Dear Dumbs,

Dear Dumbs,


First, let me say that I love your podcast and sound advice. I was hoping that I would never need it, yet here I am.

I’ve been married now for 14 years, and until recently I thought it was a good one. I’m going to give you her real name because I’m pissed: Her name is Paris.

Paris has been acting strange for the past six or so months. She’s been doing what I would call sneaky behavior. She now has her phone on her at all times, and she asked me out of the blue what my thoughts were on an open marriage. We have an 8-year-old [daughter] and the other day she asked me who Devin was. I said the only Devin I know was her mother’s old boyfriend. She then said that she’s been talking to him a lot.

So all the weird things suddenly started to make sense. I brought it up to my wife, and she said our daughter was crazy. Later that night I asked her if I could look at her text messages, and she flipped out. The only way I could explain it is that she looked and acted 100% guilty.

I don’t want to be the jealous husband so now I’m stuck. What should be my next move?


SHARI: First off, bad move asking to go through her cell phone.

TERRY: But what if he’s right? Doesn’t he deserve to have undeniable proof?

SHARI: I’m glad you’re not the jealous type, Terry. Trust is the basis for any good relationship. Personally or professionally.

TERRY: OK. We will go with “bad move” on asking to see her phone James. 

SHARI: Your gut instincts may be enough here, James. I’m sorry to say that after reading your email the odds are that she’s at the very least talking about it with him.

TERRY: I don’t want to ignore the “open marriage” part of this.

SHARI: Why? Do you want one?

TERRY: What does she look like?

SHARI: Classy.

TERRY: I think it’s time for a sit-down with her James.

SHARI: It’s perfectly OK to ask for one, James. She owes it to you to put everything on the table. 

TERRY: Just remember that you’re the one in the power seat here, James. By her reaction, you obviously busted her. 

SHARI: It’s true, James. You get to call the shots now, and remember to trust your gut. She may try to make you feel like you’re crazy for questioning her. Another telltale sign. 

TERRY: Here’s what I would say to Paris, “I’m sorry I wanted to see your phone. I feel bad about that. But I deserve an honest conversation with you.”

SHARI: She would look really bad if she said no to that, James. If she does, you have your answer.

TERRY: Then the real fun starts.