Dear Joseph,
For almost six years now, I've been corresponding and talking on the phone with a gentleman. We've shared subjects from our daily lives and support each other as true friends who dare to tell each other the good and the bad. I'm married and have no desire to stray from my vows. Nor, however, do I want to tell my husband that I intend to meet this man face to face.

I've told my husband that I'd definitely like to meet my friend if I had the chance, but now that the time has almost come, I'm afraid to tell him. I'm so very grateful to God to have encountered this true friend and kind soul, but I also want to be honest with the man in my life, my husband.
-- Very, Very Anxious

Dear Very, Very Anxious,
One thing that concerns me is that you have kind, loving things to say about this man with whom you've been in contact, and nothing particularly good to say about your husband. From the tone of your letter, it sounds as if you care more about this friend than about your husband. Is it possible that you wish to see this man secretly so you can decide if he is as great in the flesh as he is in conversation, so you can decide whether you should leave your husband for him?

I know you say that you have no desire to stray from your vows, so if my analysis is incorrect, forgive me. But if my analysis is incorrect, if this man is only a friend, and not someone for whom you'd consider leaving your husband for, why are you so reluctant to let your husband know that you will be meeting with him?

Based on my understanding of your letter, meeting this man without informing your husband might be a prudent strategy, but not a moral one. It is obvious from what you have written that your husband must be concerned and hurt that you have chosen to maintain so close and intimate a relationship with a man who is not a relative, and who, I assume, is of an age range that would make him a potential rival for your romantic affections.

I don't see too many positive scenarios for you in this case. What you need most is to know what you really want. If your marriage to your husband is a high priority, and you want your marriage to remain intact, it's dangerous to take the relationship with your friend to the new level you're contemplating. If you are going to see this man, you should apprise your husband of your intention; the fact that this meeting means so much to you suggests that your husband has the right to be aware of it.

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