Q: My best friend "Tara" dated a guy "Pat" for about six months after she had ended a seven-year relationship. Pat fell hard for her, but when he began discussing moving in together and next steps, Tara realized that she didn't feel the same way and knew it was better to end it earlier than lead him on.
We are all in our late 20s. It's been about two months since they broke up and Pat is having a really hard time — he texts her incessantly with things like, "You were the love of my life and now I feel empty."
The problem is that my husband, "Eric," and Pat really hit it off in those six months and Eric was really sad he was going to lose a potential great friend when they broke up. Eric moved to my hometown and doesn't have his own social circle here.
At first I thought it would be great if Eric and Pat still got together, and Tara had said it was fine. But now I am so weirded out by Pat's inability to move on that I don't want him in my life whatsoever.
Still, at what point does this go on for me to say, "Eric, I feel uncomfortable with you keeping Pat in your life?" Ideally I want my husband to cut him out without me saying anything, but I think he feels sorry for Pat and doesn't view anything as threatening.
Caught Between Friend and Her Ex
A: Talk to your husband like the partner he is. Say you're creeped out by the way Pat is texting your friend, and you think he's crossing a line. Ask Eric what he thinks.
Figure out, together, whether Eric agrees there's a problem, and, if so, whether the best move is for you to talk to Pat, Eric to talk to Pat, Eric to end the friendship, etc. And if Eric disagrees that Pat is creepy or that staying friends with Pat is creepy, then figure out how not to let other people's problems become your marriage's problem.
Don't just jump from a place of complete silence into making absolute demands.