Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Newlywed Caught Between Wife and Best Friend

DEAR HARRIETTE: My female best friend and my wife don’t get along. My best friend is like a sister to me. She thinks that I made a huge mistake eloping with my wife this year; she doesn’t think that my wife is right for me. I know we rushed into the marriage, but I want my friend’s support so that if I ever come to realize this was a mistake, she is there for me. But if not, and this marriage lasts, I don’t want her to resent me for my choices. I just need my friend back, and I don’t want her making jokes about my wife and making fun of her.

On the other hand, my wife thinks my best friend jokes about her and is against our marriage because she has feelings for me. I don’t think that's true, but with both of these women in my ear, I don’t know what to think. Who is right, and who is wrong? -- Feuding Women

DEAR FEUDING WOMEN: The problem starts with you. In your letter, you admit that you want your best friend to be there for you -- especially if your marriage doesn’t work out. That is not the way to approach marriage. Ask yourself why you chose to elope. What is it about your wife that you love? Why do you want to be with her? You have to get clear and committed about your marriage. Put your wife and your new life together first. If you don’t, you will not stay married.

Your best friend sounds like she is following your lead. Until you are completely devoted to your marriage, you cannot expect your friend to be supportive. She may or may not have romantic feelings for you. She could legitimately just be your good friend. Your job is to make sure that the two of you are clear about her role in your life. It is time for you to step into your life more fully and accept responsibility for it.