Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Spouse pushes the boundaries of trust

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Q: My husband and I are apparently at very different points as to the shape opposite-gender friendships take. He is an avid, hardcore hiker. He met a woman (also married) on a hiking forum and wants to take a weeklong hiking trip with her to an extremely isolated location.

He says since there's nothing there between them, it's fine to take a trip like this. I feel uncomfortable and think it's weird to take an extended, super-isolated trip with an opposite-gender friend. I've never met this woman and likely never will, as she lives across the country. So this isn't a pal who I know and knows me. Thoughts?

Drawing Lines

A: Make sure it's not the Appalachian Trail.

What would bother me most is that my husband put me in this position to begin with. Maybe it's all the most innocent progression ever, from the moment they laid pixels on each other. But he's asking for such an outsize degree of trust that in a way you can't win. You say no and you're possessive, jealous and distrustful. You say yes and you're a rube.

If I presented it to him that way and he didn't see my point, then I'd start thinking hard about what we owe each other in the form of comfort vs. trust. Should trust be absolute? Or can logic come to bear — in this case, on his assertion that "there's nothing there between them"? They don't know that yet because they don't know each other yet. Not in person. And you haven't seen them together yourself, obviously, which is the way people figure out whether they feel comfortable or threatened. He's flying blind, and pushing you to board. No fair.

Backup Plan: It should be with someone he knows he can depend on and has his back. What if he realizes she's a flake an hour after meeting her?

Carolyn: Different but excellent point, thanks.

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