Friday, February 23, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Hax: Yes, tell friend about her ex's pregnant fiancee

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Yes, tell friend about her ex's pregnant fiancee

Q: What's your take on deciding whether to share hard-to-hear information? My close friend, "N," made the difficult decision to end her marriage because she wanted children and her husband said he didn't. I just found out he is engaged to another woman, who is pregnant with his child. N is still single and becoming very impatient about starting a family of her own. I hate to pile on to her stress, but if I don't tell her, she is likely to find out soon that I have known about this for some time and haven't told her.

Va.

Carolyn: Assuming you're correct that she'll find out and be upset you didn't tell her, clearly you have to tell.

Not to get too wild with speculation, but there could actually be good news in this painful package. If any of your friend's stress arises from second-guessing herself about leaving her marriage, or beating herself up for failing to foresee that the kids issue would be a deal breaker, then this development will let her off both hooks.

That's because this news will tell her it wasn't about kids/no kids after all; it was about their just not being right for each other as a couple, probably for a lot of different reasons. She saw that he was the wrong guy and did what she had to do.

Of course, it could be the fiancee's contraception failed and the guy still doesn't want to be a dad, but that's their problem now. (Here's hoping they solve it before it becomes the kid's problem.)

Anonymous: Please tell your friend. I was in that situation, and am forever grateful that a loved one told me in private. I went through a range of emotions and eventually ended with the realization that it was the wrong guy, not the babymaking, as Carolyn says, but can't imagine having had to process that in front of others. As luck would have it, I heard the same news from a malicious gossip shortly after.

Carolyn: Great point, thanks, one that extends to any decision about sharing bad news. The question to ask yourself is this: If you aren't the messenger, then who will be?

Should bride-to-be invite unfaithful brother-in-law?

Q: My sister caught her husband cheating last year, and they have had a volatile relationship since then, including fighting in front of the family and threats to walk out (on both ends). All of us bystanders agree they would be better off apart, but they are holding on to the scraps of the marriage for some unknown reason.

Do I have to invite this man, whom I now can't stand, to my upcoming wedding? There will be no love lost between him and my family, but I know it would put my sister in an awkward position.

Alex

A: Invite him. They're still married, and your sister needs all the normalcy she can get right now. Not that this is why you should do it, but weddings have a way of giving things a push — be it toward marriage, divorce, reconciliation, rehab, whatever. No guarantees, of course, but something to help you embrace the idea of including your brother-in-law. (Yes, say it: brother-in-law.)

Comments
Your 4-year-old daughter could land a role in ‘Waitress’ at the Straz

Your 4-year-old daughter could land a role in ‘Waitress’ at the Straz

TAMPA — Could your 4-year-old be the next Lulu? A touring Broadway show wants to find out. Waitress, which runs April 24-29 at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, is looking for a local 4- to 5-year old to play a small but c...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Tell Me About It: Teacher distant after co-worker’s faux pas

I am a teacher at a large high school, and typically only interact with those in my wing of the school. On the first day we returned from break, I bumped into "Polly" while signing in and cheerfully asked, "How was your [vacation]?" She glared at me ...
Published: 02/23/18

Tell Me About It: Daughter needs an ear, not to be rescued

Q: My daughter is in a relationship with her high school boyfriend. They are now living together in a different state with no relatives nearby. My daughter, 25, is a people person with a bubbly personality and makes friends easily. Her boyfriend does...
Published: 02/22/18
Plan your weekend: Monster Energy Supercross. Gasparilla Distance Classic, Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival, slam poet Neil Hilborn

Plan your weekend: Monster Energy Supercross. Gasparilla Distance Classic, Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival, slam poet Neil Hilborn

Extreme Monster Energy Supercross Championship: The action-packed dirt bike stunts and racing returns to Tampa for the first time in two decades. Each track in the 16-city series is different, so competitors will ride between 15 and 20 laps around t...
Published: 02/21/18
Updated: 02/22/18
As spring approaches, parties, food festivals bloom at Florida’s theme parks

As spring approaches, parties, food festivals bloom at Florida’s theme parks

Can you feel it? The air is gradually thickening with humidity and the layers of clothes are getting thinner. Spring has almost sprung and with it brings a bumper crop of festivals in Florida’s theme parks full of food, wine, concerts and parades. Th...
Published: 02/21/18
In theaters this week: ‘Annihilation’ based on Florida author Jeff VanderMeer’s book, ‘Game Night,’ ‘Every Day’

In theaters this week: ‘Annihilation’ based on Florida author Jeff VanderMeer’s book, ‘Game Night,’ ‘Every Day’

ANNIHILATIONAuthor Jeff VanderMeer told me at last year’s Times Festival of Reading that Annihilation (R) is going to blow everyone’s mind. The Tallahassee author is biased, of course, having written the novel it’s based on, but there’s some reason t...
Published: 02/21/18
Top things to do this weekend: Supercross Championship, Olate Dogs, Gasparilla Distance Classic

Top things to do this weekend: Supercross Championship, Olate Dogs, Gasparilla Distance Classic

BIKE RACE: Monster Energy Supercross ChampionshipThe action-packed dirt bike stunts and racing of the Monster Energy Supercross Championship return to Tampa for the first time in two decades. Motorcyclists will race at more than 60 mph and fly off ju...
Published: 02/21/18
This week’s top concerts: Willie Nelson, Los Lobos, Clearwater Sea-Blues and more

This week’s top concerts: Willie Nelson, Los Lobos, Clearwater Sea-Blues and more

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Willie NelsonI’m sure that when Willie Nelson had to postpone his recent Clearwater concert after a bout with the flu, you, like me, took the news well, spitting through clenched teeth: "OH NO YOU DON’T, 2018. YOU WILL NOT TAKE WIL...
Published: 02/21/18
Green Thumb, Flamingo Festival and more spring festivals coming to Tampa Bay

Green Thumb, Flamingo Festival and more spring festivals coming to Tampa Bay

spring eventsFlamingo FestivalHelp celebrate the young flock of flamingos that recently arrived at Sunken Gardens at a colorful festival with live music, kids activities, and beer and wine for sale. Wear pink for $1 off admission. $10, $8 seniors, $4...
Published: 02/21/18
5 things to do under $5: The Romantics, Free Hugs Guy, Ybor Fiesta Day

5 things to do under $5: The Romantics, Free Hugs Guy, Ybor Fiesta Day

1Blast Friday: This block party in downtown Clearwater brings a free show by the Romantics, right, the power pop new wave band that brought us What I Like About You and Talking in Your Sleep. There’s also a family-friendly food and craft vendor...
Published: 02/21/18