Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

For over-it spouse, grass is looking greener elsewhere

For over-it spouse, grass is looking greener elsewhere

Q: I've long thought I'd rather be married to my wife's friend (they met after our marriage), because Friend and I have more similar interests and personalities. Wife has even non-jealously commented on our apparent compatibility.

I've waited years for these thoughts to fade, but they've only gotten stronger. Friend has a positive outlook on life, whereas Wife's issues with moodiness and negativity can be draining. I don't know how Friend feels about me (she's single). Wife and I don't have kids, and if I could press a button and have a new life with Friend, I'd do it. But I know it isn't that simple.

So, what should I be asking myself in figuring out what to do? I never thought I believed in divorce with non-abusive marriages, but the idea of how much happier I could be has me confused.

Confused

A: There's only one question to ask yourself: Would it be right to leave your marriage if this friend didn't exist? For your purposes, she doesn't. Your "much happier" ending is too messy and too speculative to be treated as a realistic option.

But your wife's "moodiness and negativity" do exist; is she unhappy, too? Talking about each other's needs, and whether they're being met — with a good therapist, if that helps — is your best option. Distance from Friend is essential.

Longtime friend grows tiresome in her retirement

Q: Years ago, my family of three moved to a new part of the country where we knew no one. A woman at my job befriended me and I was very grateful. Over the years we grew close.

Since then she has retired, and her negative aspects seem to be getting much worse.

For example, she has NOTHING positive to say about her husband, who is a decent guy. Her remarks are cutting. She feels her son-in-law is a good-for-nothing and totally inept father to her new grandchild. He works and seems faithful. (I don't know how good a dad he is.)

I've tried countering with modulating remarks, but they ALWAYS are ignored. My inbox is flooded with pics of grandchildren who are "fantastic." I'm just tired of it all. I want to walk away and be a twice-a-year friend, but how? She continues to seek me out.

J.

Q: You skip the "modulating remarks" and tell hard-to-ignore truths: "When you rip your husband, I feel uncomfortable/put off/sad."

Or: "I do wonder how you'd feel if your in-laws wrote you off as inept."

Or: "You so rarely have a kind word for your husband. Is it possible your negativity is as much cause as effect?"

Or: "Isn't it good for your grandkids to give their dad the benefit of the doubt? (They got 'fantastic' somehow.)"

Maybe these seem unfriendly — or ungrateful? — but appearing supportive while silently wishing she'd go away won't sweep any kindness awards.

Whether her negativity stems from boredom or advancing age (both common culprits), there's absolutely no reason you shouldn't express your unhappiness with it. If she appreciates your candor, then your friendship will be better for it — and if she resents it, then she'll likely "walk away" for you, sparing you the trouble of doing it yourself.

Comments
John Fogerty, coming to Clearwater, isn’t backing down on protest songs, Parkland and #MeToo

John Fogerty, coming to Clearwater, isn’t backing down on protest songs, Parkland and #MeToo

Fortunate Son, one of the most scathing protest songs from the Vietnam War era. Writing another one with that kind of impact has been a challenge ever since."Back in the ’80s, I had a couple of songs that kind of fell on deaf ears. I said, Well, I gu...
Published: 05/23/18

Tell Me About It: Can she trust her new beau not to cheat?

Q: Is it really true that "once a cheater always a cheater," even when the cheater didn’t cheat on you?A few years ago, I left my husband after I found out he was a serial cheater. We are now divorced. I have been seeing someone new, and he seems lik...
Published: 05/22/18
Cress Williams of ‘Black Lightning’ talks Season 2, being recognized as a superhero before MegaCon Orlando

Cress Williams of ‘Black Lightning’ talks Season 2, being recognized as a superhero before MegaCon Orlando

No matter what Cress Williams does the rest of his acting career, he’ll always be remembered as the first to play Black Lightning.The 47-year-old actor with roles on ER, Grey’s Anatomy and Friday Night Lights is now that face of a DC comics franchise...
Published: 05/22/18

Tell Me About It: She has little sympathy for troubled sister

She has little sympathy for troubled sister"target="_blank">She has little sympathy for troubled sisterQ: My mom died when I was 10 and my sister, "Abby," was 6. My dad did the best he could but life was hard. I tried to make it up to him by helping...
Published: 05/22/18
Despite Walt Disney's wishes, you can now buy alcohol at every Magic Kingdom restaurant

Despite Walt Disney's wishes, you can now buy alcohol at every Magic Kingdom restaurant

Well, you did it millennials. As of this month, every sit-down restaurant in the Magic Kingdom now serves alcohol. It was a big deal back in 2012 when the world’s most visited theme park broke with Uncle Walt’s mandate to keep alcohol ou...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Tell Me About It: Divorce is only option with abusive wife

Divorce is only option with abusive wife"target="_blank">Divorce is only option with abusive wifeQ: My wife and I have what looks on paper like a great relationship. My problem is I hate the way my wife treats me.I say something she disagrees with, ...
Published: 05/21/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of May 21-27.

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of May 21-27.

Kendrick Lamar: ThePulitzer Prize-winning hip-hop powerhouse leads The Championship Tour on Tuesday at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa, with fellow hit makers including SZA and Schoolboy Q. $35-$125. amphitheatretampa.com. Tampa Ba...
Published: 05/18/18
Updated: 05/20/18

Tell Me About It: The kids are welcome, but not the bedbugs

Q: My brother and his estranged wife have three children. I love all of them. They live out of state and send the kids to us for summers. There have always been hygiene issues, like not washing after wet beds, leaving faint urine smells on the kids.T...
Published: 05/17/18
Plan your weekend May 18-20: Royal wedding watch parties, David Koechner, Fiesta Maxima, half off Dali admission

Plan your weekend May 18-20: Royal wedding watch parties, David Koechner, Fiesta Maxima, half off Dali admission

What's happening this weekend in Tampa Bay.
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18
SeaWorld joins Busch Gardens in offering free beer this summer

SeaWorld joins Busch Gardens in offering free beer this summer

SeaWorld is joining its sister park, Busch Gardens, in offering free cups of beer this summer. Guests 21 and up can receive up to two complimentary 7-ounce beers per visit at Mama’s Pretzel Kitchen Patio in the park starting Friday through Sept. 2. T...
Published: 05/16/18