Dear Amy: I had a brief romance with “Frederica” during a business trip in 2019. Sadly we were unable to reunite due to COVID restrictions, but we were effectively in a long distance relationship for almost a year.
Ultimately, we concluded that we are not long-term material. Ever since our romance fizzled out, we have been in a relationship and have settled into a great platonic friendship.
Frederica and I text and call regularly, discuss our current partners, exchange birthday gifts, etc.
We both work in the same (large) company and there’s always a lot to talk about. Fast forward to now – my current partner, “Molly,” does not approve of this situation (to put it mildly), forcing me to keep my liaison with Frederica mostly secret.
The choice before me is either to cut Frederica out of my life completely or to keep my friend hidden forever.
Neither option looks attractive. I don’t want to lose one of my best friends, but I hate the betrayal, that’s mentally exhausting.
I also understand why my current (and any potential future) partner would be suspicious of a close friend of the opposite sex.
What should I do?
– I have a secret
Dear Secret: Your romantic relationship with “Frederica” isn’t exactly ancient history. “Molly” will be justifiably curious about past relationships and your ongoing close friendship; Your choice to give it to him (and your) worry about keeping it a secret about the friendship is hurting you all.
That’s the crux of the problem, and it’s you.
You should be transparent about this friendship, with the goal that your current partner can get to know Frederica well enough to accept the friendship and trust both of you. Two women don’t need to be besties (or even meet). But the more natural you are about this friendship, the less threatening it should be.
Don’t leave the room if Frederica calls. Saying something as simple as, “Can I call you back? Molly and I are sitting down to dinner right now” will help open it up.
When Frederica texts you and Molly, say, “Frederica is texting me about something at work,” or “Frederica just sent me a link to an article. You’ll love it. I Let it be forwarded to you.
You and Frederica have a pre-existing friendship. it’s your right. But if you’re going to have a close and intimate relationship with Molly, you have to make it clear to her that she’s at the center of your universe; Frederica is one of the many friends you will have in your class. Your privacy is flipping that script.
Dear Amy: What does it mean (if anything) when a husband shaves off his facial hair, like a goatee and beard, and his wife doesn’t notice for a day or two, even though you’re still together?
Dear Surprised: My mom had a friend who decided to test her family’s attention span by wearing a full-on ski mask at the breakfast table.
No one said a word.
The point is that families sometimes stop seeing each other. Proximity can induce invisibility.
So yes, this lack of attention means something, but it doesn’t mean everything.
However, this might hurt your feelings, so discuss it with your wife, and be emotionally honest.
You should both ask yourselves how “present” you are in your daily life. Do you notice and accept the positive changes made by your spouse?
When you notice and comment on changes – small or large – you are literally saying, “I see you.”
Dear Amy: I am a former university president and my schooling was in clinical psychology.
My wife and I read your column for entertainment purposes.
The letters are interesting, and one can guess what your solution will be – refer to a consultant.
That way, people won’t have to deal with some of their silly problems on their own and instead have to rely on some idiot who doesn’t have a clue to give them advice.
I’ve worked with so called marriage counselors, better called marriage referees, and they haven’t solved anything that couldn’t be solved by some yelling and screaming.
Anyway, you’re making a good living giving useless but harmless advice, and making sure all the “consultants” out there make a good living too.
Don’t wait Your columns are fun with our coffee.
Dear Ed D: Your extreme bitterness makes me wonder if you would benefit from… Oh, never mind.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] Or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow them on twitter @askingamy Or Facebook,
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