Dear Sangita: My wife’s work husband is making me jealous

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Sangita Patel is Streets of Toronto’s advice columnist and was previously an entertainment reporter with ET Canada. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two daughters. 


Dear Sangita: My wife has a “work husband” and he’s making me rage with jealousy. He always does nice things for her, buying her lunch and helping her out when she’s overloaded at work. He also once offered to help with pick-ups for our daughter’s birthday party because she was telling him how I was too busy to get the cake and the decorations and she didn’t know if she’d have time. I feel like my wife tells me about these things not because she’s into him but because she feels like I’m not doing enough at home. I wish he would stop helping her; what should I do? — Really raging

Dear Raging:  It seems that you feel like your wife is having an emotional affair with her co-worker, or “work husband”. If she really is trying to make you jealous because you’re not paying enough attention to her or if this is another way of showing that she’s not happy, I would say this is the wrong way to go about it. The two of you need to sit down and talk about it. She should be able to ask you for help picking up a cake for your daughter’s birthday. You can be angry — but at the same time, the two of you need to fix it. It’s not great that you’re directing your anger toward your wife instead of redirecting it to do something about the problem and maybe helping out more, if that is the concern. 

Dear Sangita: My friend has stopped speaking to me because I wore the bridesmaid dress for her wedding to another wedding first. For context: she didn’t have us wear a specific dress for her wedding, she just gave us a general colour and let us pick anything we wanted. The other wedding I had before hers was with a totally different group of people. She saw photos of that wedding after her wedding already happened, and now she’s furious with me and refuses to explain why. Did I really do something wrong? — Bridesmaid blues

Dear Blues: First of all, dresses are expensive. You knew that the audience would be different at this other wedding and felt comfortable wearing it there. I get that the bride wanted to make the day special, but she didn’t provide the dress — she can’t dictate where you wear it. If you’re good friends, I would definitely try to resolve this. You need to be candid. Tell her that you’ve been friends for a long time, and if it’s about the dress, let’s talk about it! If she doesn’t respond, that’s an answer in itself. But if someone’s going to cut you out, you deserve an explanation. She should give you at least that little bit of respect. 

Dear Sangita: I have a big extended family, and we don’t agree on much but we do on this: we hate my cousin’s boyfriend. He’s been coming to family events for a year now and no one can stand him. I think my cousin sees this but she loves him and seems to just kind of hope he’ll change or we’ll get used to it. If he makes family gatherings so unpleasant for all of us, don’t we have the right to uninvite him?  — Cousin closing ranks

Dear Closing: What I’ve learned from experience is when someone comes into a family in a new setting, they try to do what they think will make them look good. So he may look like a jerk, but to him, he feels like he’s being his best.

 If your cousin loves this guy and you love your cousin, you have to try to make it work. And if you’re really uncomfortable with this person, and he’s really rude, tell him, “Listen, dude, you can’t say that to me. We don’t do that in our family.” But uninviting him is not an option, unless you want to not invite your cousin.

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