Dilemma: can I trust my partner?
I have been with my partner for nearly a decade now, and though we don’t live together we see each other all the time and often go away on holiday.
He has recently partly retired. I realise that when he’s not with me, he does meet other women – and men of course – but I can’t help wondering if he’s looking around for someone new.
Am I being paranoid, or is there something I should be worried about?
Katharine Whitehorn's advice
I can’t really tell you, of course, but I can suggest that you shouldn’t assume there’s anything sinister in your man meeting other people.
You say that he is semi-retired, and men who no longer have a job to go to are often confused about how to spend their time: you’d be amazed at the letters I’ve received from very solidly married women who can’t cope with having their husband suddenly around the house the entire time.
Most men – and women – need friendships as well as their one important committed relationship, so there’s not necessarily any harm in your man meeting other people.
What you could do, I think, is to try to get to know some of his new friends yourself; you might previously have spent his limited spare time together, but now you could perhaps share a rather wider circle of friends.
And seeing him with these other people would give you a better idea, I imagine, of whether there is anything to worry about – as well as preventing him from thinking that you are just waiting to be there for him when nothing else is going on.
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