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Woman devastated by husband’s email correspondence

DEAR AMY: My husband I have been married for three years. We jumped through many hoops in order to be together. I thought we would be totally devoted to each other until the end of our lives (we are both in our 60s). A few months after we got married I discovered that my husband was communicating with a “hooker” through email. He was asking her to send him porn. He said he would travel to see her, and was just generally flirting with her. I found her phone number in his phone contacts. I suspect they were having phone sex and going into chat rooms together. When confronted with the evidence, he said he was just flirting with her to get porn from her. He said there was no phone sex or chatting — just the four or five emails that I saw. He begged my forgiveness and promised that nothing like this would ever happen again. I have no reason to believe he has broken that promise. He is a good man and other than this one incident, he has been a wonderful mate. I was devastated by this breach of trust and have spent the past year trying to cope with my feelings of anger and hurt. I’m so disappointed in him. Am I making too much out of this incident? Would you consider this cheating? That’s the way it feels to me.

Broken

DEAR BROKEN: I’m not sure I would take this behavior as evidence of cheating, but it is probably evidence of stupidity.

You should assume that your husband has likely done this before, and may have (or could still be) corresponding with other people.

You should try to determine if he has spent money on this woman (if it even is a woman; it could be anyone communicating with him).

It is possible that your husband fell for a scam, where he was basically catfished and drawn into a cyber-relationship, where the ultimate goal was to get him to pay for porn or — in rare cases — to actually pay for the relationship to go away, once it became burdensome (or once you found out about it).

Because of this breach of your trust (not to mention this breach of logic and good sense), he needs to be 100 percent transparent about all of his communication and finances.

You should meet with a marriage counselor, with transparency and healing as your goal. You can recover from this, but he needs to participate in the process.

DEAR AMY: If you’re going through double doors and someone holds the first door for you, of course, you say thank you as you go through the first door, but what about the second set of doors? Do you wait for the other person to open the second door and thank them again, or should you reach for it yourself?

Politely confused in Illinois

DEAR POLITELY: If you are physically able, you should open the second set of doors as a courtesy toward the person who did this for you. This pays the gesture forward. It also permits the person who got to the outer doors first, to proceed into the building first, which he/she would have done if the person hadn’t held the outer door open for you.

But what do you do when someone politely opens the door and beckons you through the door first at a busy restaurant with a waiting list? Do you then wave that person through to take the spot ahead of you? (I think you should.)

DEAR AMY: I read your column every day. I must say, I was a bit confused by your response to “Confused,” the young woman asking about who should pay for birth control. Fortunately, President Barack Obama made it so this question does not need to be answered anymore. All Affordable Act qualified plans provide for some form of free birth control (pills). If your reader is uninsured, she can visit any Planned Parenthood facility to obtain free or very low-cost birth control.

Informed Reader

DEAR INFORMED: Many readers contacted me with this correction. When answering the question, I assumed that “Confused” was either uninsured, or was perhaps covered under insurance that did not cover the cost of birth control.

Mainly, I believe, this was a larger question about sharing the responsibility of being sexually active and in a stable relationship with one partner. The burden for being sexually active weighs more heavily on the woman, but in a loving partnership, the responsibility should be shared.

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