Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Infidelity Takes Many Forms...But Not This One

Dear Tazi:

My husband is a very good looking man, while my looks are merely average. He has aged well, and looks distinguished while I, after four children, have looked better. "Dave" loves me with all his heart, and I know he would never, ever cheat on me, but sometimes I feel like he is straying.

Dave gets hit on a lot by younger women who appreciate his good manners and cultured background. He, in turn, is polite and charming to them, even somewhat flirtatious, but things never go any further than that. He will always end these conversations with a compliment that references me - such as "you remind me of my wife back when we were young" or "as beautiful as you are, no woman could ever compare to my wife". While I am pleased that he is also complimenting me, I am upset that he is calling another woman beautiful - or even having such friendly relations with another woman at all!

I would like to say something to my husband, but I am afraid that he will take things the wrong way - like an accusation of infidelity. However, keeping quiet does nothing to change how I feel about his friendly charm with the ladies. Am I overreacting, Tazi, or are my feelings valid?

The Wife

Dear The Wife:

Your feelings are your own, and only you can decide if they are "valid" or not. Do you feel like they are valid? If so, then take action to see that they are addressed by the person who can help you overcome your jealous insecurity - namely, your husband.

Infidelity can take many forms, including emotional infidelity, but I do not think Dave's behavior rises to this level. You think your husband is good-looking because he is the man you love; Dave may not feel the same way; he may feel old and used up, and coaxing an appreciative word or two from a young woman who has expressed interest may be his way of feeling young again.

Some people do not care where the sparks are lit, so long as the fires are stoked at home; others prefer to kindle the flames all on their own. Do you tell Dave how attractive you still find him? Do you passionately kiss him for no reason, or embrace him lovingly? Or have the feelings you have about your own appearance doused the passion you used to express for you man?

I suggest you talk to your husband not about his friendly behavior towards other women, but about your own insecurities and what he can do to help you feel beautiful again. It could be that he thinks he is doing something about it by telling other women that they pale in comparison to his wife. The next time Dave tells a woman that she reminds him of you in your youth, ask him what it is about her that makes him reminisce about you. You may be surprised to discover he holds cherished memories of things you have long since forgotten. A trip down memory lane can rekindle a stalled romance.

If, after all is said and done, you are still uncomfortable with Dave's friendly demeanor you could ask him to tone it down a notch; that you know he would never, ever cheat but that you don't like other women looking at him in the same way you look at him...then give him that come hither look and see where it takes you!


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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