2005-03-10 / Direct Answers

DIRECT ANSWERS

By Wayne & Tamara Mitchell Echo Works

By Wayne & Tamara Mitchell Echo Works

Mrs. Robinson

My wife, 41, and I have been married 18 years. She is very religious and attends church every weekend. During the past six months she’s shown special interest in a 25-year-old young man who is new to her church.

Based on our phone records, she calls him several times a day even when we are on vacation. When I ask why she is so interested, she says she is mentoring and coaching this young man in life situations. He recently broke up with his girlfriend, and she serves as a sounding board for him.

She told me she has no romantic feelings for the young man. However, she does care for this single young man and loves him as a friend. He is always a perfect gentleman, she claims. She says she would like to help him find a girlfriend, but I do not see much evidence of that.

A few months ago she asked if he could spend the night in our house since he lives an hour away and it was late. I told her no. She invited him anyway.

When I found out he was in the house, I asked her to tell him to leave. She did.

That incident did not change their relationship. She took a trip with him to a church function out of town, while I was on a business trip. Am I simply being jealous? Should I be concerned this relationship will grow into a romance?

Jim

Jim, if you don’t have children, and if we consider your wife’s age, there is an innocent possibility. Many women in their 40s feel a biological need to mother. They often want a child. We might call this the last gasp of their biology. What your wife is doing could be a last expression of her biological urge. He’s a young man, lost in life, and she can direct and mother him.

This may also be what is expected of her in her church, so she is taking care of two things. She is nurturing him as a mother, and she is nurturing him spiritually as her religion requires.

There is another possibility, of course, one which trips your triggers. You see this as the movie “The Graduate” and your wife as Mrs. Rob-inson, the older woman who seduces a young man. Women in their 30s and 40s are at their sexual peak, and your wife could be attracted to a young man.

Which of the two is it? Is her biological clock ticking, or is her sexual pot boiling? You know your wife better than anyone. Take an honest look at your relationship with her right now. Not how you imagine it to be, but how it actually is.

Is she enough disconnected from you to be having an affair with a young man? Or is she looking for the spiritual and emotional connection you’ve lost with her?

Wayne & Tamara

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I work at a small radio station. I started eight months ago, and I’ve done really well. But the longer I’m here, the more problems I have with my boss.

He’s the type of man who can talk friendly all day, but the minute you want to talk business, he gives you the cold shoulder.

I work on commission and am paid once a month. I was supposed to be paid 10 days ago, but I haven’t even seen my boss. Five of my paychecks have bounced since I started. I need money to pay bills, but the more I ask for my commission, the more he avoids me.

Natalie

Natalie, the Greeks invented a way of deducing answers called the syllogism. Putting your problem in a three-part syllogism, we get this: I have a job and jobs pay money. I am not being paid. Therefore, I don’t really have a job. I must move on.

Wayne & Tamara

Columnists and authors Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at www.WayneAndTamara.com.

Send letters to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801 or email: DirectAnswers@WayneAnd Tamara.com.

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