DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have been married for eight months. She has an occasional habit that makes me wonder whether we got married too young. (She’s 23, I’m 27 and we’re both in graduate school.)
She likes to go out with a group of her friends from high school or with her sister and her sister’s friends, get drunk and stay the night. It doesn’t happen all the time — several times a year — and I’m not worried about her cheating on me. I try not to be the controlling husband and say she “can’t” go out. But it bothers me that she wants to spend the night with her single friends and get drunk. If I try to talk to her about it, she gets angry and says she doesn’t get to see her friends very often.
I don’t understand why her socializing always has to involve drinking and staying out all night. Her sister is my age and has a career in education, but still likes hosting these parties. I wonder how long it will take my wife to outgrow this phase. Am I being controlling? What should I do? — GETTING FRUSTRATED IN PONTIAC, MICH.
DEAR GETTING FRUSTRATED: Your wife appears to be trying to hold onto her carefree single days, and it’s a shame she can’t do that without getting herself soused and staying out all night. On the other hand, if she’s in no condition to get behind the wheel, then it’s better that she not drive until she sobers up.
I don’t think saying what’s on your mind is “controlling.” I suspect your wife becomes angry because she is defensive.
Her behavior is immature, and how long it will take her to outgrow this “phase” is anybody’s guess. I recommend that you both widen your circle of friends so you spend more time with other married couples who are more mature than your wife’s sister and high school friends appear to be.
DEAR ABBY: I have reached a crossroad in my life. Just when I thought I had everything, from the house with the white picket fence to the family dog and children, I have learned something about my husband. He had never opened up about himself other than to say he was raised by his father and stepmom who abused him as a child. As I was cleaning out a closet and getting rid of some things, I came across his old briefcase, which I opened to see if anything of importance was inside before tossing it. To my shock, there were photos and a DVD of what seemed like pornography of himself and other women.
I can respect past relationships, but having done something like this and kept the evidence is very troubling to me. I find myself needing closure, but when I try to talk to him, he brushes me off. I feel betrayed, unsure who I married and lost about what else to do. What do you advise? — CONFUSED IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR CONFUSED: How old does your husband appear to be in those photos? If they are recent, then it is important that you get to the bottom of this — and counseling may help you find the answers you’re looking for.
However, if they are not recent, let the past stay buried. Some women keep old love letters long after the romance is over. And some men keep old pictures like the ones you found.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.