Q: My best friend, “Kate,” approached me on a matter I’m uncomfortable with. For the last 12 years we have laughed, cried, consulted on everything we struggle with and shared our joys. Kate has a great marriage. I’m struggling with the decision to remain in mine.
Recently, Kate, her husband and I were on an outing when they mentioned a menage a trois. It was obvious to me that they have done this before. Kate has been my closest friend for years, but I realize now there’s a side to her I never knew.
My resistance to their suggestion seems to have had no effect on her, yet I’m wrestling with my feelings. I’m trying to ignore this and maintain the friendship we had before, but it has been difficult. I wish I had never known, but now that I do, I need help sorting it out. — Missing My Best Friend
A: How do you feel about the concept of open marriage? Do you approve? Disapprove? When Kate invited you into her marriage, which is what she and her husband did, the dynamic of your longtime friendship was changed. If you still felt the same about her, you wouldn’t be writing to me.
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If you can get past this, you can still be friends. But on some level your relationship will never be as it was before she crossed that boundary.
Q: I recently moved in with “Tim,” a man I have been dating for more than a year. We’re very much in love and plan to be married one day. My problem is he keeps getting phone calls from old girlfriends. This morning someone called but hung up when I picked up the phone.
Until now, I have trusted Tim completely. Now I’m afraid perhaps we acted too soon in moving in together.
Tim has always remained friends with all of his girlfriends after their relationships ended. He says they are nothing more than friends now. I think he should have finalized his previous romances before I moved in. I believe he should take the initiative in contacting these women and ask them to respect our relationship by not calling.
How can I handle this without giving him an ultimatum? — Upset in Seattle
A: If, after one hang-up, you are questioning Tim’s commitment to you, you’re being unfair. It’s possible the hang-up was a wrong number or a telemarketing call and nothing more.
Ask yourself what it is about a hang-up on the telephone that has made you feel so vulnerable. You knew after you had dated Tim for a while that he’s the type of person who maintains friendships after the romance fizzles. Relax! And remember the person he invited to share the nest and build a future with was YOU.
Q: Since my husband and I were married two years ago, my relatives have been asking when we are going to have kids. I know they mean well, but these relatives all have a tendency to talk among themselves once they find juicy gossip to circulate.
I am now pregnant with our first child. I have asked my immediate family to keep the happy news to themselves and let the others find out later in my pregnancy or after the birth of my child.
How do we respond to these nosy, gossipy relatives when they ask, “Why didn’t you tell us sooner?” — Staying Mum for Now
A: The answer is, “Because we wanted to keep it private.”
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.