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Ask Ellie: When a friendship turns sour, speak up or walk away

You can choose spend time with people who enjoy your company and want you to be happy

Dear Lisi: I’m 35 and pregnant with my second baby. I feel calm and prepared this second time around. One of my very close friends is a pediatrician, and her new sister-in-law is an obstetrician. I don’t see either professionally because we’re too close.

I found a great ob/gyn and a lovely pediatrician who takes great care of my daughter.

Now my friend is trying to get pregnant. I’m so excited for her. But she keeps giving me information after the fact. For example, she told me she takes an “amazing” vitamin that all women who are trying to, and are, pregnant must take. When I asked which vitamin she was referring to, she rudely replied, “Well you should know, you should have been taking it for years now.”

I later asked my ob/gyn and pediatrician and they agreed I should start taking it, but that it wasn’t popular when I was first pregnant with my daughter and not to worry. That incident bothered me, but I let it go.

However, recently we were at her house and her sister-in-law came over. I didn’t know, but she’s now pregnant. The two of them started talking, almost in code, about another new vitamin, and a new food theory, and a new sleep theory, etc., etc. They were being very exclusive and almost ignoring me.

I’m so hurt and don’t understand this behaviour. Thoughts?

Pregnant and Perplexed

This is strange and unkind behaviour, I agree. And you say she’s a good friend? She’s not acting like one. The choice is yours: you can walk away and spend time with people who enjoy your company and want you to be happy and healthy; or you can speak up and tell her how she’s making you feel.

It’s definitely easier said than done, I know. I’ve also had friends who have been unkind.

Your focus must be on your health and that of the baby in your belly, and your daughter. Enjoy this part in your life. Try to stay away from all things negative.

FEEDBACK Regarding the woman wondering if she should tell her husband about an old affair (Aug. 11):

Reader — “Men and women have different reactions to learning that a spouse had an affair. I know a lot of apparently happily married couples in which a wife forgave a husband who had an affair. I can only think of one in which the husband forgave his wife – and he left a year later.

“Your advice that Conflicted Wife seek counselling to understand why she had an affair made sense. Your advice that she tell her husband is magical thinking and a road to divorce.

“A year after the affair has ended, there’s little likelihood the husband will find out. Even if someone tells him, she can accuse them of lying and deny it. But if she tells him herself, there won’t be much chance of him sticking around.

“If she feels so desperate and guilty that she’d rather tell him with the foreknowledge that it will most likely end her marriage, that’s her choice.

“If her goal is to continue in her marriage, telling him would likely be terminal.

“If she tells her husband and he leaves, she’ll continue to feel guilty, but now for a) having had an affair, and b) having told her husband.

“I believe it would be a mistake for her to tell her husband and expect the marriage to last.”

Lisi – It’s a traditional view to keep the affair secret and sometimes it’s the right move. But in this case, the woman was struggling and suffering from guilt. That’s why I suggested she get help to figure out why she had the affair in the first place.

FEEDBACK Regarding the woman with hairy armpits whose daughter was embarrassed (July 21):

Reader – “I stopped shaving years ago because my armpits kept swelling up from irritation from antiperspirant or deodorant. There is nothing wrong with not shaving and it’s no one’s business but the person who wants to stop shaving.

“If there is odour then use antibacterial cream. Do men smell worse than women? Oh, and I use Old Spice deodorant, which is cheaper than women’s deodorant.”

Lisi – You’re right that there is nothing wrong with not shaving. And it’s no one’s business. But the daughter is embarrassed by her mother’s choice, so I was trying to help her understand that it’s not her business and to get over it.

Send your relationship questions via email: ellie@thestar.ca.

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