My wife and I have been married for over 20 years and love each other very much

Visitor's Question from a 41-50 year old Male
My wife and I have been married for over 20 years and love each other very much. Generally, I feel that our relationship and marriage has been and is very, very good. A few years back she did have a short affair with a younger man...we survived this but never discuss it and any mention of the man's name is avoided (more by me than her).

Recently she went with our 20 year old daughter on an organised 3 week coach tour overseas, that we'd agreed would be a good mother/daughter bonding experience. We spoke every 4 or 5 days and all seemed well; however, towards she end of the trip she said that a few times our daughter had been happy to stay in their hotel room, rather than go out and see the sights or socialise.

In our phone conversations, she also started to mention a man who was on the tour with them, whom “they” had befriended. She said that he’d lent our daughter his personal stereo to listen to on the coach when she got bored with looking at the scenery, and that he was great company. My wife described this guy as “lovely” and “helpful”, and I started to feel a little uneasy about the situation. However, I tried to put it aside since I was missing her terribly, and just concentrated on looking forward to seeing her again.

When they returned, I could tell that there’d been some conflict or tension between my wife and daughter during the trip, but put it down to natural mother/daughter stuff. However, within a few days, something triggered a major argument between them, while I and our 2 other (1 older, 1 younger) children were in the room, and our daughter said that she was “really angry” about various things that had happened on their trip, things that she wouldn’t be able to get over any time soon.

At first she refused to elaborate but soon started to say things to my wife like “you just left me there while you went off and did things with other people” and “I didn’t even like him that much... you didn’t tell dad about all the time you spent with him!”. My wife responded that she was sorry if she’d angered our daughter but that she’d done nothing wrong and anyway, it was all in the past now.

Of course, I started to feel really upset during this exchange, which lasted for maybe 30 minutes, but I felt it wasn’t the right time to get too involved or say anything in front of the rest of the family, even though much of the “discussion” was related to me and my feelings. It finished up reasonably enough between my wife and daughter, with tears on all sides and lots of family hugs. My daughter has now gone back to college and I didn’t mention it again to her before she left.

Soon after the argument, when my wife and I were alone, I asked her if we were okay; she said yes. She was fairly quiet and hardly responded when I suggested that our daughter must have misinterpreted the situation. I also asked her if she thought we should talk about it more, to which she replied “I’m too upset to talk about it at the moment”.

That was over a week ago and we’ve all gone back to our busy lives in the last couple of days, having spent a fair bit of time together in the past week. I’m still feeling really uneasy that the situation isn’t resolved: my wife hasn’t mentioned the guy again but I know she has his email address and phone number (she also has contact details for a number of other people who were on the tour).

What do you think I should do? Should I raise the subject again with my wife or my daughter or leave it to see what happens over the next few weeks? Am I just being jealous and paranoid or do you think I really have something to worry about?

Thanks for your help. Advice
Seems there's a fifty-fifty chance that you have nothing to worry about.

My advice is to ask your wife again what happened and if she still won't talk about it then you might worry. You might bring up the idea of a marriage counselor if she won't talk.

I would suggest that you not involve your daughter in these discussions as that would put her in the middle and that isn't a place for a child to be.

Good luck!

-- from George
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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