Amy Dickinson
Columnist

Ask Amy: Husband comes out; should wife open door?

DEAR AMY: After being married for about 15 years, my husband recently came out to me as gay. I know he loves me and I love him. We are communicating and being honest about how we’re feeling. We are in couples counseling together and are trying to work this through and figure out what is the best path forward for our family (we have young children).

Amy Dickinson

Amy Dickinson offers straightforward advice on relationships, family and life in her syndicated column, Ask Amy. Syndicated advice columns are run in their entirety on washingtonpost.com; versions published in the newspaper might differ due to space constraints.

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Through our talks, I realized that his best friend is also gay (he is also married with children). It has become obvious to me that they are attracted to each other, although his wife doesn’t know about any of it.

I don’t believe the two men have been unfaithful, and they are using each other as support through this self-discovery time. Should I say anything to this other woman about her husband being gay? I feel like my husband’s friend is not being honest with his wife, and she deserves to know the truth.

I’m not sure it’s my place to say anything, but I don’t think he will ever tell her. This other woman and I are merely acquaintances and I hold no ill feelings toward her, but I’m not sure what to do. -- Secret Holder

DEAR SECRET HOLDER: It sounds as if you haven’t really discussed this aspect of your husband’s story with him but have had a dawning realization that the two men are emotionally involved.

You and your husband should start by discussing this openly with your counselor; if the emotional connection between the two men deepens and/or becomes a physical one, what happens to your marriage?

I don’t think it’s necessary to share your theory about this man’s sexuality with his wife (so far it’s a theory) but you might split the difference by telling her your story: “My husband has come out to me. He is gay. I know our husbands have grown very close, so I thought I would let you know a little of the back story.”

DEAR AMY: My wife died this summer. She had a Facebook account for which I have the password. I never thought I wanted my own Facebook account because she only used hers for viewing pictures of the grandchildren and always invited me to look over her shoulder. We only ever had one (joint) e-mail address for the last 18 years.

What’s the appropriate action now? Most people I ask assume that I have my own Facebook account; I’m still not sure I want one. Is there a way to change her status to “the estate of”? I keep getting bombarded with e-mail requests to look at Facebook and it’s upsetting to me whenever I receive them. -- Robert

DEAR ROBERT: My sympathies for your loss. As you try to navigate this challenging time, technology has created strange (and potentially wonderful) ways to complicate the process, as a digital imprint can continue long after the person is gone. Start by adjusting the settings in the Facebook account so you don’t receive e-mail notifications.

It is possible to turn a Facebook page into a memorial. To learn how to do this, search for “memorial pages” in Facebook’s Help section. Friends and families can write on the deceased person’s wall or post photos of the person when they are thinking about them — these memorial pages can blossom into lovely and lively albums of remembrance.

You can choose to do this — or cancel it altogether. You can learn about Facebook by exploring on your own, or perhaps one of your kids (or grandchildren) can sit with you to see if you want to “memorialize” your late wife’s page, close it, or perhaps open one of your own.

DEAR AMY: “Enabler” wondered if she was enabling her hard-drinking neighbor by thanking him with wine for the neighborly favors he had done. She suspects he has a drinking problem.

I don’t get it. First she is speculating about his drinking habits. Then she is hung up on how to say “thank you.” Can’t Enabler bake a pie? -- Neighborly

DEAR NEIGHBORLY: Homemade or bought (and dolled-up to look homemade) — I agree that a pie says “thank you” nicely.

Amy’s column appears seven days a week at www.washingtonpost.com/advice. Write to Amy Dickinson at askamy@tribune.com or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.

by the Chicago Tribune

 
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