Carolyn Hax: Advice

Does dating a friend’s ex-husband violate a ‘girlfriend code’?

Carolyn Hax
Carolyn Hax

DEAR CAROLYN: About 20 years ago, my husband and I befriended this other couple. We were all recently married then.

The husbands had a falling out seven years ago and we all stopped speaking. She particularly shunned me after their argument, which had nothing to do with me or her. I felt pretty sad but moved on.

Fast forward to when I was divorced for one year and they were separated and in divorce proceedings. He and I reconnected and started dating, and we have fallen in love. I have never been happier in my life. It was all above board, no shenanigans.

He is now divorced and upon finding out about us, she has had a major meltdown. She is furious and accused us of having an affair because we started seeing each other while they were separated.

I feel horrible, but she and I have not been in contact for several years. What say you? Did I violate some girlfriend code?

No Shenanigans

DEAR NO SHENANIGANS: What is there to feel horrible about?

If it’s just that someone you (used to) care about is in pain, then I can see that. Of course.

But in the story you tell, you’re rivals only of her making; you had no falling out with her seven years ago, and no role in breaking a marriage already broken.

And she’s the one using her current misery, apparently, as an excuse to behave miserably toward you for a second time this decade.

So even if I believed in a code, which I don’t, there’d be no violation of it here besides hers. She only embarrasses herself with her venom.

HI, CAROLYN: Today is my dad’s birthday. We all forgot … again.

I have asked him numerous times to just provide a reminder. I always give everyone a heads up before my birthday — it’s a courtesy as everyone is so busy nowadays.

So I got a midday “joking” email about how no one wished him a happy birthday. I feel guilty, but this could all be avoided if he just gave his forgetful family a little warning instead of playing this game every year. Thoughts?

I Forgot … Again

DEAR I FORGOT: In the time you spent writing this question, you could have set yourself five “dad’s birthday” reminders on as many different e-platforms. Time to ask yourself who’s playing games here and why.

Email Carolyn at tellme@washpost.com or chat with her online at 10 a.m. Friday at www.washingtonpost.com.

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