I clearly expressed my discomfort with this friendship, but Cheryl went ahead and met with him. (She has other male friends I have absolutely no qualms about.) Her lack of boundaries has been an occasional issue, but this time I feel really hurt. We discussed this with our therapist, who also thought it was not okay that she met with this friend, but Cheryl seems to think there is nothing wrong with it.
She said they met in a restaurant and he tried making a pass at her, but nothing happened. During our therapy session, I pleaded that, if she truly didn’t see a reason to block this person, would she at least do it for me? She said she’d blocked him, but it turns out she just “hid” his messages.
When I learned that she lied, I was crushed. She says the guy doesn’t add any value to her life, but somehow it was too difficult to cut him loose. I really love her, and we had been in a really good place. But how do we build a marriage without trust?
Am I the insecure one? Does her moral compass need some calibration? This problem keeps me up at night.
Confounded: Loving relationships are often a dance. You support and prop up one another, address conflicts, admit and apologize when you’re wrong, and talk things through when your actions have triggered your partner’s sensitivities.
“Cheryl’s” relationship with this man bothers you. She has responded by making sure to tell you that he made a pass at her, then dodging, then lying. She might have responded: “Your insecurities are unfounded. I have a right to have the friends I want to have, and if you are so worried about this guy, you should come along and meet him yourself.”
Instead, she slid past you and your therapist with what sounds like a version of, “I don’t know why I like this guy, but I DO know that I don’t care how this makes you feel.”
You should take a close look at her willingness (or ability) to dive into her own feelings, to explain herself cogently and to push back when she has a position to defend. In these important ways, she sounds like a coward.
Dear Amy: My mother is in the hospital for treatment. She will be there for about a week.
My mother is a wonderful woman who has been living on her own for many years. She told me that she doesn’t want me constantly at her bedside while she is in the hospital. She actually said that it feels as if I’m “keeping vigil,” and she wants more privacy.
I’m fine with this. I believe she is getting good care, but my husband thinks I should be at the hospital with her at all times. I’m torn and want to do the right thing.
Daughter: It’s important that your mother has an advocate who has an awareness of her treatment and can communicate about medical care and options with her. It also makes a difference to her care team if they know that she has an advocate with an active presence.
I suggest letting her know that you will visit her every day at the same time (for her comfort), then also show up at unanticipated times — to pop your head in, say hello and stay longer if she wants — and confer with her care team. It’s important to stay in the loop, but if your mother wants rest and privacy, then you should respect her wishes. (Waiting rooms are good places to keep vigil without disrupting the patient.)
Dear Amy: I was so annoyed by your response to “Annoyed!” Her brother-in-law was using his deceased parents’ disabled parking permit. This is outrageous, illegal and unfair, and she should nab him.
Annoyed: Many readers responded similarly. “Annoyed!” wanted her husband to break into the car to remove the permit, and he’d refused; my response focused on my opinion that this was a bad idea. As I said in my response, using someone else’s permit is unacceptable.
© 2023 by Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.