Dear Cheryl: I've been divorced for many years, and I no longer date. A couple of months ago, I met a man by chance. I had no idea it would develop into an email friendship. I thought I was just writing to a professional writer in regard to something he'd written in a magazine. I'll call him "John." I'm older than he is. He knows my true age. And he's seen a recent picture of me. I know what he looks like.
We have a lot in common. We write frequent emails to each other about platonic things only — nothing romantic or sexual. He's married. I enjoy his letters very much, and he obviously enjoys mine. I have no intention or desire to ever meet him. He lives out of state.
In your opinion, is there anything morally wrong, or even just plain foolish, on my part in continuing our relationship? — Like Seeking Like
Dear Like Seeking Like: What could be wrong?
You're simply two people who enjoy exploring each other's minds in the form of emails on a variety of subjects, and who have no intention of ever meeting in person. Sounds perfectly kosher to me.
But I am curious as to why you sent him your picture.
Dear Cheryl: My husband and I have been married for 13 years. We're friendly with a group of three couples. None of us has family where we live, so we all get together for holidays and things like that. We've even traveled together. We also go out frequently with the couples in smaller groups. We have a great time together — that is until I recently became aware that one of the husbands has had an affair with one of the women and is currently having an affair with another!
This situation has me confused and upset. I don't know who knows what, and it's killing me. The women confided in me individually and swore me to secrecy. I have no respect for the philandering husband and consider him a serial cheater who should be, if not shunned, then at least avoided. I feel sorry for the cuckolded husbands and wonder if they even know the score. I don't even know if the wives know about each other.
My husband tells me to mind my own business, keep my mouth shut and ignore the shenanigans. I'm not comfortable doing that. I would hate to break up the group, but I feel like a hypocrite pretending everything is OK. What do you suggest? — Party of Eight
Dear Party of Eight: This sounds like an incredibly complicated situation. I can see why you don't want to be part of it.
Tell your husband that socializing with these people is no longer fun. It's become stressful, and who needs more stress? Tell him you need to stop seeing these people, or at least the two couples tainted by cheating. So, stop making plans with the group. Stop accepting invitations. Tell your husband if he wants to maintain a relationship with the men, he should do it on his own time.
And make some new friends.
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