Afraid my Wife Will Think I Took it Off because I was Cheating.
Q: After nine years of marriage, I lost my wedding band last week. I swear I didn’t take if off in a bar or hide it because I was having an affair. It just slipped down the drain at the gym. But I’m afraid my wife won’t believe me. Should I tell her what happened, or just go buy a replacement ring without her knowing?
Mia: If it’s really innocent, I’d just tell her the truth. Most women are very observant, especially about things like that, so if you bought something slightly different as a replacement, she’d probably notice and then wonder what you’re hiding. Be up-front now, while you have the chance. And since you have to go jewelry shopping anyway, maybe get her something, too!
Steve: I lost my high-school graduation ring down the drain, but that doesn’t carry the symbolic weight of your situation. Mia’s right, there’s no reason to hide this from your wife. In fact, she should be the one who picks out your new ring, although you should pay for it. Instead of a problem, this could end up being quite romantic.
Q: I have been dating my girlfriend for three years. In the past few months, she has grown really cold toward our relationship. I am quite busy, and I didn’t go out with her for about a month. During that time, she got really close with another guy. She was hanging out with him, clubbing until 5 a.m. I try to do anything I can to please her, but there’s been very little chance for me to meet up with her lately because she has been really busy. What should I do? I am not an obsessive person, by the way. I just want things the way they were before.
Steve: That’s not possible. Things can never be “the way they were before” because people are constantly evolving, even in good relationships. Change is constant. The problem here is fairly simple. You neglected her for a month and she met someone else. You need to find out where you stand with her versus the new guy. And if you’re in second place, you need to move on.
Mia: Take her out to dinner and tell her how you feel. Lay it out that you’re sorry for neglecting her, and you’d like to move forward together. And make it clear that you need to know whether she wants to keep going or not. She may surprise you and feel the same way. But if not, at least you gave it your best shot.
About the authors: Steve (not his real name) is 50-something and has been married to his second wife for 20 years. Mia (not her real name) is a 20-something single immersed in the Center City dating scene. If you have relationship questions and want answers to your romantic troubles, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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