Hubby Off the Rails

26 Aug

Letterbalm Jealous HusbandDear LetterBalm: I’m in my 50s and have my own public relations business. It involves steady contact with clients, often evenings, sometimes on weekends. It’s a high-powered job, and, because my husband and I don’t have children, I thought he was O.K. with my level of commitment. But in the past eight months, my husband has begun to accuse me of sleeping with my clients. We’ve been married for 25 years, and it’s just ridiculous. I’ve never even looked at another man. I’ve told him that this is untrue and that his accusations hurt me. He’s making noises about my closing my office and moving to run the business from home “so I can keep an eye on you” (he runs his tech consulting company from our house). He’s checked on my business and personal cellphones, gone into my personal and business e-mails and otherwise upended all my records. He walks into my office at all hours, and I’ve noticed him parking across the street and near restaurants where I meet clients, etc. This is driving me crazy, and clients are beginning to notice his lurking behavior. I have to put a stop to this.

–Executive Woman

Has anything unusual happened to your husband in the past eight months, like falling off a ladder or getting hit in the head by a rock? Because he sure is acting like someone who’s lost his senses. Let’s take serious stock of his behavior. Out of the blue he accuses you of having affairs with clients. He wants you to close your office. His stalking and creepy behavior are beginning to affect your business. There are several possible reasons for all this: He has a neurological or physical problem. He is beset by problems in his business and feels guilty. He’s hiding something, like an affair of his own. Ms. L.B. says it’s time for a no-holds-barred serious talking-to, reserving the right to threaten a trial separation. Do it on the couch in the living room, not at his desk or in your office:

Gus, it’s long past time for a talk. You’ve said quite enough, now you’re going to listen to me. You’ve accused me of sleeping with my clients, you’ve said I must close my office and move it to the house, you’ve been poring through my records and stalking me and making my clients nervous. Your actions are beginning to affect a business I’ve worked hard to build. I can only think there are three reasons for all this: First, you’ve got a neurological or physical problem affecting your judgment. Second, something really bad happened, like financial problems, and you don’t know how to tell me. Third, you’re having an affair and feeling guilty. So, which is it? Do you want to tell me what’s going on? Shall we go to the doctor for tests? Talk to me, Gus, because I can’t continue to live like this and your behavior is over the top. But in spite of it all, I love you and I’m scared and worried.

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