Why does Mr. Winterbottom tell his wife that he doesn't think he knows her in Walk Two Moons?

In Sharon Creech's novel Walk Two Moons, Mr. Winterbottom tells his wife that he doesn't think he knows her because he had no idea that she gave birth to a son before marrying her and barely recognizes his wife when she finally returns home. Essentially, Mr. Winterbottom is astonished to learn about his wife's huge secret and is taken back by the entire situation.

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When Mrs. Winterbottom finally returns home, she has a new, stylish haircut and is wearing casual clothes, which confuses her husband and children. Mrs. Winterbottom is also accompanied by Mike Bickle, who Phoebe and Sal call the Lunatic. Initially, Mr. Winterbottom is visibly upset and insists that his wife explain herself. Mrs. Winterbottom proceeds to sit down, begins apologizing for not being respectable, and mentions that she does not know if Mr. Winterbottom will ever forgive her. Finally, Mrs. Winterbottom informs her husband and daughters that Mike Bickle is her biological son, who she gave birth to before she got married and started a family. Mrs. Winterbottom then explains to her family that she had to give her son up for adoption and feels ashamed for keeping such a big secret from her family.

Mr. Winterbottom is shocked by this information but assures his wife that he doesn't care about what is perceived as being "respectable." Mr. Winterbottom admits that he is confused by why his wife would keep such a secret from him, and Mike believes that he is not accepted into their family. Mr. Winterbottom then says,

"I have nothing against you, MikeI just don't know you. ... I don't think I know you [Mrs. Winterbottom], either." (Creech, 167)

Mr. Winterbottom makes this comment because he had no idea his wife was keeping such a significant secret from him and is shocked by her double life. In addition to Mrs. Winterbottom's astonishing confession, Mr. Winterbottom is also confused by her appearance and decision to leave the family for an extended period of time.

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