DEAR ABBY: I'm having a hard time dealing with an upcoming event. My husband, "Rob," and our nephews are planning a night out visiting the local all-nude strip clubs. I walked into the room just as one nephew was inviting him. Abby, he jumped at the chance! When I asked what they were talking about, Rob said, "Nothing," and changed the subject.
I don't want him to go. This isn't a new occurrence in our more-than-30-year marriage. After we were married seven years, Rob came home from work and told me he wanted to be with other women. The men he worked with all had girlfriends on the side and were always talking about how great it was, and my husband thought he was missing something. Since Rob's sister and young son were living with us at the time, I moved out. Every day he called me at work to see how I was, and on the third day he called, crying, and begged me to come home. He had decided I was what he really wanted.
Twelve years later, Rob had a stress breakdown. While he was in the hospital he confessed that he'd had a three-year affair with a woman he worked with and had paid for her to have an abortion. He said it was over and promised there would be no more women. It was his idea, not mine. I never mentioned the subject again. Now this.
Abby, I'm having a lot of trouble dealing with this. The "boys' night out" is in three weeks. I have decided to tell Rob that I wish he wouldn't go -- not can't go -- and leave the decision up to him. Am I just a jealous wife, or insecure, or unreasonable? -- WOUNDED IN NEW YORK
DEAR WOUNDED: I'd say you're insecure with good reason. Your husband's history of fidelity and stability is poor, and it didn't help matters that when you asked what the men were talking about, he was evasive. You do not appear to be jealous. It would not be unreasonable to air your feelings about his behavior, past and present, when you tell him you wish he wouldn't go. Considering his past, the request is understandable.