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Should I Be Jealous That Another Man Kissed My Wife? 

Dear Athena,

For several summers my wife and I overlapped vacation time with another couple, since my wife and his wife worked together for many years. After an opposing world-view discussion the night before they left, the other hubby gave my wife a kiss on the lips that was a second too long before he and his wife left the next day. And it was more his look at her that really got me pissed. I want my wife to keep the friendship with his wife, but this guy is no longer on my radar as any type of friend, to put it mildly. Even his wife looked a bit taken aback. This is his second marriage. Some may say it was just a social kiss, but the look and the entire moment were very odd. When is a kiss just a kiss? Am I off my rocker, or do I have every right to feel as I do?

Less Than Thrilled

Dear Less Than Thrilled,

You're not off your rocker. That guy sounds like a creep. No one likes a husband getting handsy with someone other than his wife. I'd be ticked off, too. And his wife should really be ticked off.

It's important to trust your gut on marital matters like these. Your honest emotions are always valid. The next step is learning how to handle those feelings, and sharing them with your partner.

Have you talked to your wife about the kiss? What does she think? How did it make her feel? You can't do much about the gross husband, but you can certainly express your feelings to your wife. You should feel comfortable sharing your thoughts with her — even the uncomfortable ones. Be open. Tell her the kiss has been bothering you.

You may find out that she's been feeling awkward about it, too. Connecting over it could make you both feel better. Or maybe she'll think you're overreacting — perhaps she didn't even notice the extra-long kiss or the look. That could be tough to hear, but if she's not taking the smooch too seriously, try to follow her lead and move on. What really counts is that she's receptive to hearing how it made you feel.

I agree that you can't forbid her to be friends with the other woman. But once your wife knows how you feel, she'll be better prepared for any discomfort you experience when they make plans. And just because the women remain friends doesn't mean you have to stay buddy-buddy with the husband. You're off the hook on that one.

As for next summer, when the question of sharing a vacation comes up ... just say you're both busy that week.

Yours,

Athena

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