Wife’s full-on business obsession calls for candour
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Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My young wife used to lack self-confidence, but since she started working with this new woman at her sales job, she’s been acting weirdly confident. She’s bought a new wardrobe — a lot of bold red and black — and now she dresses up every day.
She also got herself an expensive new haircut and — this is weird — she’s started taking her sports car to the car wash every Sunday. “Got to make a good impression on the customers!” she told me. What? She travels inside and outside of the city for work, but she never cared about a hot-looking car before.
She seems different — kind of excited for no reason. These days she often calls and says she’s going for a drink at the end of the day with “a few people from work.” But in the end, she forgets and only mentions this one “sales associate.” That woman is the biggest difference in her life these days. She seems to idolize her, and quotes her all the time.
I dropped in at her work on a flimsy excuse last week. She was busy on the phone, so her new “friend” hustled right over, and started charming me. It was so phony. I could tell she didn’t like me. Now what do I do?
— Worried Husband, North Kildonan
Dear Worried: Cut to the chase, and tell your wife straight-up you’re jealous of her new friend at work. Tell her about the vibes you got when you stopped in at her work. Then wait quietly for her reply — no interruptions.
She may beg off, and tell you she’ll talk to you tomorrow. To that response, your reply could be: “That’s fine, and please remember how much I love you.” She might also tell you how she feels right away. Or, she may not.
She might simply have a “work crush” on this woman because she’s a shining star, and she wants to be just like her. Or, she may have a romantic crush, which is a more serious problem for everybody.
She might also tell you that you could not be more wrong about what you suspect, and that she seems “high” because she’s fallen in love with her work again, making new and bigger sales. Also, there’s a good chance her work friend may have a one-way crush, and your wife is feeling special because of it — though not sexually interested.
It will be hard to have this difficult heart-to-heart conversation, but the sooner you have it, the better chance for your relationship.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I’m a 16-year-old athlete — involved in team sports, as well as daily long-distance running. My mom likes to run with me, as well as doing her own long runs on the weekends.
Lately she’s been talking to me like a close friend. I don’t want to hear about her bad girlfriends, the gossip about her sisters and their husbands, and our old relatives. I don’t want to be her buddy!
How do I tell her to keep this personal stuff to herself? It’s embarrassing! Should I tell her I don’t want to run with her anymore, when it’s actually her company that keeps me running regularly?
Sometimes I put in earbuds so I can’t hear her, but that’s pretty awkward and disrespectful when you’re running with someone, so I end up taking them out.
— Plugging My Ears, Charleswood
Dear Plugging: The inoffensive word you need to use with your mother is “uncomfortable.” It won’t hurt or insult her, and it describes exactly how you’re feeling. Say: “Mom, please! I feel uncomfortable when you talk about personal stuff involving adults you know.”
Then you might use this line: “Could you please talk to your girlfriends about this stuff, instead? It upsets me, and I have no solutions for you.”
She may conveniently forget, and put that request out of her mind. So, every time she veers off into a personal family complaint, you say exactly the same thing again.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I met this cute guy at Christmas, at my parents’ first real party in two years. He’s the son of my dad’s friend.
I really liked him! He and I hung out by the adult champagne punch bowl, and secretly drank a little too much, together.
The trouble is, he lives on the other side of the city, and I haven’t heard from him since, so maybe he doesn’t remember me! Should I call him? He gave me his number, back then.
— Getting Impatient, Westwood
Dear Impatient: It’s a while since he gave you his number, and you didn’t use it. Oops! That might have hurt him and he may have pushed you to the back of his mind. He might not remember you right away, when he answers the phone.
An alternate contact route? Send him a fun message on social media, wishing him “Happy new year” and reminding him of that enjoyable Christmas party together.
Make some fun observations about it, telling him you enjoyed his company, and give him your phone number. Then see if he calls you back.
Please send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6.
Maureen Scurfield writes the Miss Lonelyhearts advice column.
Updated on Wednesday, February 1, 2023 8:58 AM CST: Fixes byline