Dear Abby: My wife’s co-worker won’t stop texting her. Should I confront him?

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DEAR ABBY: I am a 42-year-old male, married for 19 years with three teenage children. My wife recently decided to return to work after staying home with the kids as a full-time mom. She’s an elementary school teacher and has a male co-worker.

For six months, this co-worker has been texting her constantly, sometimes every day for several weeks at a time. Along with work-related texts, he asks for advice regarding his recent breakup with a longtime girlfriend. He has also been sending random texts late at night asking how she’s doing, and “checking in” messages.

Two weeks into summer break, he messaged her asking her how her summer was and telling her what’s going on in his life. I have confronted her about the borderline inappropriate texts he sends, and she assures me nothing is going on between them. She says she’s “handling” it by not responding to his texts but will not tell him to quit texting her.

I have never met this guy, but feel I need to have a conversation with him explaining my concerns. Emotional affairs are real, especially in a workplace. Even though I trust her, I don’t trust him, and I feel disrespected. I understand they work together and need to communicate, but this feels wrong. Any advice would be appreciated. — EXCESSIVE IN MICHIGAN

DEAR EXCESSIVE: I urge you to forget about confronting your wife’s co-worker. Try this instead: Tell your wife you want to meet and get to know this co-worker and suggest the three of you (or four, if he would like to bring a date) meet for a casual lunch or dinner. If you do, it will give you insight into what is going on. He may be quite a bit younger, trying to be friendly and asking for dating advice because he thinks of her as a mentor. I do NOT think this has anything to do with respect or lack of respect for you.

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Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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