Posted: Monday, July 23, 2012 8:00 pm
Dear Annie: “Daniel” and I have been going out for six months. We really connect and feel as if we are meant to be together. There is only one problem.
One of our best friends, “Jordan,” has developed strong feelings for me. I found out he’s felt this way since before I began dating Daniel. When Daniel found out, he was outraged and felt betrayed by Jordan.
Whenever I’m with Daniel, I can see that Jordan is jealous and angry. Now the two of them can’t even be in the same room without arguing. Daniel is fed up and doesn’t want me near Jordan anymore. How can I save two friendships without losing the love of my life? — Hurt and Lost
Dear Hurt: You cannot control how Daniel and Jordan act around each other, but you can help by making your feelings clear, especially to Jordan, that there is nothing romantic between you. Don’t play them against each other. You may need to back away from the friendship in order to allow Jordan time to get over you. However, if Daniel is so jealous that he doesn’t trust you, that is a different problem.
Dear Annie: I’ve been friends for years with a lovely group of women, divorced, married and widowed. We get together once a month to dine out and catch up on news. We always looked forward to our girls’ night out.
Last year, “Agnes” remarried, and she has been bringing the new husband along to our meetings. Everyone was patient at first because we didn’t think she would keep it up, but it’s been 10 months, and her husband has settled in as “one of the girls.”
We have discussed the problem, and no one wants to address it because we are afraid Agnes will quit the group. But it is causing a strain and some resentment each time he shows up. We long for the way our group used to be. What do you suggest? — Disappointed in Ohio
Dear Disappointed: This is one of those things that ought to have been nipped in the bud. Agnes should not have brought her husband to begin with, but now he believes you have accepted him and enjoy his company. Removing him will necessitate hurting his feelings and risking Agnes’ displeasure. A couple of you can talk to Agnes privately and explain that you think her husband is a great guy, but you miss the comfort and casual ease of a girls-only gathering. Ask her to please leave him at home next time.
Dear Annie: I must respectfully disagree with your advice to “Caught in the Middle,” whose sister, “Sheila,” had an affair and left her husband a year ago, devastating their 23-year-old son. You advised the writer that it would be easier for the son to accept the situation if the new boyfriend were included at an upcoming gathering with all the family around him.
Sheila made her choice when she wrecked her family, and her son certainly does not need to be reminded of the hurt inflicted on him by his mother, nor does he need this boyfriend shoved down his throat. His family should support him and rally around him and allow him time to grieve. Yes, he eventually needs to learn to tolerate this man — but not yet.
Sheila should show more compassion for the devastation she has wrought, not to mention humility, even remorse. You don’t support someone who deliberately hurts the family and then insists on instant acceptance. — A Reader in Oregon
Dear Reader: We understand the desire to make Sheila pay for her terrible choice, but a year isn’t “instant acceptance,” and frankly, there is no good time to learn to tolerate your mother’s boyfriend. This gathering is when the entire family will be together to support the son. We think that’s as good a time as any.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 7.23.12