Question: Dear Luise: My husband and I have been close friends with another couple for years. They have three kids and we have two, and we all just feel very connected. The guy called me at work when his company had a sales weekend at a local hotel and asked me to come down “for a drink”. I was shocked and hurt but skated around the subject with him, telling him I’d be glad to go sit their kids so his wife could join him. He’s quite a salesman, but it didn’t work with me. Since then, it hasn’t happened again and the four of us are still hanging out…but it just doesn’t feel the same. I can’t talk with my husband because he would either go for our “friend’s” throat, blame me or maybe both. I don’t know how to handle this. Thanks for listening. Frieda
Answer: Dear Frieda: You have handled it very well. You didn’t buy into his less than subtle approach and you have kept your own counsel. I have a feeling you are pretty quick on your feet and won’t let him isolate you from the herd, either.
The worst part of this is what it is costing you. You felt that you had a wonderful four-way, “adult” partnership that was trustworthy. Confidences obviously won’t work in this situation. His wife might decide to blame you as a way to keep her image of her husband in tact. Who knows? You must feel pretty alone with this Catch 22.
Your silence leaves you with no acceptable explanation for wanting to pull back from this long-standing interaction. It sounds like you and the other woman enjoy each other and your kids, so as far as I can see all you can do is hold you head up high and watch your back.
Something will come along that will break up the foursome. One of the guys will change jobs and one family will move, or some other life-circumstance will intervene. We live in such a mobile society that you can almost count on it. Kids grow up fast, and interests shift. Hang in there and “this, too, shall pass”. Blessings, Luise