Ask Ellie's Ellie would have you believe that Upset's worry "heightened" his reaction. Read as I heighten her reaction.
      Last week, my bride of 50 years drove the two blocks to our community mailbox. Roads were slippery, so I watched for her safe return. After 20 minutes I was concerned, starting to go find her just as she drove in.    
      She explained that she’d met a man (a stranger), at the mailboxes and had a pleasant (15-minute) chat with him that delayed her.     
      My reaction: What is she doing talking to a strange man for 15 minutes, exchanging addresses, etc. when she must have known I’d be worried if she didn’t come home in less than five minutes? Am I wrong to feel hurt … or more?
      - Upset

1) Why is your bride driving two blocks?

2) Why are you calling her your "bride"? It's a distressing word choice.

3) No, you're not wrong to feel hurt. Or angry. Or completely betrayed. Are you aware of what the kids today mean when they say "exchanging addresses"? Your bride is not worth your concern.

4) If you're worried about her behaviour, don't ask her about it. She'll only lie. The only way to know for certain whether she makes a habit of meeting men by the "community mailboxes" is to watch her constantly.

5) Don't let the fact that you have been together for fifty possibly happy years affect your judgement of this situation. It's possible that after fifty years you have simply begun to bore or repulse her.

6) Don't worry about this unnecessarily. Or rather, know that your rich and unnecessary worrying won't last forever, because your marriage won't last forever. It doesn't really matter whether she's been "collecting mail" with strangers, as very soon you both will die. You've been married fifty years, after all.

Send the Catastrophizer your requests for advice and/or rationalizations using the form conveniently provided 
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