Is it wrong for me to want a friendship with a man who never was my boyfriend, and who is married to a very jealous wife?
I am a happily married woman with a husband I adore and love. The man and I were actually introduced 17 years ago by my husband’s cousin. We were pen pals for about a year, but our relationship didn’t become anything serious.
We stopped writing after a while and we moved on with our lives. I got married in 2005 while he got married in 2003. We reconnected last 2010 through Facebook, which we let our spouses know. We became pen pals again, and our topics touched on anything under the sun. We flattered each other once in a while and found each other attractive, but nothing more.
In spite of this subtle attraction, we were both clear that we were just friends and very happy in our married lives. However, it came to a point that his wife got jealous and insecure about our e-mails to each other; the man caught his wife stealthily reading his mail.
I was surprised by her jealousy, while my husband is so secure about our marriage. He wouldn’t even read my e-mails and had given me my privacy over this matter. Due to our hectic schedule and other matters, we stopped writing to each other again. We’d only send short messages on Christmas and New Year now.
Should I just leave him alone and move on with my life, and not pursue a real friendship with this man?
—The Pen Pal
You’re saying you’re a happily married woman with a husband you adore and love. Don’t you feel lucky and blessed as it is? Isn’t that a gift in itself? How many women can proclaim that with surety from the top of the mountain?
So, couldn’t you find it in your contented heart to be magnanimous to the wife of your pen pal who has become jealous of your e-mails to her husband? Do you have any idea what hell she’s going through, and the myriad thoughts that are clawing and eating through her brain, knowing how much her husband is enjoying what you consider his seemingly innocent relationship with you in cyberspace?
You can declare to the high heavens how benign your e-mails are, but with the flattery and attraction you yourself admitted has happened occasionally, how long before your hormones for each other kick in?
Your husband doesn’t mind this little entertainment you’ve created for yourself because he probably is very sure of himself and how he has created this cocoon of security for you not to think of being disloyal to him. But how about your pen pal? Has he given his wife the same equanimity to look away at ease?
Not all relationships are created equal. Just be grateful and appreciate your blessings. And while you’re at it, it doesn’t hurt to spread kindness around. And, yes, leave him alone.