Married to a problem page addict, a man finds himself constantly being suspected of having affairs. Mariella Frostrup considers the case from an agony aunt’s perspective
The dilemma I suspect this may be an unusual question, but it’s something that’s causing me genuine distress. My wife is addicted to reading advice columns. She spends entire evenings on her laptop digging through years’ worth of columns on a host of different websites. Whenever she’s been doing this she becomes incredibly suspicious of me, accusing me of behaviour that indicates I’m having an affair. This can include using my phone at night (I read ebooks to get to sleep) or dressing in a manner she considers too showy when going out of the house. I’ve never had an affair, or attempted to, or even wanted to, and although I’ve told her that the constant accusations are extremely hurtful to me, nothing I can say seems to convince her that I have no interest in cheating.
Mariella replies Imagine what it’s like round my place. Exposure to the dark corners of other people’s lives, week in week out, for the past 15 years has certainly been no picnic in the park. The briefest of encounters encourages further scrutiny; the apparently unblemished exteriors of my fellow humans just incitement to deeper incursions where seams of unmined misery lie waiting to be exposed.
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