DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My husband travels a lot for his work, sometimes having to be away for two or three weeks at a time. We couldn’t afford a dream house, so we got a fixer-upper in an older neighborhood near where we want our kids, when they come along, to go to school. It’s also not a bad commute for me.
I love the house and most of the neighbors, but there is one woman who is always asking questions around what she really wants to say, and what she really wants to say is something about my cheating on my husband with the guy who always comes over to help me. This mystery man is my future brother-in-law, who happens to be a professional carpenter. He lives about 90 minutes away, so when we’re working on an especially big job, he sometimes stays over, including when my husband’s away. My sister has come along with him a few times, but she’s a nurse, so her weekends are often not her own.
I have introduced, and reintroduced my future brother-in-law to her as what he is — my future brother-in-law — but I can see she doesn’t believe it, and word has gotten back to me by way of another neighbor that the other woman is saying some nasty things about me.
Honestly, I want to laugh, but it just bugs the hell out of me that this woman is spreading lies about me. Do I let her have it or laugh it off in front of her? --- NOT A CHEATER
DEAR NOT A CHEATER: Some people prefer to think the worst about others as a way of feeling better about themselves.
Maybe the next time your husband and your future brother-in-law are at the house at the same time, you should make it a point to re-re-introduce both men to your nosy neighbor, if possible in front of a few of the other folks on your street.
You can’t scrub her mind, but maybe you’ll make her think twice about spreading her toxins so freely.