In the last few years, I've noticed that my friend of 25 years constantly flirts with my husband in front of me.
She makes suggestive and subliminal comments to him, and he reciprocated until I told him I found it disrespectful and uncomfortable.
She continues to contact him on social media, texting him, and has developed quite an intimate relationship with him.
She sometimes regurgitates conversations to me that I had with my husband, so I know they're talking about my personal matters.
She belittles me frequently (often in front of both our husbands) and often judges me.
I'm currently grieving the death of a parent and am not particularly social.
I don't think they're having an affair, however, I feel hurt and disrespected by both her and my husband.
I’ve been loyal and supportive to her and helped her whenever asked.
When confronted, my husband accuses me of imagining things.
It's affecting my marriage and self-esteem. Should I end the friendship?
She’s not behaving as a friend, so you have good reason to lessen contact with her.
You don’t have to pronounce the friendship’s end. Use this time of feeling less social to be unable to see her on your own, and withdraw from couples’ get-togethers too.
Meanwhile, there’s divided views on this situation between you and your husband. So, during this sensitive time, try to avoid a major argument about his responses to her.
When you feel stronger, you two need to talk - without accusations from you and without defensiveness from him.
Tell him that you’ve felt hurt by her belittling of you and her closer relationship with him.
Say that you’re willing to talk this out together with a counsellor, so you both benefit from neutral guidance.
Also, say that you wouldn’t expect him to accept you flirting with another man and revealing his private information. And you can’t accept the reverse.
Be clear that if nothing changes, you’ll feel it’s necessary to cut ties with that woman.
I’ve been getting a lot of unwanted attention from a co-worker. I’m married and he recently got married.
Since I started work there two years ago, he’s been constantly trying to get my attention.
He’d walk by my desk several times and constantly stare at me. Then he started following me.
He’d pretend to run into me in the elevator or make sure I see him passing by.
I changed my routine and avoided him.
Recently, he started approaching me and making small talk. I’m not responsive to his jokes or silly remarks but he seems happy just to get a reaction from me.
I don't know if I can call this harassment, he seems harmless, hasn't said or done anything inappropriate. I have no evidence that he’s been following me.
What I can do to make this stop?
Annoyed and Uncomfortable
Keep a record with dates and times of his “appearances” in your path, by your desk, etc.
It will soon reveal if there’s a pattern of unusual numbers of occurrences, especially if he doesn’t need to pass by your desk.
Meanwhile, say simply and firmly that you don’t enjoy small talk, especially with someone who’s not a personal friend. Note that you said this.
If his seeming-pursuit continues, you can take your record to the human relations department (or a manager or the boss) and discuss your feeling of being “harassed.”
There's a guy I like a bit.
I got close to him during a school trip from different classes including me from Grade 8.
I don't know why I like him. He can be mean sometimes.
But I wonder why he acts differently around me. With his friends or any other girl he talks a lot and teases them.
With me he's so quiet. On the school trip, we talked. But when we came back, it was like we hadn’t.
I feel like I should stop crushing on him, but when I do, a bit of “like” comes back.
Crushing in Cape Town
You’re 13 (or close), when crushes and “likes” are early awareness of relationships.
But things are still confusing, because young teens send mixed signals - sometimes shy, sometimes mean, etc. Everyone is unsure of himself or herself at this stage.
Be friendly when you see him, but have no expectations. This isn’t a worrisome crush, just normal curiosity.
Tip of the day:
When there’s repeated arguments over hurtful behaviour, wait till you’re feeling strong before starting a serious talk.