DEAR ABBY: About a year ago, a dear friend from childhood passed away. He was only 48. My husband, "Brian," and I attended his funeral. The sad event made me realize how short our lives are. On the drive home, Brian started asking me about my past -- the people I grew up with, went to school with, etc. I was so caught up in my feelings I thought this was the time to finally answer all of his questions, because I was feeling so grateful for him, our kids and our life.
Well, I told my husband too much. He asked me about my past romantic relationships, and I answered him honestly. Finally he said, "Since you are being so honest, I'm going to give you one more chance to tell all. If there is anything left to tell, say it now, and we will never have this conversation again."
Well, I had an affair more than 20 years ago -- we have been married more than 30 years -- and I confessed. It only happened once before I came to my senses and realized I was where I wanted to be.
Abby, Brian hit the roof! My life hasn't been the same since. Brian feels he has been disrespected, and he wants to kill the other man. He has become insecure. He calls to check on me at work, which he never used to do. Our marriage is terrible. Now I say hardly anything to him, because I feel he tricked me.
Bottom line: Don't tell your secrets. Keep them buried deep. Believe me, it's better for everyone concerned. -- DUPED IN DELAWARE
DEAR DUPED: Although the affair was over many years ago, your husband is reacting the way he is because, for him, hurt and betrayal are fresh. Of course he feels insecure. Many men feel that a woman who will cheat once won't hesitate to cheat again -- and in some cases, that's true.
If you value your marriage, rather than clamming up, you will drag your husband to a marriage counselor as soon as possible. You two have a lot of talking to each other to do, and it's best that you do it in front of a referee. Both of you need to understand why the affair happened in the first place, and what kind of a marriage you can have from now on. Do not blame your husband for the way he's feeling now. His feelings are justified.