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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Aug 28, 2013
DEAR AMY: My wife and I have been married for 27 years and are still deeply in love with each other.

She has had a best female friend for the last 20 years. The two women have planned to have a girls' week away soon; the husbands will join them for an additional week, so it will be the four of us.

Over the years I have always sensed that the other husband, "Jasper," had a thing for my wife, but I've let it go.

Recently the four of us went out. At one point my wife and Jasper were alone at the table. He made some comments about her appearance, revealed his feelings for her and took her hand and placed it on his upper thigh. He said they should be together.

When I returned I sensed that something was wrong, but I left it alone. My wife and I discussed it the next day, and she wants me to "let it go."

So here is the dilemma: The ladies are still going on their trip, but I'm not sure I can travel with them and then spend a week with this so-called friend. I don't think I can trust him anymore.

Do I confront him and put all my cards on the table? Do I simply let the ladies go on their trip and the guys stay home? Or should I keep my silence and watch him like a hawk?-- Unsure

DEAR UNSURE: I can understand why your wife wants you to perpetually leave things alone, but she doesn't get to decide how you should react when someone crosses a line and interferes with your relationship. "Jasper's" actions have a profound impact on you, and you should confront him.

Depending on his reaction to this confrontation, I could imagine it clearing the air and then being able to resume a friendship (after some extreme awkwardness). Either way, if he decides to go on this trip, you should go too. At this point, watching him like a hawk is definitely called for.

DEAR AMY: I have a co-worker who is extremely annoying. There is something wrong with her, but I'm not sure what -- perhaps a mental illness or disability.

She constantly communicates with me, to the point where I have started to just ignore her. We have an instant-messaging system at work, and all day long she sends me messages and comments. I tell her I am busy, but she doesn't let up! She also texts me and sends Facebook messages when I'm home. I cannot take it.(At least at work I can get paid to put up with her.)

She has done this to several other people at work who have simply deleted her from their contacts or not replied at all to her messages. I don't want to deal with her that way. I want to tell her that she needs to back off! She is about 20 years older than me, and she is just plain (sorry to say it) weird.

How can I tell her I do not want to be friends without hurting her feelings?-- Frustrated

DEAR FRUSTRATED: This person may not be able to behave according to your terms. You seem determined to retrain someone who may not see the world, or relationships, the way you do.

The kindest thing to do is to say to your co-worker, "I'm sorry, but you do message me a lot. I don't really like that. Can you not send me so many messages? It makes me feel bad that I can't answer them."

After that statement, a combination of technology-blocking and tolerance is called for.

DEAR AMY: My heart broke when I read the letter from "Hurting," the introverted parents whose child had died. I hope they are able to take your advice and will communicate with their clueless friends about what they need.

I agree with you that most people simply don't know how to respond, and so they don't do anything. This doesn't make it right, but it's the way it is.-- Clueless Too

DEAR CLUELESS: People who have suffered a profound loss know that the only wrong thing to do when a friend is grieving is to completely disappear.
liner

Patchogue, NY

#2 Aug 28, 2013
L1: Apparently your wife doesn't seem to have a problem with it. Perhaps you need to deal with THAT first.
L2: Why don't you want to deal with her "that way"? Seems to have worked for everyone else.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#3 Aug 28, 2013
LW1: The important thing is you can trust your wife. So, I wouldnít worry about it or make a big deal about it. Are you going to confront every guy who makes a pass at your wife? IF she is attractive and men find her interesting, itís going to happen.

LW2: I donít think you can tell her without hurting her feelings, but you can tell her if she doesnít change you will delete her from your contacts.

LW3: Not necessarily true, Amy. Everybody grieves on their own terms. I generally donít really want a lot of support or for me and my issues to be of so much attention to others Ö showing up to a funeral and perhaps wake, if you are really close to me is nice, but I donít really use others for emotional crutches.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#4 Aug 28, 2013
LW1: This guy is probably working on the assumption that your wife will be too embarrassed to tell you what happened, so I would go and give the guy the stink-eye the whole time. Let him be embarrassed for awhile. Should be good fun!

LW2: Why, why, why did you friend this person on FB? Block her there, ignore or delete the texts and after the first few IMs at work, IM back saying you're busy; after that, feel free to completely ignore them. Not every message deserves a response. Start using that as a mantra.

LW3: I'm finding Amy's tone to be a little judgy, so I want to tell her to eff off, just 'cause.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#5 Aug 28, 2013
L1; I completely disagree with Amy. This is for LW's WIFE to nip in the bud. Why didn't he tell us what she said to this guy? How did she respond? Firmly? Personally, I think the women should go on their trip, but my friendship with them AS A COUPLE would be done. You make a blatant move to take my spouse? You're now a dead piece of crap to me.

And amy, watching the other guy like a hawk is pointless. If LW's wife can be trusted, there is no need to watch him like a hawk.

L2: Ugh you LWs are SO annoying. You want to have your cake ("get her to leave me alone") and have it too ("but I don't want to actually say so to her face because I"m a big chicken"). Stop responding to her. Just stop. Ignore everything that isn't work related. stop FEEDING it.

