Question: I met my present wife while I was still married. My divorce was drawn out and ugly. Sara took the brunt of the unpleasantness by being labeled the other woman. It was close to two years before we could marry. During that time she remained sweet and supportive. She appeared to understand at those times when I couldn't be with her, and busied herself with her own pursuits--business or cultural. Marriage changed all that; with the marriage license came a giant case of jealousy. She expects an explanation for every hour we're not together--and then she checks up on me. It's an intolerable situation. I love her, but I can't stand her new possessiveness. As much as I explain my whereabouts, it's seldom sufficient. At what point does a second wife trust her husband?
Answer: Your wife is undoubtedly reliving your early days together--only now she is very aware that she is the wife. If you are to have a future together, you must go back and deal with the past. Building trust is essential to a healthy marriage. Counseling to resolve her fears and ensure a healthy and rewarding relationship is in order.
Q: I am a divorced man in my late 40s who is just beginning to socialize. I've read your column for some time, so I was at least intellectually prepared for the changes in dating from 20-odd years ago. I pride myself on being a pretty flexible person, and I can live with equality (not opening doors, not lighting cigarettes, sharing expenses), even if it isn't my personal preference. Where I have difficulty is in the perceived image of a single man. There's no way a man could live up to the sexual prowess his friends believe is his, or to the expectations of his dates, often first-time dates. I'm not handsome or macho -looking, just average, so I wasn't prepared for this aspect of dating. How should I handle it?