DR. WALLACE: My wife and I are both 20 years old and we have been married for a year and a half now. Our marriage is great, but I am uncomfortable with one thing that my wife does. It has bothered me enough recently to consider writing to you, so today I’m doing just that.
My issue is that my wife still has several male friends that she hangs out with and who text her on a regular basis each week. I have not seen any untoward behavior from my wife so far, but I worry about her with all these guys buzzing around her like bees on a hive. I’m a man and I know how some men think when it comes to females who interact with them regularly.
Should I ask her to only see or text her guy friends when I’m around or when I’m standing right next to her in person? — Concerned Husband, via email
CONCERNED HUSBAND: This is an issue that perhaps should have been discussed prior to you getting married. It’s logical that you were aware she had many friends when you married her, so it would be reasonable to expect she would continue to stay in touch with her friends, no matter their gender.
You also had the opportunity to discuss with her prior to marriage your concerns about her interactions with members of the opposite gender. It’s likely that you did not address this issue in advance. If you knew that you were quite sensitive to this issue, you owed it to her (and to yourself) to speak up and hold a complete discussion on the topic in advance of tying the knot.
But now, that’s water under the bridge and because you’re uncomfortable now in this present moment, you do indeed need to discuss it with your wife as soon as possible to let her know your feelings. However, keep in mind that if she has not demonstrated any behavior that runs contrary to her remaining a good and faithful marriage partner, then you are the one who is most likely being unreasonable and perhaps even controlling if you wish to cut her off from friends or work colleagues she’s known for some time.
Jealousy can become a large and negative issue within a marriage, so I suggest you take whatever steps you can to nip this in the bud. Speak openly to your wife about your concerns, but do not put any restrictions on her as that will only lessen the trust and harmony between the two of you.
I FEEL ASHAMED I CAN’T GIVE THEM BIG BUCKS!
DR. WALLACE: I received an invitation for my brother’s wedding; he is marrying his girlfriend of five years.
Also included in the invitation was a small note saying that no physical wedding presents at all are to be given, but if a guest wishes to give the newly married couple a gift, then a financial donation toward their honeymoon trip would be the only type of gift that would be accepted.
My problem is that I don’t have too much money, but I’m a person who is very good at creating special gifts using arts and crafts and my own creative skills, with just a shoestring budget. Now I feel very eclipsed, as I know for sure I’ll be giving one of the smallest monetary gifts of anyone attending the wedding. My gift almost certainly will be the least amount of money they will receive from anyone, even people who are almost strangers to them.
What can I do to avoid the shame I’ll be feeling as I send in my very small financial gift? — The Sister With Few Resources, via email
THE SISTER WITH FEW RESOURCES: You should absolutely, positively feel no shame at all! Your brother obviously knows that you’re in a tight financial position and your attendance at his wedding will most certainly be the first and most important gift you’ll be giving him and his bride that day.
Beyond that, I suggest that you use all of your special gifts to create a wonderful homemade card for them that you place the financial gift inside of when you give it to your brother and his bride.
Attend this wedding with your head held high! You and your brother both deserve this.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.