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Dear Harriette by Harriette Cole

Husband locks phone after spouse confronts him

DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband and I have not been getting along very well for some time now. Recently, I noticed that he changed the password on his cellphone. He has never done this before in the nearly 30 years we have been married. My guess is he did it because I questioned him about a “friend” he has been spending time with who I think is inappropriate. I knew he was seeing her more than he admitted because I saw messages from her on his phone a while back. I didn’t tell him what I saw, though. Do I confront him now about the locked phone? About this woman again? What should I do? Even though we haven’t been close recently, I’m not ready to give up on us. — Unlock His Heart

DEAR UNLOCK HIS HEART: The locked phone and the surreptitious engagements with this woman are an indica- tion of something bigger going on that you two need to address. Are you ready to have a serious conversation with your husband? Being married for 30 years is not
an insurance policy for your future. If you want your marriage to survive, you have to fight for it.

Ask your husband to sit down and have a heart-to- heart talk with you. Bring up some positive highlights of your life together — from back in the day and any you can think of from recent times. Point out that your relationship has been distant and rocky, and you are concerned. Tell him that you want the two of you to choose to work on your marriage and add some spark back into your lives.

I spoke to the legendary actress Ruby Dee, who was married to Ossie Davis for more than 50 years, about the secret to a long, happy marriage. She told me that one partner always has to want to work for the marriage. If neither wants it, there’s no chance for survival. Declare that you want your marriage to work, and ask your husband to recommit as well. You should also ask him if he is willing to walk away from whatever extramarital bonds he is forming in order to give your marriage a chance.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My friend was drinking the other day and told me something that he didn’t mean to. I mentioned it to him today, and he was immediately shocked that he would share a secret like that with me. I’m a little offended that he didn’t initially trust me enough to tell me and had to be inebriated before he could share it with me. I don’t keep secrets from him. Am I right to be offended? — Keeping Secrets

DEAR KEEPING SECRETS: People have different thresholds for what they keep to themselves. It’s not going to help you to be offended by the fact that your friend withheld information from you. Instead, assure him that his secret is safe with you and that he can trust you no matter what is happening in his life.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder
of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@ harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndi- cation, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106

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