Dear Wayne and Wanda,
My husband’s 20-year high school reunion is this summer, in the Lower 48. Some time ago, he told me he planned to go and suggested I’d likely be bored making the weekend trip down. I was fine with that.
Preceding the reunion, his former schoolmates started a Facebook group that put many of his friends in touch again. I knew he was chatting with old friends there. But recently I learned he has re-established contact with a former classmate and girlfriend and has been messaging her directly.
I only know this because he left his phone screen on one day and it showed her name at the top of his message inbox. When I asked what they were talking about, he got defensive and weird.
My husband and I have been together 13 years. To my knowledge he has been faithful, as have I. But this whole reunion thing seems off. I’ve never known him to message a woman regularly without telling me or to be so secretive about it and the fact that he plans to see her without me in another state has me highly worried.
I suggested I go with him to the reunion. He said that was unnecessary and I should trust him. Who is right?
This may not be as simple as right vs. wrong. On one hand, you may be on to something. Your husband may be incredibly bored with his present life and reinvigorated by past desires embodied by his high school ex, and the out-of-state reunion may seem to him the perfect time to sow some oats and sample what might have been.
Or, maybe he’s really looking forward to seeing his old buddies and would rather not do it with a wife in tow, as it would totally change the dynamics of the evening. He would have to constantly be introducing you to people, filling you in on the back stories of inside jokes, and generally putting your comfort first when in reality he would probably just like to experience his reunion and have a good time.
It’s true that reconnecting with an ex can make for dangerous ground and even lay the foundation for infidelity. It’s also true that we can enjoy getting back in touch with people from our past without anything nefarious in play. Your husband has been loyal to you so far, at least as far as you know, doing nothing to raise suspicions in the past. Give him the benefit of the doubt again, and let him enjoy his reunion.
But this isn’t boys’ night or a bachelor party. And this certainly isn’t a “hall pass” to dial the time machine back to 1999 and relive all of the Cher-inspired “Believe” prom night shenanigans. This is a 20-year high school reunion, where everyone’s supposed to be a relative grownup at this point and partners/spouses in good standing are perfectly welcome.
If anything, this is an opportunity for him to show off his amazing partner and let everyone know how well he’s done for himself. Sure, bringing you along will mean he’ll have to devote more time to introducing everyone to you and less time diving right back into all the inside jokes and “remember when” moments with his bros and homegirls. But hey, you’re his wife and you’re his today; all that other stuff is the past.
The choice on whether you attend shouldn’t be his or yours — it should be determined together as a couple. If you think he’s being sketchy or weird about his intentions at this upcoming event, you should talk about that as adults, as well, and maybe attending this reunion isn’t the best idea for either of you. If you two agree you won’t go, trust him, let him have his fun and be thankful for six hours of your life you won’t have to spend in that environment. And if, ultimately, you two decide that you are going and your relationship is solid, your husband should still be able party like it’s 1999 while his best girl is by his side. (Rest in peace, Prince.)