Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Technology aside, cheaters will always find a way
Anonymous: Do you think cell phones, e-mail, texting and that sort of technology have made cheating (and paranoia about cheating) more prevalent in our society? When people ONLY had land lines, you would know when someone was calling your house, when your spouse was on the phone. Letters would come in the mail — more of a chance for a person to see that someone else was contacting their spouse. Nowadays, people in relationships (even cohabiting) receive calls on their cell phone and e-mails to private accounts; I feel like it makes it so much easier to cheat.
Carolyn: I don't think it's productive to assess cheaters and cheating (or paranoia) now vs. then. Where there's a will, there's a way, and every generation will simply use what is available to it.
So, find people you trust either not to have the will, or not to act on it.
Also know there's no such thing as 100 percent certainty. Know that your life isn't going to go exactly the way you had in mind, and be tough enough to deal with that. I'm not talking just about cheating, since that's but one of many ways people can betray, mistreat or disappoint each other. It's unfair to expect others to let us down any less than we let ourselves down. If you go around looking for ways you have been/are being/will be wronged, you'll be rewarded every time.
Smitten new dad feels jealous of wife's maternity leave
Maryland: Not to get too progressive on you, but I'm a new dad and I'm having maternity-leave envy. I did not expect this at all, but I am jealous that my wife gets to spend this time at home with our gorgeous 6-week-old daughter. Looking back I kind of resent that she scheduled this leave without even considering an alternative arrangement — such as half her, half me. Am I just being a dope?
Carolyn: If you nurture this into full-blown resentment, then, yes, you're being a complete dope — especially since it doesn't sound as if you considered an alternate arrangement, either. Till now.
You aren't being a dope if you're just nuts about your kid, want to be more involved, and use this smitten energy to find a way to accomplish that.
Talk to your wife, check your family-leave options, check your bank balances and see whether you can take leave next.
Two of the best gifts parents can give their kids are the desire to be with them, and the desire to be together. Don't strain one relationship to build up the other.
Anonymous: Umm . . . did he think about the fact that if his wife is breastfeeding, it's a lot more stressful and difficult once she goes back to work? Plus, at only six weeks, her body is likely still recovering from the birthing process — another reason she's home.
Carolyn: Right, the whole she-just-pushed-another-human-out-of-her-body thing. So easy to forget! Two things, Maryland, that I don't suggest you do in these sweet early stages of your family: Don't minimize what your wife's body has done and is still doing, and don't minimize the difficulty of the job she's doing at home while you're at work. Some babies are easier than others, but it's never easy.