I recently met a woman through my children’s school. She’s fun, vibrant and very helpful whenever we need a volunteer. We’ve been on several committees together this year and I was really enjoying our time together.
At the last meeting, she sat beside me. We were leaning in to each other, giggling about something…. and then she put her hand on my leg and squeezed. I was a bit taken aback, but didn’t say anything.
I don’t want to tell my husband because he won’t think it’s funny; he’ll get jealous and make a rude comment. I don’t want to tell any of my close friends because I don’t want them to judge her. But I’m unsure of my next steps.
What do you think? Was it friendly affection or a sexual come-on?
Since you didn’t respond with equal affection, your new friend, if she was in fact hitting on you, may have gotten the hint that you’re not interested. She may then pretend that she wasn’t hitting on you to save face.
I wouldn’t call her out the next time you see her. You don’t know her well enough to know if there was anything behind that squeeze. Continue as you were.
However, if something like that happens again, and you feel it as a come-on, you could say something as simple as, “I’m happily married, monogamous and hope we can just be friends.”
(NOTE to readers: Because this letter writer felt immediate pressure for an answer, I responded privately to her right away, knowing this wouldn’t publish for a few weeks.)
I just found out my husband has been cheating on me and my mother-in-law knows all about it. I’m so hurt and angry, I don’t know who to scream at first. What kind of people are they?
We’ve been married four years, and just began discussing starting a family. We got married in the fall of 2019, about six months before COVID hit. We didn’t feel secure in our jobs, or in life altogether, to start a family at that time. So, we waited, worked, lived, and had what I thought was a strong relationship.
My family live in another city, so during the pandemic we bubbled with his parents and a cousin who lives with them. I felt a strong connection to his family.
How could they all have condoned his behaviour and not told me? I’m devastated, staying at a friends, and feeling completely lost.
Hurt and alone
A cheating spouse is not a nice thing to discover, but unfortunately yours is not the first and certainly not the last husband to cheat on his wife. But it is absolutely awful to find out that his family all knew and didn’t do anything about it.
Not that they could have stopped him, and just to give them the benefit of the doubt, I imagine it would be a tough position to find yourself: the mother of the cheater, mother-in-law to the scorned wife. Where does one’s loyalty lie? And does loyalty trump decency?
You didn’t mention, but perhaps a culture of loyalty plays a part in how this family chose to react, as in, not to inform you of your husband’s transgressions. In the end, it doesn’t matter. Your marriage is over and so too is your relationship with his family.
Get some counselling to work through this. Lean on your friends, go home and be consoled by your family. Give yourself time to work through your grief. You’re still young and have your whole life ahead of you.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman whose best friend dumped her (March 25):
Reader – “I also ran into ‘Lost my BFF’ during high school and the start of university. My best friend and I spent all our time together. Her family had a vacation home and she always invited me for weekends. She invited me everywhere she went and we had several classes together. We chatted on the phone and hung out together after school.
“She got engaged during our second year and the next day, she said, ‘I don’t need you anymore, I have my fiancé. Don’t contact me again.’
“Turns out I wasn’t a friend; I was just someone to keep her company so she wasn’t alone. She needed attention, and I was the patsy giving it to her.
“From the timeline in the writer’s letter, it sounds like her friend, like mine, was a narcissist using her because it was convenient.”
Learned my lesson