Ask Amy: Husband worries about wife's male friendship
DEAR AMY: My wife "Monica" and I are in our 20s. We have been married only for a few months, and we are very happy.
I do have one concern, though, that I can't seem to get beyond.
Since her senior year in college, Monica has been meeting periodically with a male friend who shares her interest in genealogy.
When we married, I just assumed those meetings would either end, or they would join a genealogy group with other people.
However, Monica has continued to meet with her friend, and I usually bowl or play cards on those evenings.
We have had a few discussions about the issue and I really want her to objectively see my position.
We are deeply in love, and I know there is absolutely nothing romantic between Monica and her friend. Am I being unreasonable, and should I just accept the situation?— TORN IN TULSA
DEAR TORN: If you know that there is nothing romantic between your wife and her friend from college, then — I fail to see what about this is so troubling to you.
It sounds as if these periodic meetings between your wife and her friend have been going on during most of — and perhaps your entire — relationship. Perhaps you don't think that married people should have one-on-one meetings with people of the opposite sex. Did you think marriage would affix a golden handcuff to you and your wife? It doesn't work like that.
I think you'll feel a lot better about your situation if you choose to love your wife enough to trust her, completely.
Trust is a choice, and trust can sometimes be a heavy lift.
For now — pretend that you do; act as if you do, and you will experience a liberation from your jealousy about this outside friendship.
Tell your wife that you'd be happy if she wanted to invite her genealogy friend to your house for their meetings. Say your hellos, serve the two some cheese and crackers, and then go and bowl a strike.
DEAR AMY: I have a basic understanding of Spanish. I know enough to hold a friendly conversation. From my time working in a restaurant, I can handle pretty much anything related to food.
I personally find using a different language to be really fun, when the situation presents itself. However, I'm not sure when it is appropriate to do so.
For example, I know that the cleaning women in my building speak Spanish. Would it be inappropriate for me to say, "Hola, como estas?" when I pass them in the hallway, instead of "Hi, how are you?"
Or when I'm getting takeout and I hear the cashier speaking Spanish, would it be rude to order in Spanish instead of English?
I'm afraid that a white girl going out of her way to speak a different language comes across as pretentious. Or worse, like I'm implying that the person doesn't speak English well enough to interact with me in it.
Really, I just think it's a beautiful language, and at the very least, it'll help me get better at it. Do you or your readers have any advice? — SHYLINGUAL
DEAR SHYLINGUAL: I don't see this as pretentious or as you being judgmental, but more as you being open — literally — to "interpretation." Some people may like this, some may not. Some may privately snicker, or answer your question in English.
It seems fairly important, however, that you demonstrate enough competence to understand the response, when someone answers your question: "Como estas?"
I'm interested in what readers have to say.
DEAR AMY: You frequently receive questions regarding friends and family members whose behavior changes radically. This creates confusion and relationship problems.
My wonderful Momma went from sweet and loving — to angry and vicious. She hallucinated about very sexual things: men, fires, and water. She physically attacked my dad (my siblings and myself found this out after she died).
After many years of this behavior — testing, and numerous doctor visits, my beautiful mother was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia. Nine weeks later, she was gone.
Please, I beg your readers, if your loved one changes drastically, keep fighting for their mental health. — STILL GRIEVING
DEAR GRIEVING: Lewy Body Dementia is a devastating illness which (to my amateur understanding) seems to combine symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and dementia. Notably, the wonderful comic and actor Robin Williams was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia after his death by suicide, which has helped to raise awareness.
You can email Amy Dickinson at email@example.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.