L3: "most people simply donít know how to respond, and so they donít do anything. This doesnít make it right," I don't know that it makes them *wrong*, either.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#6 Aug 28, 2013
I personally don't think LW1's wife should have told her husband, if this was a one-time thing. She apparently handled it (I wish he had told us how she responded, what her words ere), and expecting him to forget it is unreasonable and not realistic.

So I think she should have kept this one time to herself, and then the next time something happens (why do I think there will be a next time? because I don't trust that she told this guy there was no way in hell she would ever be alone with him), then she can tell her hsuband, when she needs to answer his "why aren't we spending time with them as a couple anymore?"

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#7 Aug 28, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
I personally don't think LW1's wife should have told her husband, if this was a one-time thing. She apparently handled it (I wish he had told us how she responded, what her words ere), and expecting him to forget it is unreasonable and not realistic.
I would want to know. If my wife did not tell me and I found out about it or noticed him acting inappropriate around her or my spidey senses were going off, I might start wondering wtf is going on between them and she could wind up getting mixed up in the whole thing. In this case, the LW has always sensed that the other husband, "Jasper," had a thing for his wife, and at one point his wife and Jasper were alone at the table, when the LW came back he sensed that something was up.

Rather than let the LWís imagination run wild, if she is open and transparent with her husband, as she was, at least he knows that everything is all good between he and his wife. That's more important than how he deals with the other guy or feels about him.

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#8 Aug 28, 2013
L1. What a slime bucket.
I would never trust someone like that again.
With friends like that, who needs enemies?

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#9 Aug 28, 2013
I've now changed my mind on it again, sub. I can see how many people -- myself include, most likely -- wouldn't keep this from their spouse. It doesn't mean the wife in this letter needs a macho showdown between her husband and the other guy, but just that she's sharing a pretty jarring experience with her closest ally.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#10 Aug 28, 2013
LW1's wife told him promptly because they discussed it the next day.

Something is "off" about this letter . LW has "sensed" for many years that Jasper has te hot for his wife. LW"Sensed" something was wrong when they were at dinner.

Amy's response does not track either , " I can understand why your wife wants you to perpetually leave things alone, but she doesn't get to decide how you should react..."

I did not see that the wife perpetually wants him to leave things alone although I agree he comes off as hyper-vigilant. I also did not see that his wife is telling him how to react. It almost feels like the letter itself was edited after Amy drafted her reply.

Taking the letter at face value, it would be reasonable to ask LW's wife not to be in Jasper's presence when LW is not around if the wife felt uncomfortable. But I have to say, a week with another couple with my husband acting that way does not sound like a vacation.

I would not blow this off as a potentially alcohol fueled pass at a restaurant because I do subscribe to the notion of "in vino veritas".

L2 sounds like a person who lack the ability to pick up on social cues and boundaries. I think t would be a kindness to assume he does not realize how her actions are perceived ad to be tactful but firm and very specific about what is expected of her. For example: Louise. You are sending too may IM's or tetxs. You need to reduce the amount. Please IM me only on the Smith account for something you need me to take action on.Please send me no more than 1 IM per hour. If you need more input from me, tell me and I will set aside time to work on the Smith account with you.

I expect Sublime may have some ideas about strategies

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#11 Aug 28, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
I've now changed my mind on it again, sub. I can see how many people -- myself include, most likely -- wouldn't keep this from their spouse. It doesn't mean the wife in this letter needs a macho showdown between her husband and the other guy, but just that she's sharing a pretty jarring experience with her closest ally.
I wouldn't have a macho show down with the guy ... I'd simply ask that my wife limit contact with him, not be alone with him, and I would not leave him alone with her ...

I'd also ask that she tell me if he pulls anything like that, makes any inappropriate comments to her, or tries to flirt with her and ask that she not respond to such things in a favorable way.

All my wife would have to do is be open and transparent with me. If that's the case, there is nothing to confront the guy over unless he crosses a line and starts making her feel uncomfortable and starts acting creepy, which is more than just slimy.

My wife gets hit on, not infrequently. It's never bothered me. That's going to happen if your wife is pretty, but I trust my wife completely, and she's not receptive to it (she had a coworker tell her last week, she's looking really good lately ... in an inappropriate way and she was thinking, whoa, back off dude ... she's had patients ask her out ... I laugh about it ... they aren't going to get anywhere with her). So, I'm not insecure about it.

I think it would be another thing if this were a guy friend of hers and she still wanted to spend time with him, without you there, but this is a couples friendship.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#12 Aug 28, 2013
"Something is "off" about this letter . LW has "sensed" for many years that Jasper has te hot for his wife. LW"Sensed" something was wrong when they were at dinner.

Amy's response does not track either , " I can understand why your wife wants you to perpetually leave things alone, but she doesn't get to decide how you should react..."

I did not see that the wife perpetually wants him to leave things alone although I agree he comes off as hyper-vigilant. I also did not see that his wife is telling him how to react. It almost feels like the letter itself was edited after Amy drafted her reply."

Excellent analysis.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#13 Aug 28, 2013
L1: The guy (who hit on the wife) is an idiot b/c he just ruined the friendship. It will never be the same.

