DEAR NATALIE: My best friend and I have known each other for over ten years. We met in college and just clicked on every level. I was out with a few of our other friends from college the other night to catch up. I hadn’t seen these girls in years. We were having such a great time until one of them said to me, “So, we always wanted to know how you forgave Diana.” I was totally confused. I asked them what they meant. My friends just looked at each other completely confused. I asked again and finally they shared that Diana had been cheating with my boyfriend through most of our junior and senior year in college. I was totally blown away. We broke up because I thought he was cheating, but could never prove it. Diana even comforted me through all of that! I have no idea what to do. I am sick and disgusted that I have been friends with such a liar for so long. She doesn’t know that I know. How do I bring it up? I am so angry! Do you think this will destroy our friendship? -BACKSTABBED BY BESTIE
DEAR BACKSTABBED BY BESTIE: I would not be able to carry on this charade knowing that she cheated with my boyfriend and then pretended to comfort me to my face. Regardless of what you decide to do with your friendship, you have to confront this situation. Imagine if you don’t. Every time you are with her, everything she says to you will be questioned in your mind. What else has she lied to you about over the years? I would speak plainly about this and just let her know what your mutual friends told you. Give her the opportunity to defend herself. Many people may say, “Oh, let it go. It was a long time ago.” While I agree to a point, this speaks to her character and you deserve to hear it from her. Then, you can decide whether or not the friendship is worth saving. She can’t be surprised if it takes a lot for you to bounce back from this level of betrayal.
DEAR NATALIE: My husband went on a bit of a health journey during COVID and has lost (and kept off!) almost 80 pounds. He feels great, looks great and has had my support every step of the way. We have both struggled with our weight over the years. I would like to lose about 50 pounds. I usually lose some, gain it back and then it’s a cycle. I kind of gave up during the pandemic. I was inspired watching him but couldn’t bring myself to workout or eat healthier meals. The only reason I did lose a little weight at one point was because he took charge of the cooking. He’s been on my case lately about getting in shape. He says that while he loves me, he isn’t “attracted to me right now.” He claims it isn’t my weight, but because I am lazy. None of this ever bothered him when he was fat. We had a great love life. Now I feel all of this pressure, which is making it even harder for me to get motivated. I think he thinks he is being supportive, but I just want to scream. I want my old partner back – the one that didn’t care about my weight and loved me, anyway. What can I do?
DEAR UNHAPPILY MARRIED: The first thing needing addressed is certainly not your weight – but his behavior towards you. The fact that you both were having fun together romantically before he lost weight leads me to believe that this has more to do with his perception of how he feels about himself and not as much about you. The projection of calling you “lazy” may be something he felt about himself when he weighed more. Now that he has lost weight, is that a way for him to keep it off? By criticizing himself inwardly and you outwardly? It may work in the short term, but he may find that even he is unable to live up to the pressures he is putting on himself. This comes down to how you feel about yourself and where those thoughts originate from. If you want to lose weight for you – and can do so with support from your doctor and your husband – then go for it. Ask your husband to cook for you both. Walk together after dinner or early in the morning before you start your day. Perhaps join a gym or download a fitness app. I’m not a doctor, so I won’t speak to weight loss from a physical or medical perspective. Before you do anything, you will want to chat with your doctor so that you can take care of yourself along this journey. I’m sorry that your husband is being unkind to you. He needs to turn the mirror around and look at himself and hear his own words. Please let him know how he is hurting you, how what he is saying doesn’t motivate you and what you need from him as his wife and partner. Working on your health together is a great goal, but having him degrade you so that he can feel better about himself will only create a divide between you that may not be mended over time. I doubt that is what he wants. If it is too painful to share with him out loud, write him a letter. You deserve to have your feelings heard. Good luck to you both.
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