Dear Harlan: My high school boyfriend has reached out to me on Facebook. I’m married with two children. He is also married. We have struck up a friendship again. He will instant message me on occasion. I’ll do the same. I told my husband about this, and he went ballistic. He couldn’t believe that I was rekindling a relationship with my ex. I told him it was crazy. This was 20 years ago. It’s innocent. I explained he has nothing to worry about. But he insisted I stop this. My husband is not controlling or jealous. His reaction surprised me. Can’t I be friends with someone from the past? Did I do something so wrong? I would like a man’s opinion.
Dear Frustrated: There’s only one man’s opinion that matters, and it’s not mine. Clearly, your husband has strong feelings about this. If this is the only time he’s expressed these kinds of feelings, respect them. As a rule, I don’t get too close to my exes. Nothing good will come out of it. I can find other friends if I need them. Likewise, I wouldn’t want my wife using her exes as an emotional sounding board. A friendly hello or happy birthday is about as far as it goes for me. If it’s too hard to stop talking to him, this might say more about you. You might be more upset than you realize because this old flame means more than you’re willing to admit.