Dear Annie: Twenty-eight years ago, I was married with three children. We moved to a small city and met “Jane and Doug” and their children. Jane and I became instant friends, and our children played together.
Jane began an affair with some guy she met at work, and at the same time, I became enthralled with Doug. I convinced Jane that she would be happier if she divorced, even though I knew Doug didn’t want that. Nonetheless, we all divorced, and I moved in with Doug.
Ten years ago, Jane convinced her two sons to move back home. Jane then left her boyfriend of 15 years and moved into her son’s home. This is when my nightmare began.
Doug and I are members of a social club. Doug’s sons joined the club, and then Jane joined so she could spend time with her sons. She invaded our lives. She is there whenever we are, sitting at the same table, playing pool, etc., and dancing with Doug. Jane and I do not speak.
Jane is quite attractive but won’t date anyone. Doug feels sorry for her and obviously enjoys her attention. I know she holds a grudge against me for stealing her husband.
I do not enjoy the club anymore. I’ve tried not going, but that plays right into Jane’s hands. So I continue to go with Doug. He knows how much this hurts me, but he will not be rude to Jane or tell her to go away. I’ve considered giving him an ultimatum, but I don’t want to take the chance of losing him after 28 years. I really love him. Is there any way to resolve this? – Unhappy and Frustrated
Dear Unhappy: Some folks may see this as divine justice, but no one in this scenario is innocent. Nonetheless, you pushed Doug to get a divorce he didn’t want, which means he may still have unresolved feelings about Jane. Please get counseling, preferably with Doug, and see whether the two of you can be honest enough to work this out.