Dear Amy: I am a father with three kids, living in a very "gossipy" town.
My family life seemed to be ideal, but then I learned that my wife was having an affair for the last two years of our 16-year marriage. I was completely blindsided.
A few years have passed. I am now in a great place. The truth freed me, and I am grateful.
A year ago, I was out to dinner with a colleague. "Bradley," a guy I know through our mutual professions, walked in with a woman who was not his wife. Because Brad and his wife and kids recently moved away, I assumed he was with a family member or colleague while he was visiting.
They were doing shots, and the body language became intimate, and very inappropriate for a married man out with a woman who is not his wife.
I left that night and never told anyone about it.
Recently, however, I overheard from several other people that they, too, have witnessed Brad and this other woman; it seems that the couple is fairly open about this relationship.
I do not know Brad's wife, but I feel compelled to do something.
If she knows about this and wants to stay in the marriage, or wants to divorce, that's her choice. I just don't think she should be the last to know, like I was. I believe that knowledge is power, and she is in the dark.
Should I tell the wife? Should I confront Brad and give him a chance to come clean with her?
Cheated Upon: If you believe these various reports amount to confirmation, and if your experience tells you that informing the wife is the most ethical choice, then you should find a way to tell her.
This is most tricky when the person in the know is a friend of one of the affected parties. You are not. You don’t seem to have a stake in the outcome. So yes, I agree that you should inform her.
Over the years of writing this column, I have heard from many people who, like you, were in marriages with unfaithful partners. All reported that in retrospect, they wished someone with awareness of the affair had told them, and that being the last to know was a stinging humiliation.
Dear Amy: I am a female college freshman this year. During high school I discovered I am bisexual, but I've never had any relationships.
This fall I started hooking up with a girl who lives in the dorm next door.
It started out as platonic — just two friends having fun — but now I am starting to feel more for her.
I've talked to her about it and she said she wasn't sure how she felt about me, and that she has always had trouble identifying how she feels about people. I told her I wouldn't press her and we both agreed we are still content with our physical relationship.
How do I navigate this? I know I would like to go out with her, but I don't know if this is even possible.
I don't want to get hurt. Is it better to just cut things off completely now, or should I keep having fun?
Queer and Confused
Queer and Confused: You are having a fairly typical experience for someone at your age and stage. And I’m here to tell you — it will hurt. A relationship out of balance always hurts.
You’ve been honest, and you are accepting the limitations your neighbor has placed on the relationship. I can’t tell you definitively to stop seeing her, but I will tell you this: Your experience with her has already peaked. Your continued involvement will require that you compartmentalize your feelings. And then you’ll arrive at this question: Do I want to be with someone who doesn’t know how she feels about people?
And you will realize that you deserve better.
Dear Amy: "Call Me Mom" was upset that her 40-year-old son had started teasing her by calling her by her first name, even after she had asked him to stop.
I agree with you that this is mean. I have had success, albeit with co-workers, to remedy name games by calling the offenders by names other than their own.
Maybe Mom needs to start calling her son "Baby."
Don't Call Me Lester
Don’t Call Me Lester: I could think of a few choice names for this particular meanie.