L2: We used to have someone like that where I work. She eventually went bat-shyte-crazy. This woman that I know of would actually stalk people near their homes and at train stations. It was more than weird. And I'm talking stalking other women for friendships. I'm with Red. The LW has to learn to not worry about this person's feelings and state what she wants.

L3: I got nothing. Losing a child would be beyond my coping skills, I believe.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#14 Aug 28, 2013
1- Wait until his wife is in the room, then punch him in the face and tell him if he ever hits on your wife again, he'll get it much worse.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#15 Aug 28, 2013
Toj wrote:
L3: I got nothing. Losing a child would be beyond my coping skills, I believe.
I read one woman who lsot a child say this: She doesn't even want to hear another parent who lost a child of the same age in the same exact manner say to her, "I know how you feel." Because you lsot YOUR child, who is unique and different from MY child, so you can't know how I feel to lose *this specific person* from my world.

It was a good article on what to say, what not to say, and some honest blunt words from grieving parents.
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

#16 Aug 28, 2013
LW1: The saddest thing about this situation is that it's the wife's best friend's husband who behaved so horribly. She must feel sorry for her friend of 20 years who is married to a boundary-less, slimy jerk.

There are some people who are off-limits. Your spouse's best friend and your best friend's spouse are two of those.

I'm with Sublime. I don't think there is any reason to confront him and I think LW needs to trust his wife to handle the situation. I also don't think there is any need to watch him like a hawk if your wife has been crystal clear with him.
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

#17 Aug 28, 2013
LW3: An acquaintance/FB friend and his wife lost their year-old son just 3 weeks ago. They are clearly devastated.

I think it's important to remember that people are genuinely concerned and empathic and to try not to take any careless words to heart. For myself, I stick to the basics, "my heartfelt condolences" "I am so sorry" "call me if you need anything or just want to talk."

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#18 Aug 28, 2013
Kuuipo wrote:
LW3: An acquaintance/FB friend and his wife lost their year-old son just 3 weeks ago. They are clearly devastated.
I think it's important to remember that people are genuinely concerned and empathic and to try not to take any careless words to heart. For myself, I stick to the basics, "my heartfelt condolences" "I am so sorry" "call me if you need anything or just want to talk."
After my friend lost his wife the day after their baby was born, it wasn't more than a month later that my friend forwarded an email to me: People she played soccer with -- and I has subbed on their team -- one of the couples was expecting... and she died from complications in delivery, the baby was fine.

The email the husband sent out was heartbreaking. AS in, "I"m sorry that I am not calling each of you individually to tell you the bad news, but our beautiful daughter was born healthy two nights ago, but Kara did not live, due to complications in delivery. I wish I could tell each of you one at a time, but I want to get the news of her services out as soon as possible so you can rearrnage your schedules and join me in a celebration of her life at such and such bar, her favorite happy hour place."

Holy shit. It was heartbreaking.

My friend couldn't believe she knew TWO young couples that had this happen in such a short time. And that the husband felt like he had to apologize for not calling 100 people individually. I'm no hugger, but dang, I just wanted to hug that guy.

Since: Feb 10

Location hidden

#19 Aug 28, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
L3: "most people simply donít know how to respond, and so they donít do anything. This doesnít make it right," I don't know that it makes them *wrong*, either.
I have to partially agree with Amy about the only wrong way to deal with it is to disappear...and I mean DISAPPEAR. I've had friends who lost a child, and have heard way too many stories about seeing a friend/acquaintance in the store duck down an aisle to avoid speaking to them, or something equally ridiculous. As far as "I know how you feel" - that is so completely inappropriate no matter what the relationship is. I HATE that, although I do understand that people are just being clumsy in their attempt to give comfort. I've never needed comfort and support following the death of someone I love, but running away because they didn't know what to say...I gotta think that would be the end of whatever friendship we may have had.

And the one who told me that specific story was definitely not a weepy wailer either, so there was nothing but the other person's own discomfort to blame for the crappy behavior.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#20 Aug 28, 2013
itser wrote:
<quoted text>I have to partially agree with Amy about the only wrong way to deal with it is to disappear...and I mean DISAPPEAR.
Absolutely. Even just a random email, checking in, letting you know you're in her thoughts, even rambling on about her own daily stuff, just keep you in her thoughts and apprised as to what's been going on, tells you that they care.

There was a program years ago -- Bill Clinton was a big supporter -- that paired American women with women in the war-torn Baltic States after the fall of the Soviet bloc. Basically, you send the program $20 a month, they keep $2 for administrative costs (which isn't bad, really), and $18 *cash* was given to the woman you were paired with, just to help her out a bit, but the main part of the program was, you were to write letters talking about your life. THey were women with lives like ours -- jobs, cars, kids in college -- and then war took much of it away, they didn't need to talk about their own lives -- they had their own family and friends to do that with. They wanted to be reminded about the mundane aspects of life. They wanted to know how your college course was going, how your vegetable garden was doing, how your kid's band recital went, etc. Take them back to the life they had before the war, so they could look forward to those kinds of days again.

Good program that I was a little too young/broke to get involved with at the time.

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