I did an innocent favor and now I’m sleeping on the couch.

This morning I was walking to work and a woman on the sidewalk stopped me and asked for directions. I gave them to her, but she still looked confused, so I walked her to her destination, which wasn’t very far out of my way at all. When we parted, she asked me if I’d like to go out some time. I said no, thank you, I’m married, and we went our own separate ways.

When I got home from work I told this story to my wife. I thought I was being open and honest, but boy, is she pissed. She started out just annoyed, but then the questions started. “Was she pretty?” “Did you flirt with her?” “Why did you walk out of your way for a stranger?” By the time the conversation was over I felt like I had been hit over the head with a hammer. Now she’s mad at me and I don’t even know what I did! I shouldn’t have to say I’m sorry for helping a lost person with some directions, should I?

As long as you didn’t trip and fall and land on top of her in an alley and accidentally have sex with her, you didn’t do anything wrong. You’re fine. Your wife is jealous.

But let’s look at this realistically: you wanted to be “open and honest.” I assume you’re referring to your valiant disclosure of the fact that Little Miss Lost asked you out. And I’m guessing that you secretly loved that she wanted your hot bod, and that you told your wife because you wanted to elicit the exact reaction you’re getting: jealousy. (FYI: there’s nothing wrong with being flattered and psyched that even though you’re off the market, someone still wants to shop for your goods.)

I’m a hard-core advocate of honesty in a relationship; without it, you have nothing. But I’m also a fan of little white lies to spare a person’s feelings. In this case, a good one would have been, “Attractive? Eh, she was okay, but she was nothing compared to you, sweetie.”

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