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Ask Amy: Facebook dustup affects the whole family

Amy Dickinson
Tribune Content Agency

Dear Amy: “Sally” and I were “friends” on Facebook. We weren’t close, but our husbands were pals and my husband would often help hers with home projects. Sally tended to be needy and volatile, cutting people off when she disagreed with them.

Recently, Sally put a political post on FB and I responded to it in a way that she found offensive. She removed my comment. I then messaged her that I was sorry, and that I realized I had erred. I asked for reconciliation and asked if we could talk about it.

In response, she unfriended me and sent what I consider to be a very nasty message. I understand that she does not have to forgive me nor maintain any kind of contact.

Meanwhile, Sally’s husband asked mine for help with some cabinetry in their new home.

My husband spent the day working there.

That same day Sally (who I had not heard from in a long time), texted me in a friendly way.

My husband is supposed to go over there this week to work again on this project. I asked him not to go, but later I told him I was over this and would not interfere.

However, I cannot let it go. I keep thinking we both should take the high ground, but I don’t think my husband should help them out after Sally attacked me. — Perplexed

Dear Perplexed: It is somewhat baffling that after your lengthy narrative, which is all about “Sally’s” terrible behavior toward you, your problem isn’t with her, but your husband. This whole time, he has been minding his own business. But now he has emerged as the problem.

Your conflict with Sally has nothing to do with your husband, or hers. The two men are friends. You and she never were.

Yes, you should take the high ground. In my opinion, the high ground here would be where your husband is permitted to do something he enjoys doing with his friend without you trying to control him, while you continue to stay away from Sally, across all platforms. Ignoring her attempt to sweep this under the rug should give you some satisfaction, as this is evidence of you taking care of yourself and keeping your distance.

Dear Amy: I have been dating my guy for two years. We are very serious and exclusive.

This is the healthiest relationship I’ve ever had. I don’t want to ever lose him.

The only issue is that he goes through spells where he constantly accuses me of talking to someone else. He says that he isn’t accusing me of “cheating,” just talking to someone.

He says he has proof, but refuses to tell me why he is suspicious. I stopped using Facebook, except to message him, but then he said THAT was suspicious, so I went on FB more often, but now he thinks that’s suspicious, too.

He says he is suspicious because I don’t use my phone much around him, but I have no friends and he is the main person I talk too.

We live five hours apart and have gone from seeing each other weekly to now only once a month. He stays on his phone for hours at a time, saying its business, but he always took business calls in front of me before.

I have done everything I can think of to change and reassure him. I am almost 40 and have never cheated on anyone!

The way he goes on about this makes me wonder if HE is the one talking to someone else. I am faithful and loyal. — Faithful

Dear Faithful: Your guy is gaslighting you. He is creating ever-smaller hoops for you to jump through, and he is isolating you and separating you from your own intuition and sense of proportion. This is alarming and controlling behavior. I am very sorry you are going through this, but this is very unhealthy. I hope you will regain your equilibrium and move away from this relationship for your own good.

Dear Amy: The reader who commented that healthy bodies don’t smell (and don’t need deodorant) could use some factual correction — in addition to your masterful (as usual) reframing of the issue.

How much one sweats plus the makeup of one’s native bacteria contribute to body odor. Entirely healthy people sometimes really smell. At least that’s my 31-year experience as a dermatologist. — Lisa from Pittsburgh

Dear Lisa: Like a nasty rash that is now fading, you’ve cleared that up! Thank you.