DEAR ABBY: My husband has an extensive sexual history. He has had sex with more than 80 partners. All the encounters were when he was in high school and in his early 20s. Most were one-night stands with female friends.
When we met, he was honest, and I was understanding. He didn’t keep in touch with any of those females (pre-Facebook). But now he’s friends with several of them on Facebook, and while he doesn’t “talk” to them, he comments and “likes” many of their posts. This makes me uncomfortable because I don’t feel that past sexual partners should be part of one’s life once someone is married. I’m not jealous or insecure, I just think it’s disrespectful. Am I controlling? – Anxious in Arizona
DEAR ANXIOUS: Your husband was certainly active. You say he has been honest with you about his sexual history. Nowhere in your letter have you indicated that there has been any infidelity. I suspect that in spite of your denial, you may be feeling a bit insecure, and if your husband is telling you that you’re coming across as controlling, that is the way he perceives it. “Liking” the Facebook posts of someone you haven’t seen in decades isn’t inviting the person to have an affair. If I were you, I’d calm down.
DEAR ABBY: How do I get across to my parents that I don’t want them exposing my minor children to my mentally ill sister? “Evangeline” is bipolar, has borderline personality disorder and sometimes acts out in public. They know how strongly I feel about this but find ways to expose my children to her anyway. My kids don’t want to be around Evangeline, but my parents continue to push her on them. I’ll give you an example: They’ll take the kids out to dinner and “bump into her unplanned” at a restaurant. I don’t know what else I can do other than tell them I don’t like it. But when I do, they refuse to listen and get upset when my kids tell me they saw her. Please advise. – Looking Out for My Kids
DEAR LOOKING: Mental illness isn’t contagious. As long as Evangeline is on her medication, she poses no threat to your children. Is it beyond the realm of possibility that these encounters with her are actually unplanned? Sometimes people – myself included – get into the habit of patronizing certain restaurants because they are nearby and serve reliably good food. It’s easy to fall into a comfortable pattern.
Because you feel so strongly about these encounters, tell your parents you prefer they take your children to places your sister doesn’t frequent. However, if they persist in “pushing her on,” as you put it, then you may have to consider restricting your parents’ visits with the grandkids to situations you can control.