Q: Throughout my relationship, I have had issues with my husband’s prior relationships. He has met a lot of women online & had casual intimate relationships with them and his female friends right up until we began dating. We have now been married 6 months. On 4 occasions, I “caught” him sneaking ims and emails with females from his recent past. I have confronted him & told him how much this hurts me. He said he just wants to keep in touch with these “friends”. It bothers me so much & I feel like he’s on the road to cheating. He thinks I’m just jealous.

A. I’m worried that you are helping to create the very situation you fear. It’s possible you two are in a cycle: Your husband wants to keep some of his old friends but knows you are jealous so he “sneaks”. You catch him sneaking and get hurt and angry. He doesn’t agree that he should end his old relationships so he goes “underground”, etc. etc. Or — you may be right that he really is unable to make a commitment to you and is keeping one foot out of the marriage.

It’s time for an honest, open talk. If your husband says he really is committed, ask him to introduce you to his friends. People who are not “cheating” want their friends to be friends with each other. Encourage him to invite these women and their boyfriends over. Talk to them on im and email yourself. In a similar way, introduce your husband to people who have been important to you. Getting married doesn’t have to mean cutting off the people from your single life. It can mean adding many, many good people to your life. As you both get to know each other’s network and introduce them to each other, you’ll quite naturally figure out who is going to continue to be part of your life and who will fall away.
I wish you well.
Dr. Marie