DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm having some trouble navigating my husband's family. We aren't officially married, but we have been together for over eight years now. It started a few years ago with a bridal shower that I wasn't invited to. I only heard about it a few days after the event when his dad asked me if had enjoyed myself at the big party. I was heartbroken when I heard that so much, I made my guy call his mom about it. After that I was told I would be included in "the girlie" things with his mom, sister, aunt and cousin.
Fast-forward to this year and thanks to social media I learned the girls went out for a spa day together. Again, no invite for me. I haven't said anything to my guy mostly because his mom is fighting cancer right now and I don't want to make trouble, but the lonely part of me feels like crying. I only have a couple of good friends and my mom lives in Edmonton. I just want to belong and this just makes me feel like I don't. -- Wishing I Belonged in the Girls Club, Winnipeg
Dear Wishing: You sure you want to be part of a club that doesn't want you as a member? OK, then here's what you do: Figure out who organized the spa day and didn't invite you, then start inviting her to a few things -- movies, concerts, lunches and so on -- as if you didn't notice her snub. Get to know her personally. Do that with other people in the group, as well, so they feel closer to you and naturally want to invite you to things. But, more importantly, join some other groups this spring and make your own friends.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I found out my best friend is stealing clothes again, and I'm horrified. She is a grown woman and said she wanted to show me something in her closet. It was crammed with a bunch of clothes with tickets hanging on them. She has big money with her new husband -- lots of it -- and has no need to steal.
I don't know if I should tell her husband or not. He will be angry, as she had this habit when she was younger and swore to him she'd gotten therapy and grown out of it long ago. Now he's away a lot and she's bored and angry at him for abandoning her three to four days a week. There are no kids. Do you think she was letting me know so I would tell him? -- Her Best Friend, Winnipeg
Dear Best Friend: Showing you the spoils of the hunt was a cry for help. Say to her: "I think you're trying to tell me you're shoplifting again. I got your hint, and now we have to talk." Also, ask her if this shoplifting has something to do with her husband being away all the time. Then add: "Do you want to shock him into staying in town to watch over you?" You should ask her if she is ready to get help because you can't carry the burden of knowing if she continues to steal. That will force her to make the first appointment.
She may be much angrier at her man than you know and subconsciously be trying to get caught to hurt him where it hurts most -- his reputation. Perhaps she needs to leave him but is terrified to make the break, but he may make the break from her once he knows, then she's free. So should you tell the husband? Not yet. Don't play into this game. Insist she gets some counselling and drive her to the first session to make sure she is actually going. If she doesn't go, then tell her husband. As her best friend, you don't want to see her go any further down a road that leads to jail.
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