Ask Amy: Frisky friend should be confronted, watched

FresnoAugust 27, 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: 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.

 

Send questions to askamy@tribune.com or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611.

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