Annie’s Mailbox for March 25, 2011: Husband attending inappropriate class reunion
Dear Annie: My husband and I are in our mid-40s, happily married with a wonderful family. In the past two years, my husband has reconnected with some high school friends through social media. I think it is great that they are able to communicate and catch up, since their lives have moved them all over the country. They have had a couple of gatherings, one centered around a formal reunion and the other an informal get-together at a bar.
This is a coed group, although the boys and girls attended separate schools that were only connected through occasional joint activities. I thought it a bit odd that the women were included in the men's school reunion, especially since their husbands were not invited. But since my husband couldn't attend either function, I didn't pay much attention.
Now I am told a long weekend gathering is being scheduled and both men and women will occupy a large home together -- men on the second floor and women in the basement, each floor with separate bedrooms and baths. Spouses are not invited.
I think this weekend situation is highly inappropriate for married people and cannot believe I am the only spouse with this concern. I am not sure the others realize what the lodging situation will be. I trust my husband, but don't know these other people at all, and after 25 years, neither does my husband. I am not naive. I know some of these people are going into the weekend hoping to stir up a little romance. Am I out of line here or not?
— Concerned Midwest Spouse
Dear Concerned: Who on earth is planning these alarmingly inappropriate "reunions"? Your husband should notify the event planners that he would love to come but finds the circumstances unappealing and risky and will not attend without his wife. He should also let the others know. We suspect quite a few have similar objections. And consider forming a chat group with the spouses to keep everything aboveboard. There are perfectly innocent ways to have school reunions. You don't need to encourage affairs by combining them with coed sleepover parties.
Dear Annie: Recently, on a public bus, I noticed a father and his 4-year-old son. The boy was well behaved and was playing with the wheels of his stroller, which were filthy from snow and the muck of city streets. The dad then offered the boy a bag of pretzels, which the boy ate with his very dirty fingers.
The father might not have noticed that the boy was playing with the wheels, and I know a few germs won't hurt him, but this would have taxed anyone's immune system. All medical professionals recommend hand-washing before eating. Should I have offered a tissue or a wipe?
— Medical Professional in Boston
Dear Boston: Yes, as long as you smiled and said in a non-judgmental manner, "In case your son would like to wipe his hands before eating." Yuck.
Dear Annie: I was compelled to respond to "Confused Fiance," whose bride-to-be had prior sexual experience.
I was 24 when I met my wife, and she was my only sexual partner. When she told me about the intimate relationships she had had with other men, I was devastated. However, I understood that it took a great deal of courage, not to mention love and respect for me, to confess a past she was not proud of. We married and last month celebrated our 22nd Valentine's Day. I love her more than ever and truly believe "forgive and forget" is the only way to go.
"Confused" should not let his ego and the imaginary threat of another man ruin the type of relationship I have enjoyed for the past 22 years. I agree with Annie: Don't talk about it, and don't ever put those pictures in your mind again. If you must talk to someone, speak to your clergy or a professional therapist.
— Madly in Love with My Wife