DEAR ABBY: I have two friends I am equally close to, “Jane” and “Mary.” We live in the same neighborhood. They are both married, live across the street from each other and spend time together almost every day. Their children play together. I spend a lot of time with both families, and my children play with theirs.
Jane is having an affair with Mary’s husband and has confided in me about every detail. She keeps telling me it’s over, and then I find out it isn’t. I spoke to Mary’s husband and told him if it doesn’t stop, I’ll tell Mary. (Jane doesn’t know I talked to him.)
They recently had another “weak moment.” Should I tell Mary what’s going on? Her husband has cheated in the past, and she chose to stay with him. I’m afraid the fallout from her finding out will be two broken marriages and several broken friendships. It’s very difficult to spend time with any/all of them knowing what I know. I feel like my silence is betraying Mary. Help! – Wish I Didn’t Know
DEAR WISH: You are already more involved in this than you should be, and Jane should not have placed you in that position. Mary knows she has a philandering husband but chose to remain with him. I vote for keeping your lip zipped and trying to stay out of the line of fire.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married for 38 years. We divorced once, but remarried. We have four grown sons and six grandchildren.
He retired a year and a half ago, and I went through menopause. There has been constant contention since. He wants to fight over everything and won’t speak to me for days, sometimes weeks, at a time. I feel I am being emotionally abused. When I asked him for another divorce, he told me not to be ridiculous.
Four months ago, I moved out and moved in with my dad to be his caretaker. Dad is 95 and on home hospice.
I am so much happier not living with my husband. When my father passes away, I dread having to move back with my husband. I know we probably need counseling, but he doesn’t agree.
I want to live a happy, peaceful life. My husband seems to enjoy the constant fighting. Should I get my own place and live apart from my husband when my dad passes? – Unhappily Married in Utah
DEAR UNHAPPILY MARRIED: Your husband’s silent treatment qualifies as emotional abuse. You do not have to tolerate it. Before making plans about where you will live after your father’s passing, discuss this with a lawyer. Marriage isn’t slavery, and you do not need your abuser’s “permission” to divorce him (again).
DEAR ABBY: I am suddenly encountering workplace hostility from someone I thought was my friend. I’m not sure if I did something to offend this person or if there is some other reason. What can I do to get to the bottom of this? – Uncomfortable in Texas
DEAR UNCOMFORTABLE: It says in the Bible, “Seek and you shall find.” In your case, it means ask the person what’s going on and why there has been a change in attitude. That’s the quickest way to learn the reason.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.