I've been married for 12 years and have three children. My wife is great; we have a good sex life, and get along well. She spends much time with numerous friends; I'm supportive of that.
Last year she joined a fitness club and developed a strong friendship with a man. He's gay, was married to a woman and has several children, and been in two long-term gay relationships.
After classes she and he have lunch together, for two, three, and sometimes four hours. She tells me they email often and have spoken on the phone. I've never met him but believe him to be a nice person.
She's very protective of their relationship, often not saying where they had lunch and defensive if I ask about their time together. This is unusual, all her other friendships are an open book.
He once told my wife that the sex he had with his wife was equal or superior to the sex he has with his gay partners. After their first lunch, I said I'm uneasy about her new friendship but that I trusted her and urged her to continue. It's gotten stronger and I'm growing uncomfortable though I believe there's no sexual component to their friendship. Do you see red flags?
Your wife has a new "best friend" and it isn't you. That's enough to make a spouse uncomfortable, no matter the friend's gender. This is about the intensity of the friendship, not about sex.
You should be brought into the picture. Her "defensiveness" amounts to some secrecy. It appears these two are becoming closer than you are with her.
Tell her this without accusations or suspicions. You should be introduced to her friend and join them occasionally for lunch. Otherwise, you need to be told why. Or, told what she's seeking in this private relationship that you two need to find in yours.
My husband and I have a six-month-old son; my mother-in-law smokes heavily, but no longer around the baby since my husband spoke to her about it.
But she smells like smoke. She visits often. When she's holding our son, kissing him etc., the child's breathing in these chemicals. You immediately smell it when she walks inside, and it lingers after she's gone.
She'd often go outside to smoke and return to handle our son without washing her hands. When told to wash them, she took offence.
My husband has told her repeatedly to quit, but she either won't or isn't ready. I'm a health-care professional and feel no one should be exposed to second- or third-hand smoke, especially a child. How do I handle this, when she's an aggressive personality and I'm not?
Smoke and Anger
YOUR house, your child, your rules. State them clearly, while stressing that you want her to participate in your child's life.
Your husband must add that he loves his mother but the information on smoke's effects - especially on children - has changed since he was growing up, and you two have to protect your baby.
Discuss some limits with her - e.g. no going for a smoke while she's at your place, at all. Perhaps keeping a set of "smoke-free" clothing there.... she'll see you still want her around, just not the smoke.
She has to decide to quit, herself. But a few sincere expressions of wanting her to live a longer life to see this child grow might have some impact. If not, your child's health is the priority.
I like a guy (single) at work. I've helped him out, sometimes gone to the same gatherings with mutual friends. However, I'm unsure of his interest. He asks about people's personal lives, but rarely talks about his.
He'll stay late to help me out, always wears a suit when he knows we'll meet, and sometimes appears in a department where I might be. I don't know if I'm imagining these as signs. He's never asked me out. I'd never ask him out.
The "signs" could be meaningless. I'm guessing that he's NOT so shy that he wouldn't make some overt move to get together on purpose, instead of just wearing a suit like it's some kind of secret code.
So it's up to you. Ask him if he's going to some future gathering and indicate you'd be happy to see him. His response is the real sign.
Tip of the day:
A “new best friend” can divide a couple, if the partner’s always excluded.