Monday, September 8, 2014

Fanny Mail: A Question About Character

On Saturday I received a letter from Ellen Hopkins of Stuart, Florida. Ellen writes: "Sometimes it takes an extreme set of circumstances to learn about one’s true character. Several months ago my husband and I, along with our young child, were in a raft that was attacked by a shark. In the panic, when things looked their most grim, my husband threw our child at the shark, and the two of us were able to escape. At the time, I was just relieved to have survived. But looking back, I feel my husband may have revealed something about himself. And though I still find him incredibly sexy, I'm afraid I have lost some of my respect for him. Can I trust him? He suggested going to the beach this past holiday weekend, and I balked. What if we are in similar circumstances again? Would he be so quick to sacrifice me to save his own skin? Or am I putting too much emphasis on this one episode?"

Well, Ellen, I understand the inclination to draw conclusions from one rather extreme moment. But before you lose your trust in your husband, consider the possibility that his actions were in order to save you, and not just himself. Perhaps what he truly revealed in that moment was his undying love for you. In your letter, you didn't indicate anything else alarming about your husband's behavior before or since this incident, so why not give him the benefit of the doubt? Take him up on his next offer of a beach vacation. It may be just what you need to set your mind at ease.

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