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Ask Amy: Friend won’t let bestie be “the other woman”

Dear Amy: I believe my best friend “Lara” may knowingly be the “other woman” in an affair. Lara has recently started seeing “Jonas,” an ex from her college days.

He contacted her about six months ago and it began as a friendly conversation from afar (they live in different states).

They’ve seen each other in person twice now — once at a hotel when she was traveling for work, and very recently when he visited her at her home.

Before they met up in person, I expressed my concerns because the last she knew, he was still with his long-time partner (with whom he shares two kids).

Lara said she would find out the truth before things progressed. Things have now progressed, but she refuses to share many details — just that Jonas and his partner are together in name only, and he plans to end it officially now.

I find this lack of information very concerning. Many easy-to-find clues on the internet have led me to believe he is still very much with his partner.

I fear that Lara has blinders on

I am not comfortable hearing about her relationship with Jonas.

I also wonder if I should have another talk with her — or even contact Jonas’ partner.

— A Worried Friend

Dear Worried: I agree with you that your best friend is most likely “knowingly” the “other woman” in an affair.

You must agree that she has access to all of the information you have access to — and more.

And so, if she is knowingly engaging in this relationship, you have no duty to tell her, and you certainly have absolutely no business notifying “Jonas’” partner, who is a total stranger.

In short, none of this is any of your business. Congratulations! You’re completely off the hook.

You obviously don’t approve of this, and you may be worried about your friend getting hurt in a situation that is almost guaranteed to hurt at least one of the involved parties. These are things you have the right to express, using “I statements,” as in: “I really don’t approve of what you are doing. I’m very worried that you are going to get hurt.”

That’s it. Your friend has the right to live her own life, the way she wants to live it. Her choices may harm her, and may harm her relationship with you. Those are the consequences of her choices, and she — and you — will have to accept them.

Dear Amy: I’m in my mid-20s and have been living with my folks, post-college, while I save money to move out on my own. I sleep (and mainly live) in my childhood bedroom. I work in a restaurant, so I eat most of my meals out. I pay $350 a month to my mother to rent my room.

I bring home a fair amount of cash from tips. Because of that, and honestly because I suspected my mom was going through and occasionally borrowing my things, I installed a camera which is connected to my phone.

Long story short — I saw my mother enter my room and engage in what I would call basic “snooping” behavior. Reading stuff that was on my desk, looking at bills, looking in my closet.

I was sort of creeped-out but not surprised. I asked her about it the next day and she was highly offended that I had installed the camera. She insisted that I remove it because it is “her house.”

I’m frustrated and would like your take on this.

— Dutiful Daughter

Dear Daughter: It might be your mother’s house, but you are renting a room from her, and this should be your private space, because you are paying for it. (And she should respect your privacy, regardless.)

I think it might be time to get a lock on your door.

Understand that this whole episode could very likely lead her to ask you to move out.

You might be able to rent a room elsewhere for a price close to the one you are paying. Your mom would probably respect the validity of your rental agreement if she tried to evict you.

Dear Amy: “K” expressed the desire to visit a former lover from many decades ago, while the woman was currently in a nursing home.

Thank you for encouraging K to ask if this was OK. I cannot imagine a more stressful thing for family members than a complete stranger showing up and expecting to visit.

— Been There

Dear Been There: This idea was mainly serving “K’s” interests.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

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