DEAR MARY ANN: My dear friend's husband is having an affair. Several of our friends are aware of the affair, but his wife isn't. My friends want me to tell her, but I want to stay out of it. What do you suggest?
-- WANTS TO STAY OUT OF IT
DEAR WANTS STAY OUT OF IT: If you tell your friend about her husband's affair, she may resent your role as self-appointed morals counselor. Even with the "aha" moment you provide, she is likely to remain loyal to her husband. She may be looking the other way because she feels it is her only choice in an effort to salvage her marriage and family. Defending her husband is part of her denial. It is better if you remain silent.
That said, if you have actual knowledge of a dalliance, you may be doing the right thing by telling your friend about her husband's indiscretion. Your information could be the catalyst that confirms her suspicions and gives her the impetus to confront him. Infidelity is a reality; so are STDs and drained investment accounts. Although you jeopardize your friendship by intruding into her private matters, you are supporting your friend by informing her of her husband's indiscretion.
To remain silent or to inform are serious choices that should be made on a case-by-case basis minus any drama or gossip.
DEAR MARY ANN: My wife of 10 years and I have a close and loving relationship in most respects. One facet of our relationship that is troubling and hurtful to me is that she refuses to tell me or discuss who she votes for in any election. I find this to be most unusual and confounding for a married couple with a fine relationship that includes devotion and respect for each other. I told her this week that it is hurtful to me. She said nothing, which exacerbates the situation.
I am an outspoken, opinionated person with political views galore, but I know from discussions that our views intersect on most issues. I have assured my wife that I would not ridicule or denigrate her if her ballot choices are not mine, yet this does not seem to matter to her.
I suppose I have to deal with a position that I feel is unreasonable, or do you feel that I am being unreasonable?
-- POLITICALLY CURIOUS HUSBAND
DEAR CURIOUS HUSBAND: Your assurances to your wife that she will not be criticized or belittled for making her own political decisions are falling on deaf ears. Your wife's choice of candidates could be the same as yours, but she doesn't want to share that information with you. What she is asking for is some space and privacy. Let the secrecy of her ballot remain a mystery. You are being unreasonable on this one.
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