Ask Amy: His wife wants to pretend she didn’t accuse her husband of cheating

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Dear Amy: Recently, I told my wife that I intended to contact “Sharon”, a former colleague who is an industry expert, for advice on changing jobs. My wife angrily and immediately accused me of having an affair with Sharon, and insisted that I wanted to find a job near her to continue the affair.

I have never, ever cheated on my wife. I am a homebody who works from home. I don’t travel for work and rarely go out with friends.

Sharon lives more than four hours away. I haven’t seen her in over six years, I haven’t spoken on the phone in years, and we exchange business-related text messages every few months. I worked with Sharon for three years and my wife never raised suspicions. I never saw or spoke to Sharon outside of the office when we were working together.

In the 15 years that I have been married to my wife, she has never acted so irrationally or accused me of having an affair. The next day, all my wife said was, “I’m sorry. Can we please stop talking about this? She insists that we should act as if nothing had happened and that counseling is not necessary.

I’m deeply hurt that she even thinks I’m having an affair. I also worry about his sanity because his accusations didn’t even make sense. Do you have an explanation for my wife’s irrational behavior? Should I join her in pretending this never happened?

Confused: Your wife reacted in an irrational and unprecedented way in your relationship. Your wife is embarrassed by her own behavior; of course she doesn’t want to discuss it further!

But I agree with you that it is important that you both talk about it to come to a resolution that will satisfy both of you. Solving a challenge is the opposite of pretending it never happened.

Your wife may admit to having long-standing suspicions and insecurities about this previous working relationship. We must also ask him to understand how hurtful it is to absorb such a serious, unfounded and unjust accusation.

I agree that because this behavior was so outside the norm for her, there could be an underlying medical, hormonal, or emotional trigger. Talking more with a calm, mutually sympathetic attitude could help reveal what’s really wrong.

Dear Amy: I have reached the age where more and more of the people who are dear to me are sick, suffering or dying. I’m sympathetic and want to offer words of comfort, but most of what I can think of to say is stuffy, superficial, and doesn’t feel sincere – even when I say it.

Where can I find a more eloquent speech for these unfortunate situations?

Tongue attached: Hang the eloquence. Just say something.

“I just found out. I don’t really know what to say.

“Oh no! I’m so sorry you’re going through this.

“I’m just checking – I think of you so often. How are things going for you?”

“Can I drive you to your treatment next week?” »

“I made soup; are you ok if i drop off a container? »

“I just found this photo of us from high school. We haven’t changed one bit!

Compare one person’s illness or loss to another person’s. (“My cousin’s husband had lymphoma. It’s okay!”)

Tell someone that God or the universe won’t give them more than they can handle.

Make their difficulties or suffering about you or your own experience.

Do: Be natural, compassionate, and adopt a listening posture.

When someone is in pain, the simple fact of having a calm, faithful and undemanding companion can help a lot. Readers will want to weigh in.

Dear Amy: There’s an old adage that goes, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I’m constantly amazed (appalled?) by the comments people make about other people’s lives.

If you don’t approve of an unplanned pregnancy, the name chosen for your new grandchild, the choice of clothes, the color of anything, or the choice of vegetable your friend wants for dinner, keep your mouth shut. . Unsolicited opinions, such as “constructive criticism”, are rude, unnecessary and sometimes hurtful.

There is a very old-fashioned quality called tact. Use it.

— A great old-fashioned classic

Old-fashioned: I have a post-it above my desk that says, “Unsolicited advice is always self-serving.”

Given my day job (and my personality), it can sometimes be hard to keep my mouth shut, but I wholeheartedly agree with every point you raise.

© 2023 by Amy Dickinson. Distributed by content agency Tribune.

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