'Til Death-Grip Do Us Part
My husband of 10 years has an old friend he dated for a few years before we met. She comes into our lives about once a year when she's in town. Her e-mails sometimes seem flirty, and my husband says I take them too seriously. But, she also seems edgy around me, making me suspect she still has feelings for him. When she was here for a funeral, I told him he could join her and some friends for a night out if he didn't make me look bad. Two days later, I got a mass e-mail with pictures of him and his ex cheek-to-cheek! That argument lasted a month. He finally agreed to do something, but I think he isn't making it clear enough that she shouldn't call or e-mail again because she hasn't stopped. He claims he feels bad ending one of the only friendships he's maintained for the past 20 years. Well, their relationship's taking a toll on ours. How can I cut off their contact?
If you love someone, turn off the electrified fencing. If they hang around, they're yours. If not, at least you won't be facing manslaughter charges.
The guy married you, not her. Why work so hard to make him sorry he did? Sure, he's still with you after 10-plus years--maybe because he's too beaten down to crawl to the phone and start ringing divorce lawyers. To your credit, you did decide to let him see this woman--before you decided that he can never see her, talk to her, or even e-mail her again. Excuse me, but who decided that you get to decide these things? I'm guessing you were pronounced "husband and wife," not "husband and warden." Yet, at the moment, your relationship is basically prison with better towels.
You actually spent a month berating your husband for appearing in a photograph with somebody? Okay, so it was his ex, and they were photographed "cheek-to-cheek."
(We're talking the facial kind, right?) Just wondering, when you take a picture, do you typically pose your subjects on opposite sides of the room? "Okay, you two, get as far apart as you can!" As for why this woman gets edgy around you, beyond your near-criminalization of her 20-year friendship with your husband, could it be that you tend to look at her like you're trying to turn her into a smoldering pile of ash?
Yes, she could have "feelings" for your husband--as could his secretary, several of his co-workers, and some lady in line behind him at the drugstore. But, the feelings you should be worrying about are yours, and what they're doing to his. Do you really think you can alienate a man into loving you? You're missing the real problem, which isn't what's out there, but what's not in you. Instead of acting out "I'm insecure, you'd better curtail your life," how about admitting to your husband, "I'm insecure, I'd better work on getting less insecure"? Tell him he can go where he wants, see who he wants, and even appear in photographs with them (providing the backdrop isn't a motel bedspread).
You can't make a man want you, but you'll do better giving him reasons to stay than giving him the impression that all the exits are sealed. Having fun instead of extended arguments is an excellent start, especially when there's no evidence the man's done anything wrong. I mean, if you're going to put a month into tormenting your husband, at least have the decency to wait until you catch him in bed with your best friend.
Blowing Hot And Old
I'm a man, 62, and I've been dating a 27-year-old woman for two years. She's a lawyer, and quite intelligent, if socially awkward. I find her extremely attractive, but she's a size 12-14, with a lousy complexion, and, in her words, "not a guy magnet." We're very happy together, but I'm wondering if we should break up while she has her youthfulness as an asset and is more likely to attract a guy who'll be with her while she ages.
There's no guarantee any guy will stick around to watch a woman's "lousy complexion" become her lousy, wrinkled complexion. Luckily, your girlfriend will probably make enough money lawyering to afford a full-time pool boy. She doesn't have a pool? Details, details. Should she lack the funding or inclination to rent long-term companionship, there's always friendship.
Lovers come and go, but lifelong buddies don't usually kick each other to the curb when they meet hotter friends. At the moment, though, you're happy, she's happy... what's the problem? You are kinda creaky by comparison, but remember, buses mow people down regardless of age--so there's really no telling which of you will be left alone to bump wheelchairs instead of uglies.
Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, No. 280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail AdviceAmy@aol.com.
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