Q: My husband and I have been married seven years and have two beautiful children. Overall, the time we have been together has been wonderful, although we do sometimes argue.
On more than one occasion, my husband has shared his concern that I am cheating on him. I have never been unfaithful, nor have I ever given him any reason to think I would be. He’s worried because he knows my father was unfaithful to my mother many years ago. We both learned about it because my mother shared it while discussing my brother and his wife.
Having had no prior knowledge of this period in my parents’ lives, I was shocked. I didn’t grow up around it and was never taught that cheating is OK. How can I get my husband to stop putting me in the same category as my father?
He says he read that cheating is hereditary so I’m bound to do it. He throws the same accusation at me any time he gets upset with me. It’s starting to affect my hope for our future because I don’t think he will ever trust that I love him and don’t plan to commit adultery. — Not Like Dear Old Dad
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A: I don’t know where your husband “read” that adultery is hereditary, but it’s time you asked to see the source of his misinformation because it’s wrong. You are not responsible for your father’s behavior, and for your husband to imply that because your father strayed you will is, frankly, insulting.
If you are accused of infidelity any time there’s a disagreement, you two aren’t getting to the root of what’s really wrong in your marriage, and it’s time to get professional marriage counseling.
Q: We just hosted the family for our annual post-Christmas get-together. My brother-in-law’s girlfriend of many years was on her cellphone during the cocktail hour, the entire dessert course and the gift exchange. When I mentioned to my husband how rude she was, he told me she had been checking football scores and cheering/commenting while my daughter was playing the violin song her ensemble had played for the holiday concert.
I never answer my phone when I’m entertaining guests because they are where my attention should be. My daughters have been taught that it’s rude to be on the phone during dinner and when guests are over.
How can I nip this in the bud without causing a rift with my brother-in-law, whom I love dearly? If “Pseudo Auntie” does not want to socialize with the people she has been invited to be with, she should stay home. — Offended in New Jersey
A: I agree with you that “Pseudo Auntie’s” behavior was rude, and I don’t blame you for feeling upset about it.
I do not think that it should cause a rift if you were to tell your brother-in-law and his girlfriend that using her cellphone during the dinner you worked so hard to prepare, and during your daughter’s violin recital, caused hurt feelings. And tell them that in the future you would like her to leave her phone elsewhere during family gatherings in your home.
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.