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Mon, Oct. 21

Take the offensive to protect marriage

Dear Jan:

I may be worried needlessly, but I thought I would write for a second opinion.

My husband and I have been married for 18 years. I have always thought we have a very good marriage. I have a dear friend who is divorced. She is very attractive, and I feel un-attractive next to her, though she is very sweet to me.

She dresses well, and is trim. I am less than attractive. I feel my husband loves me very much, but lately, I have noticed a "closeness" between my husband and my friend. It seems she is with us more than what would be natural. If we go out to dinner, she goes.

I am trying to be calm about this, but it is so strong in my heart that I just can't shake the feeling my husband cares more for my friend than I would like him to. And she, in turn, seems to be very close to him. Could they be too close? Could it be possible that they are having an affair right under my nose?

When we go to a movie, she never sits by me, she manages to sit by my husband. He sits between us. When we go to dinner, she eats off his plate if she wants to taste something. Jan, am I nuts? Or is something truly going on? Believe me, I am as calm as can be. I want to handle this with class and dignity. What should I do?

Signed, Suspicious

Dear Suspicious:

Too many times, men pretend to not notice when a woman is coming on to him. But we women have a nose for this kind of thing.

When your marriage is at risk, stay calm, but be bold. Take charge. You know the saying:Two's company, three's a crowd. You need to talk openly with your husband. Tell him that you feel your friend is spending too much time with the two of you. Tell him you would like to go to dinner and a movie without her tagging along every time.

You can even ask him if he is attracted to her. Tell him you understand if he is, because she is very attractive, but you want to know. You could tell him to be very careful what he does, because he is going to have to live with the guilt should something happen.

Stay calm, and try to get him to open up to you. He will not do that if he feels you are going to throw a fit.

In the meantime, perhaps you should talk with your friend, too. Be honest, and tell her that you would like more personal time with your husband, and you are not comfortable with her "eating off his plate" because you feel she is being too "familiar" with him.

My friend, I am not in favor of such close friendships with a third party when your husband is too eager to include her on a regular basis. As I said, we women have a "feeling" about these things. Follow your feelings. This woman may not be your friend at all. Nip it in the bud before something terrible happens. Better to be safe than sorry.

Signed, Jan

Dear Jan:

How can I get my 20 year old son to get a job and take responsibility for his own care...room and board, etc.? I am at my wits end.

Signed, Taken Advantage Of

Dear Taken:

If you are giving him money...spending money for anything, stop it. When you stop the paying for gas, eating out, etc., that should be a good way to start.

As long as you are handing out the $20 bills, this could go on for a long time. Also, don't let him use the car. He should get a job and buy his own. Stopping the money flow is the first step.

Signed, Jan

You can write to Jan Kolb at P.O. Box 27545, Prescott Valley, AZ 86312. Or email: billjankolb2@aol.com

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