Ask Amy: Two wrongs usually make a mess

April 23, 2012

DEAR AMY: My long-term girlfriend and I were best friends with another couple for more than 10 years. We were very close friends.

Over the years, I came across little clues that my girlfriend and the man in this couple (my best friend) might be involved with each other, but I always trusted both of them.

When I shared my suspicions with my girlfriend, she demanded that I apologize to my best friend for suspecting him. My best friend said he thought of us as “family.” My girlfriend and I were godparents to this couple’s child.

One night she came home drunk, dropped a letter out of her purse and went to bed. The letter was from him. He said he loved her and couldn’t wait until they were together. I told his wife about what I had come across and she was furious.

Now my girlfriend and I have broken up. My best friend and his wife have separated, and the two of them are together. I have been in frequent touch with his wife, discussing everything that happened. She is attractive, and I have had thoughts about her.

I’m wondering if two wrongs make a right.

I know I’m not ready for another long-term relationship at the moment, but know that if I do sleep with her, she will take it as a start of a relationship.

Would this revenge be sweet? -- Wondering

DEAR WONDERING: I’m not sure if two wrongs make a right. This seems to work — until you try it. And then once the hangover wears off, you’re right where you were before: sad and defeated, doubling down on your wrongs.

In your case, you would also have the added pressure of trying to dodge a relationship with someone you should have a friendship with.

So here’s another saying: “Living well is the best revenge.” In this context, that means doing the right thing, even if you’ve been wronged.

If being cheated on makes you vengeful enough to willingly take advantage of someone you know is vulnerable, then the bad guys win.

DEAR AMY: Can you please tell me why long-lost friends and previous co-workers contact me via Facebook, Twitter, etc., and then don’t follow-up?

I usually reply with a short e-mail saying how I’m doing and that I’d love to hear about their current life, and then I hear nothing back! This has happened to other family and friends.

Why would someone contact you initially, then not reply? I’m considering never replying to these people from my past again. -- Fed Up

DEAR FED UP: When you receive an e-mail stating that someone would like for you to “follow” or “friend” them on a social networking site and you reply to that e-mail, there is a chance your reply did not make its way through the site and into the recipient’s e-mail box.

Or — and more likely — the people attempting to be in touch with you aren’t actually interested in individual and personal contact. They are attempting to have you “follow” or “friend” them so that they will appear to be people with many “followers” and “friends,” even though they may (in real life) have relatively few actual followers or friends.

It’s not personal. It’s Facebook. And these former contacts would like for you to view “updates” about their daily lives as an audience member — not an actual friend — would.

I have a presence on both Twitter and Facebook, and it can be a wonderful and fascinating way to connect with people. But it is not necessarily personal.

DEAR AMY: I was surprised at your answer to “Worried Grandma,” who was so concerned about the presence of a “large and unruly” black Lab dog in the home of her daughter, who was expecting a baby.

The answer is simple: dog training. There are classes for training in every town; they can be inexpensive and are really helpful. -- Surprised Reader

DEAR READER: The reason I didn’t suggest this obvious solution is that this was not “Worried Grandma’s” dog to train; the dog belonged to someone else. I agree that training would definitely help; the humans in this scenario definitely need it.

Write to Amy Dickinson at askamy@tribune.com or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.

2012 by the Chicago Tribune

Distributed by Tribune Media Services

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