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Dear Amy: I am engaged to marry a wonderful man who treats me like a queen. I do not have any evidence of infidelity, but he is a naturally private person, and I harbor fear that he may have another woman on the side — not so much sexually as emotionally.

He was communicating with other women on an intimate level during the start of our relationship, without my knowledge, and that experience has left me uncertain of his commitment to me. I have asked him if I am the only one, and he swears that I am, but I cannot shake the feeling that there is something that he isn’t telling me. He is extremely clever, and I am incredibly trusting, so I’m left with lingering doubt.

How can I move past what I consider irrational insecurity before my fear predicts my future?

Fear of Infidelity: My first suggestion is that if you are unsure of your guy’s commitment to you, you should not be engaged to him. Ideally, your public (and private) promise to marry means that you are moving forward with your trust in one another and fidelity already secured. You obviously need more time to sort out your fears.

You make an excellent point that “irrational insecurity” could inspire the situation you are most worried about. Responding to a partner’s constant suspicion or trying to boost them from truly irrational insecurity is exhausting and depleting.

However … your own instincts are your best tool for determining the course of your own life. Never ignore them. You believe there is something he isn’t telling you? There is a high likelihood that you are right.

Have you demonstrated a tolerance for hearing the truth and responding calmly and rationally, or does your partner think that the truth will break you? This is something to consider.

Your relationship started off on a challenging note. Do not submerge your own instincts in order to continue. Your loving fiance may have to lift the veil of his well-tended privacy to reassure you.

Dear Amy: I am a 72-year-old man in excellent physical condition. I work more than full time as a “house call” veterinarian and absolutely love what I do. I also love hiking, camping, traveling and sharing a good movie with a partner.

Unfortunately, my amazing wife of 27 years was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease about four years ago. She has been living in a memory-care unit at a very good facility for the last 18 months. She feels productive there, stays busy, and neither of us regrets this decision. I visit her a few times a week, but she remembers me as a good friend and not as her spouse.

I’d love to stop working and begin to enjoy life, but when I mention my “wife,” prospective partners don’t think it appropriate to seek anything more than a friendship. At this stage of my life, I don’t need another friend. I need a partner.

DVM: I’m sorry you and your wife are going through this.

It interests me that you describe your wife as knowing you now only as a good friend, which illustrates the point that friendships can outlast partnerships.

I’d like to nitpick: You don’t “need” a partner. You “want” a partner. That desire is understandable, but if you are meeting women and approaching them as potential partners and they are offering friendship instead, I suggest that you respect their boundaries and accept this offer.

All of the things you love to do: Hiking, camping, traveling, and movies — can be enjoyed with a friend.

© 2023 by Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.

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