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A friend is dating a friend, but one’s keeping a secret

Updated: March 18, 2014 4:15PM

Dear Cheryl,

I have a dilemma. At a party at my house, one of my good friends, Shelly, hooked up with one of my husband’s good friends, Ted. (I’ve been friends with Shelly for 10 years. My husband has been friends with Ted for 25 years.) The two of them have been in a relationship for about a year now.

Recently, while trolling Facebook, Shelly noticed a post in which Ted’s ex-wife commented that her daughter (Ted’s ex-stepdaughter) hates Ted for good reason. Shelly questioned Ted, who stated that his ex-wife is crazy and left it at that.

I told my husband about the incident and he informed me that Ted had been accused of “touching” the stepdaughter when she was a pre-teen. My husband told me that it was a lie and that he knows Ted’s ex-wife is vindictive and made it up. No charges were ever filed. My husband made me promise not to tell Shelly.

As a woman and former abuse survivor, I’m conflicted. I don’t want to break my husband’s confidence, and I know if I tell Shelly in confidence she won’t be able to keep it a secret. She’s been talking about having kids with Ted. What should I do?


Dear Conflicted,

Since Ted’s ex-wife hinted about the abuse on Facebook, it’s hardly a secret. Anyone reading between the lines might wonder if some sort of abuse took place. Tell your husband that if Shelly and Ted stay together, this is going to come out at some point and it should. Shelly has a right to know so she can make up her own mind as to whether or not the abuse actually happened.

The best way to handle it would be your husband talking to Ted, telling him he has to tell Shelly. His ex-wife is going to make sure she finds out and it’s better if it comes from him. And sooner is way better than later.

If your husband refuses, tell him he’s placed you in an impossible position. Your friend needs to know.

Dear Readers,

We recently discussed looks and whether it was so bad to be “average.” Your thoughts ...

SALLY: My husband calls it “Good-looking Woman Syndrome.” About age 12 or 13 these girls decide they get so much attention from their appearance, they neglect every other aspect of their self-development. Why should they bother when they assume they’re going to marry some rich guy and everything will just be given to them?

The difficulty for these women starts when they reach the age where they no longer get the attention they’re used to and the husband has moved on. They’re in middle age going through a first adolescence, wondering for the first time who they really are. The movie “Blue Jasmine” describes this totally.

LINDA: I’ve never forgotten an interview I once read with Joan Collins. She was asked what it was like for a beautiful woman to get older. She said it was like being born rich and getting poorer.

I guess I’m happy that I was never beautiful because as I age and become wiser, more tolerant, and all-over happier, I feel as if I’m getting richer and richer, not poorer and poorer.

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