I'm a married man, 34, who's had a close female friend since high school; we never dated but were close confidantes through our separate relationships. We still feel very connected and email or phone every week.
When I first met my wife, I'd hoped the two women would become great friends. But my wife's younger than us (28), insecure, and sticks to her own girlfriends. She says she accepts my friendship, but is actually very cool and wary whenever we get together with my friend and her husband (a great guy whom I like).
Recently, we all met at a restaurant, and my friend and I did the cheek-kiss-hug hello, as usual. This time, my wife went silent and sullen through the whole evening.
My friend finally suggested they go to the washroom - she thought there'd been a marital fight between us and maybe she could smooth things over. But my wife exploded at her, saying she was sick of our pretending there weren't feelings between us. She stomped out and I rushed after her.
She insists that I "choose" between her or my friend; she won't ever be in her company again and refuses to allow me to be, either. Of course I have to choose my wife - we have a two-year-old daughter - but how do I explain this to my friend?
A good friend wants you to be happy in your marriage; and she's already seen the situation up close and personal. Tell her straight up that you have to direct some time and focus on helping your wife overcome her insecurity in your relationship.
That's what this is all about - more than jealousy or specific dislike of your friend, your wife is unsure of where YOU stand. When she demands that you "choose" it shows that she believes it could go either way. Even in your own question about this problem, you do not say you love your wife, or that her fears are preposterous.
There's a holdover of affection and connection from you to your longtime friend that supercedes the marriage, especially when your main stated reason for preserving it, is your young child.
Your wife needs reassurance, attention, and loving understanding. Demonstrate all these and, in time, she'll hopefully be confident enough for you to suggest getting together with the other couple as more casual friends.
Two of our three adult children aren't speaking to one another; they're frequently at odds over some issue or incident.
Our oldest daughter disapproves of everything the middle daughter does; their younger brother stays friendly with both.
As a father, I sometimes feel I should act authoritarian and say I want nothing to do with them until they resolve their differences. But my wife insists I stay quiet, even though the situation is uncomfortable.
We can't have the whole family over at the same time, and have even agreed some years to hosting two separate Christmas dinners! What else can we do?
Do nothing...i.e. nothing that enables your children's unhealthy relationships. They're playing out dynamics from the past - the bully, the annoyer, the appeaser. Each gets what they want out of their position, since each can choose to react differently.
Do NOT jump to their drumbeat and change plans; refuse to hold separate Christmas or other events. Whoever doesn't show up, misses out. Your role is to model civility and normalcy in your own lives, refusing to partake in their dramas.
A falling lamp accidentally hurt my aunt's cat. When my aunt picked her up, the cat bit her so hard, and deep that the wound swelled alarmingly and caused great pain that persisted. A clinic doctor sent her to the hospital where she was kept on intravenous antibiotic for days, because the infection was so dangerous.
She's home now and eager for me to visit as usual with my young children, but the cat is still there. She insists that it never bit anyone before and won't again. How can I be sure?
Call a veterinarian. There may even be some law in your jurisdiction that determines whether the cat can remain as a household pet, after harming someone so seriously.
Otherwise, do NOT take your young children there, at least not for a long while, and even later have the cat kept in another room while you visit.
Tip of the day:
An insecure wife needs reassurance, not forced competition for her husband's time and interest.