Ask Amy: Open window means these two must chat

December 23, 2013 

Dear Amy: I recently came across a chat window my wife left open on her computer. What I saw made me very upset.

My wife was engaging in sexual chatting with a man she is friends with on a website. Looking at the chat days and times, I learned she was usually doing this chatting late at night after I go to bed but at least once she engaged in this while I was in the room (I know because she told him so).

I confronted her about it, and she said it got out of hand, but she never apologized. I know she likes to flirt, but calling the guy "babe" and using "xoxoxoxo" and telling him to have sexy dreams is beyond flirting and seems like an emotional affair.

They were also exchanging pictures. I am going to talk to my minister this week and ask his opinion, but I feel betrayed and wonder if she needs marriage counseling.

It is not like our marriage is loveless. We are intimate at least once a week, we cuddle, we meet for lunch, we watch TV shows and snuggle, etc.

My wife is prone to depression, and I wonder if there is a connection between that and her online behavior, but her stressors seem random to me.

— Sad husband

Dear Husband: Your wife doesn't need marriage counseling — you both need it. Her behavior is unacceptable; it directly interferes with your intimate relationship. If she suffers from depression, it is her responsibility to find ways to manage her depression (including identifying and understanding her stressors). Your responsibility is to walk this road with her and work together to restore your intimate connection.

Dear Amy: Your response to "Pro-Prevention" was good, but you should have told this young woman what a potential minefield genetic testing is. My daughter tested positive for the breast cancer gene (I did not), had the recommended treatment and now blames me! It has put a huge strain on our relationship.

— Sad mom

Dear Mom: The whole point of genetic testing is to reveal the answers to mysteries locked deep within our bodies. What happens next can be chaotic. Testing should be accompanied by counseling.

 

You can contact Amy Dickinson via email at askamy@tribune.com, follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.

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