Mar 012017


Dear Janet,

I am 45 and my girlfriend is 26.  We have been dating for almost a year.  I met her about a year after my divorce, and we just hit it off.  No one was more surprised than me, because I wasn’t particularly looking and certainly not for a woman so much younger than me.

She recently told me I needed to tell my best friend to have his wife knock off the dagger looks and snide comments about her age.  She told me she finally confronted her about it, and she acted as though she didn’t understand what she was talking about.

I was surprised, for I didn’t realize there was any kind of problem.  My friend’s wife has not done anything in front of me that would be considered rude in my opinion.  We’ve all been friends for ten years, and I’ve known his wife to be a fun, caring person.

I don’t want to offend anyone.  I also don’t want my girlfriend to think I don’t believe her.  I’m stuck.

Am I dense or is my girlfriend being over sensitive?  She is normally level-headed, so I do believe something may be going on I might not be seeing.   I honestly can’t tell, and I don’t know how to handle this.  Help!

John in New Jersey

Dear John,

Since your girlfriend confronted the issue, I would ask you both to let it rest and see what happens.  It is not your place to tell your friend to tell his wife what to do.  It is never effective to have two people in the middle of two others who need to work it out.

You could create a code your girlfriend can use to alert you if it happens again when you are present.  It may be that the wife is only doing this in when they are alone.

I applaud your girlfriend for dealing with it directly.  Either the wife was not aware and it will be on her radar now, or she knew exactly what your girlfriend was talking about and was too embarrassed to own up to her behavior.  Either way, if it happens again, I encourage your girlfriend to ask, “What happened just now to cause that remark (or dirty look)?”  When the wife learns she will be called out on her behavior, you will start to see change.

Best to all of you, Janet

Janet Schlegel is the Owner and Founder of Soul Work Counseling in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  She specializes in trauma and relationship issues. ContactWebsiteFacebookLinkedIn

Photo Credit – karenwarfel