your attempts to get into her phone and track her social engagements. She might paint a very different picture.
Based on what you wrote in your letter, this situation does sound a little . . . suspect. But it also sounds like both of you are skipping over some basic communication. You’re upset that you’re not allowed to see her phone, but why should you have access to it? Have you asked her why she keeps her destination a secret? And what about safety? Does anyone know where she is when she goes out?
You say the job is all she talks about, so you must be getting a sense of what she likes about work. By telling stories about her day, she’s giving you the opportunity to ask questions. So do that. Be specific about what you want to know. It would be more troubling if she refused to tell you anything about her work experience.
You can also tell her how you feel about the rides, and that you’re wondering if you’re jumping to too many conclusions. Let her know you’re not looking for control (right?), you just want to understand what’s happening. Also, if she’s texting all night and that’s part of the problem, let her know you’d like to engage with her when she’s home. It’s tough to feel close to someone if they’re always looking at a screen.
I dunno, Mere. If it were just one thing, like the phone, then sure. But never including her husband and a “work thing” that just happens to be at a co-worker’s house and she won’t identify the co-worker or the location? If that is not a red flag, it is a whole big display of pink ones, surrounded by flashing lights and yellow caution tape. ENJOYEVERYSANDWICH
If she is as adamant about you having no information as you say then I think your concerns are warranted. She is up to no good. An affair? Maybe. But it could also be drugs — at least that was what it was in my life (a million years ago). I’d demand some level of transparency or I’d move on. FINNFANN
What a ridiculous response, Meredith. You’re assuming the worst in this man because . . . he’s a man. His WIFE is being secretive and uncommunicative and not even telling him where she’s going when she hangs out with friends, but, yeah, he’s the one causing the problem. MHOGAN08
Get Season 2 of Meredith Goldstein’s Love Letters podcast now at loveletters.show or wherever you listen. Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters. Send letters to email@example.com.