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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Friend or Foe?

Dear Mistress Maeve,

I have a problem concerning my husband's best friend that I hope you can help me take care of discreetly. They have been best friends since grade school, and I would hate to see my husband lose his best friend over this. I've been married to my husband for three years, and we were together for two years before that. Nearly the entire time, his best friend has been coming on to me. It started out with just jokes and flirting, most of the time right in front of my husband, who would just laugh it off because his friend has always been known as the "class clown." But, recently, he seems more serious in his advances. He's even made comments about what would have happened if he had "met me first." When I look uncomfortable, he's quick to make a joke and smooth things over.

My husband would be devastated to learn that his best friend is really trying to make a move on me. I just want him to drop this nonsense. How would you handle this situation?

Not Laughing

Dear NL,

Well, my dear, I wouldn't have to handle this situation, because I would have nipped it in the bud long ago. You need to deal with this guy immediately. It sounds like his behavior has escalated over the years, and you must put a stop to it before it goes any further.

I know you want to protect your husband and their friendship, but I assure you — he's no friend to your husband. You need to think about keeping your relationship with your husband healthy, open and honest — keeping secrets only erodes your connection. Have a talk with your hubby and explain that while he may think his best friend is joking around, you are convinced otherwise. Tell him that you feel uncomfortable, and relay recent comments his "best friend" has made to you privately.

See what your husband has to say. Given their friendship, he may want to deal with the situation man to man, or he may suggest that you put your foot down next time it happens. Either way, you need your husband's support on this, and I wouldn't recommend approaching the friend before you speak with hubby — it could blow the situation wide open, leaving your husband wondering why he was kept in the dark.

And one more thing — be ready for a less-than-supportive initial response from your husband. You're right — he will be devastated, and he might not want to believe his best friend is after his wife. Be kind, but also be steadfast. You've put up with this long enough, and it's time for hubby to back you up.


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