We moved to be closer to my husband’s aging parents in the small town where we grew up.
I’m shy socially but back in touch with a few old friends.
My husband’s more socially active and has met up with several, whom he sees regularly.
One of his friends, close during school years, is a busy mother of four.
He was keen for me to meet her, which I did several times, but I generally left him to spend time with her.
Early on, she invited him to hike to her favourite beach, which he later brought me to - a very secluded spot 20 minutes’ through the woods.
The last time he texted asking to meet for coffee (as usual), she suggested another hike to this beach and a swim.
He wrote me asking if I wanted to join.
I said no, and he told her that he changed his mind and perhaps they could meet another time.
I admit that I did look at her text later. She’d ended her invitation with a “ …”
I never cared that they met for coffee or lunch, it seemed a healthy, mutually helpful relationship.
But somehow I let the secluded beach/swimming thing put my nose out of joint.
Am I old-fashioned thinking that a woman asking a married man to swim at a secluded spot is out of line?
It’s smart to recognize something that feels inappropriate, especially when your husband refused her invitation.
His inviting you along shows his own discomfort with her chosen scene, plus his respect for your feelings.
This woman has either misinterpreted his renewing their friendship, or has her own reasons for wanting to see where that secluded setting would lead them, “…”
Tell your husband how much you appreciate his having tried to include you this time and, from the start.
Discuss with him what you both feel is the best way to proceed without making a big issue of it, e.g. coffee meetings less often, with you going along more?
She’ll get the picture that you’re a solid partnership and won’t put up with anyone trying to come between you.
Recently, my son's partner had home cameras installed with audio on all the time.
My husband and I have babysat my one-year-old grandson, in their home and ours, since his birth.
They didn't mention that these cameras were running. I thought they were part of their night security system.
I’ve already put up with a lot – though wealthy, they leave no food or beverages so I drag everything there.
But, I won’t accept being watched and unable to have a private conversation without someone possibly listening.
We’ve watched over our grandson without incident. He adores me and my husband.
I’ve told my son to unplug the cameras or bring the baby to my home.
It’s caused a huge rift.
My son and his partner are in their 40's and are helicopter parents. My son thinks I’m terrible for taking a stand, but I think this is a total invasion of privacy. Am I wrong?
Watched While Babysitting
No, you’re not “wrong” for resenting what feels like a privacy invasion.
However, it’s their house, their right to an intense parenting approach, and you mostly want to bond with your grandson.
Compromise. Accept the cameras in their house (increasingly common today) but say the audio “listening” is unnecessary and distracts from your being natural and relaxed with the baby whom you both adore.
Is it right that after my wife’s death five years ago, my family won’t talk to me? I haven’t any family at all now.
It’s all over money. I’m by myself and don’t see anyone in my family.
Whatever the reason for your being ignored and isolated by family, loneliness is terrible and can diminish your health.
Obviously, whatever was the “money” issue is known to you.
Close relatives have expectations when someone in the family passes. They may be unrealistic, but they can ruin relationships for years.
If there’s any way you can make an adjustment, if it’s warranted, consider it.
Also, only you can take the first steps to fight loneliness. Join a seniors’ group – most have many get-togethers, trips, community-event gatherings, etc.
You’d also benefit from a bereaved person’s group where others are also coping with change. Look for these within your local community or through faith centres.
Tip of the day:
If someone tries to cross the friendship line with your partner, present a united front against it.