My wife’s best friend is constantly following the “latest, greatest” trend.
She’s not into cults and most of her fads are pretty harmless, but she’s influencing my wife so much that we’re often arguing because she keeps wanting to impose them on me and our school-age children.
The fads become obsessions. Previously, we all had to be devoted to the high-intensity moves of Cross Fit. Now, it’s a PX90 fitness workout.
I do like to feel fit, but I just don’t like switching approaches based on her friend’s whims.
It’s the same with new diets. We’ve always considered ourselves fairly healthy eaters, but now she’s joined her friend on the Keto (ketogenic) diet.
I’m cast as the “outsider” because I don’t want to reduce my carb intake that much, and don’t think our sports-active children should be doing it either.
My wife’s so caught up with her friend’s enthusiasm for these trends, that she switches immediately and also becomes obsessive about them.
I’m certain that the constantly-changed beliefs in what’s the “perfect” nutritional regime is confusing our kids, as it is me.
Even my wife’s cooking style has changed along with her friend’s latest craze – last year it was the slow-cooker method. Now it’s “sous-vide.” We’re buying new kitchen equipment whenever her friend suggests it.
I feel like my wife is losing her own personality. It’s affecting our friendship within the marriage because she’s not the woman I knew who had her own personality, style and ideas.
I love my wife. But how do I tell her that I can’t deal with these frequent obsessive changes in how we live?
Too Many Fads
Start with the love message. That’s what’s most important here.
Appeal to the personality and style that formed the person you initially married – how she thought things through, bringing her own experience and knowledge into any discussion.
Remind her of the life you’ve built together making decisions as a couple to make sure you were in sync.
Tell her you do like to be fit and eat healthy as much as she does, and of course want the best for your kids. But it’s hard to jump to a third-party’s intervention.
Say, too, that it’s putting distance between you, which is far less healthy for your marriage despite all the new exercises and diets.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the woman, 27, whose two roommates’ hostility forced her to move (Jan.31):
“I also went through hell – a shared-living arrangement with someone whose true personality emerged only after I signed a one-year lease agreement.
“Initially, my roommate said we’d split rent, hydro, cable/internet, and common-use items.
“Within one month, she started hiding the items she’d purchased to share, using my stuff instead, and monopolizing the kitchen and living area. Her boyfriend was also secretly living with us but didn't contribute a penny.
“I documented what I could before I legally moved out. I’d advise the writer’s cousin to do similarly. I brought friends to witness the situation, took photographs for supporting evidence.
“The cousin needs to know that despite that she's no longer living there, she's still liable if something happens unless she can get her name off the lease.
“She needs to protect herself from people like this. Forget Facebook - delete her profile or delete them.
“I, too, was a gentle soul, but this terrible experience caused me much stress and anxiety and made me more wary of others.
“Move on. There's more to life than crappy, immature roommates.”
FEEDBACK Regarding whether to tell the betrayed person about his/her partner’s cheating (Feb. 2):
Reader – “I’ve never understood why people think it’ll cause a rift in their friendship.
“It’s so simple, especially in smaller towns/communities. Just steer the topic to local gossip and then let them know what others have been saying about their partner, but without specifics.
“It makes them aware without your personal finger-pointing.
“Yes, I’m speaking from personal experience. I don’t know how many times people only said they’d “heard things.”
“I’m not a gossiper but if I heard something of that nature, I’d let the person know.
“I remember, with hindsight, feeling like people were talking about me behind my back and I got “those” looks when at kids’ activities or out shopping.
“A friend doesn’t have to accuse or say that they believe what they’re hearing, they just need to make the person aware.”
Tip of the day:
Fitness/healthy nutrition are important, but counter-productive to family health if they override the marriage.