Dear Annie: I’ve been in a relationship for 10 years, and we got engaged this year. The issue I’m struggling with is that before we were official, I noticed a message on social media of my groom in which he was flirting with my best friend’s little sister.
Now, 10 years later, we are still often at get-togethers with her, and I sense there is some flirtation between them every now and then. At times, this really bothers me. Is it because I know he was interested in her years ago? Should I mention this to my future husband, or am I being immature?
— Bride to Be
Dear Bride to Be: Based on the flirtation your fiancé had with your best friend’s sister, my guess is that your antenna is up as high as it can go. Ask yourself if he is really flirting or if you are more sensitive because you knew in the past that he liked her.
If it really bothers you, you can mention it to your fiancé just as you did to me.
Don’t approach the conversation in an accusatory way at all. Let him know that you feel vulnerable because you feel a little jealousy and might need an extra hug or your hand held a little tighter when you are at events that she is at.
Honesty about feelings in a relationship is a good idea so long as you are not making accusations. Use “I” statements rather than “you” statements.
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Dear Annie: My solution to people speaking loudly on the phone in public locations is to join in the conversation. I’ve done this twice. The first time, the lady snapped, “This is private,” and I said, then it needs to be in a private place.
The second time, the lady said, “Mom, even this complete stranger agrees with me!” and then walked away, much more quietly.
I don’t think I’d try it with a man — they lose their tempers too easily. LOL.
— Just an Idea
Dear Idea: Thank you for your letter. It highlights how people can respond so differently to different situations. Being able to find humor and having more laughter, rather than feeling victimized and disgruntled, is a good thing.
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Dear Annie: I lied about my sexual history to my husband for years, and it all had to do with the shame of child sex abuse by my father.
Whenever I hear about stories of others who had similar experiences, it always makes me sad. My husband and I were married for nine years before I opened up and told him. Before that, I felt completely broken inside.
Being a victim of sexual abuse in childhood explained so many of the issues I was having, and once my husband understood, it brought us closer.
— Talking About It
Dear Talking About It: The sooner you are truthful with your partner, the sooner real intimacy and connection will happen. Good that you finally were able to tell your husband what had happened to you. Clearly your courage in opening up to him — and his understanding and caring — has helped your marriage.
Thank you for sharing.
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— A native Californian, Annie Lane writes her Dear Annie advice columns from her home outside New York City, where she lives with her husband, two kids and two dogs. Her latest anthology, How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?, features favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation, and is available as a paperback and e-book. Email your Dear Annie questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.