If you were this mans minister, how would you advise this question.





Dear Amy My husband, “Thomas,” and I, both 67-year-old retirees, have been together for 39 years and married for four (we’re in a same-sex marriage).

About three years ago, Thomas met “Ray,” who is 13 years younger and in a fulfilling and demanding career with irregular hours.

After a couple of years of one-on-one dates, through mutual agreement a year ago, the three of us now spend a couple evenings together each week. We have all come to have a deep love for each other.

Ray doesn’t open up often about his friends, family and early life. Most chatting outside of our times together is conducted by text. Sometimes texts can get misunderstood, and that is a recurring issue for us.

After a couple of years of one-on-one dates, through mutual agreement a year ago, the three of us now spend a couple evenings together each week. We have all come to have a deep love for each other.

Ray doesn’t open up often about his friends, family and early life. Most chatting outside of our times together is conducted by text. Sometimes texts can get misunderstood, and that is a recurring issue for us.

When a day or more passes without a text from Ray, Thomas becomes more apprehensive that Ray is pulling out of the relationship. By the third day, Thomas is beside himself, and his fears begin to undermine my equilibrium. This has happened several times, and each ends undramatically when Ray texts that he’s been overwhelmed with work and that he does indeed love us.

Could you advise me on ways to help Thomas cope with Ray’s occasional silences with more equanimity?

— Sometimes A Teenager

Dear Teenager: I infer that you two are in an open marriage, and now a polyamorous relationship with “Ray.” One hazard of allowing a third person into your marriage is that you have created a triangle, and relationship triangles are notoriously unstable.

Your job is not to manage your partner’s feelings or reactions but to manage your own. How do you feel when your husband expresses such an extreme reaction? You should be honest with him about the impact of his behavior on you.

Otherwise, you could point to patterns to help Thomas recognize and perhaps better manage his own fears: “Every time Ray behaves this way, you are sent into a tailspin. Can you look at this pattern and trust the process so that you might not always be put through the wringer?”