Dear Amy: My wife and I have been together for 25 years. We have four beautiful children. We started dating just after high school. I had had only one previous sexual partner and told her everything. She told me about several people she’d been with, mostly mutual friends from high school.
I’ve since found out that there were several more. I’ve asked her for full disclosure, and she refuses. She says I don’t have the right to ask her.
With our 25th high school reunion coming up, do you think I have a right to know?
Amy says: In theory, I think you have a right to know about your wife’s previous sexual partners.
In actuality, I think you carry the potential for making your 25th high school reunion exciting, to say the least. Instead of worrying about ancient history, dance to your favorite Milli Vanilli song and try your hardest to have a great time.
Surely your wife is nervous about your reaction to this list — as well as possibly embarrassed by how busy she was in high school.
After 25 years of togetherness, the power of these liaisons should diminish. There’s likely more underneath the surface of this query, even if you are not sure what that is.
The burden is on you to convince her that you can be trusted with this information. I don’t think you’re there. A marriage counselor could help — after your reunion.
Steer clear of fights
Dear Amy: I am a 28-year-old married woman, and I live across the country from my family. I visit as often as I can, probably two to three times a year. I obviously want a relationship with my parents and other adult siblings.
My family has always been dysfunctional. My mother nags my father to no end. He ignores her until she yells, and then he yells. Whenever I am there, I find myself in the middle of their disputes, trying to help them communicate — to no avail.
They both complain to me about everything the other parent does.
They have been married for 38 years and only seem to grow more annoyed with each other. My mother is too proud for therapy, and my father will never leave her because his own father abandoned him.
What can I do to make our visits more pleasant? My husband and I are expecting our first child this year, and we don’t want our kids around this type of behavior!
Amy says: The first thing you should do to protect yourself is not to stay with your parents during your visits. The stress of staying with them in their home could make everything worse.
You need to establish a new way of interacting with them, instead of becoming both the symptom carrier and the mediator for the family dysfunction.