I know you get a lot of questions, but I hope you answer this one quickly because it’s so current. All of us are nervous about the coronavirus that’s beginning to spread worldwide, but my wife’s reaction to it has been so extreme that it’s having a bad effect on our family. Literally. We were supposed to travel to New York for a family wedding, but my wife refuses to go for fear of contracting the disease. She won’t allow the kids to go either. She says air travel is “dangerous” right now and that if you want to catch a virus that could kill you, get on a plane. Maybe she’s right, but people fly all the time without repercussions, and I don’t see that as a reason not to go to my cousin’s wedding. She has begged me not to attend, even if I promise to wear a mask throughout the flight. This has led to serious argument — it’s almost as if a decision to fly across the country to New York would equal a decision to leave the marriage (she hasn’t said that, but it sure feels that way). What should I do? Normally my wife is a sane, rational person.
Worried About Corona
It’s true that air travel puts one at risk of catching whatever bugs are circulating across the globe. In my opinion, if one exercises caution one is likely to be okay. Frequent hand-washing plus the use of hand sanitizer is essential. Also keeping one’s hands away from nose, eyes, mouth. And, for better protection, wear a mask. Avoid the bathroom if possible. But here’s the rub: you’re only as safe as where you sit. In other words, if you’re seated in the row behind, in front of, or across from an ill person, you’re most likely to get infected. Right now, the estimated numbers for seasonal flu are: 180,000 — 310,000 hospitalizations, 10,000 — 25,000 deaths. That helps put coronavirus in perspective, but of course does nothing to allay your wife’s fears. Your decision about whether to comply with her wishes is entirely personal. If this is a matter of not wanting to set a precedent by giving in to her, that’s one thing. If you want to be a good comforting husband, that’s another. Keep in mind that her panic over illness is real and not unjustified. And that by going to your cousin’s wedding, you are putting another person over your wife. But there are other factors, such as your own resentment and possible fears of being pussy-whipped if you do as your wife says. In the end, I suggest you make a list of pros and cons and let logic be your guide. Personally, I’d stay home with the wife.
All the best,
REACTIONS TO SEASONED WIFE
Oh, do I ever feel for you! After twenty-five happy years I discovered my husband was unfaithful and it hurt like a sonofabitch. I felt so angry and betrayed! I realized I couldn’t stand being with him once I knew, so I kicked him out. Then I learned he’d been secretly cheating all along, so I had no regrets about the decision. I hope things work out for you.
Harriet B., Brooklyn, NY
They say, “happy wife, happy life,” and I believe that’s true. I also believe that ignorance is bliss, so I would advise you to leave things as they are with your husband and enjoy the happy relationship you’ve always had. All the best,
Tony F., Syracuse, NY
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Disclaimer: CD Knowles is not a doctor or psychotherapist. Any opinions expressed on Knowles Knows are just that — opinions.