SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

March 25, 2013

Dear Abby: Neighbor’s critical husband creates friction in friends

:Dear Abby: My friend “Eden” recently told me that her husband constantly compares her to me. It came up because she asked how I was feeling in my first trimester of pregnancy, and I confided that I have been having a tough time keeping up with my household duties.

Instead of sympathizing, she said, “Wow! I’ll have to tell my husband that, because he’s always talking about how clean your house is and how you cook dinner for your family every night.”

I was really hurt that she was taking pleasure in my failures. I also felt uncomfortable that her husband compares her unfavorably to me. It isn’t the first time that she has mentioned how he talks about me.

I have distanced myself, hoping things would get better, but when I see her, she invariably manages to get in a little “dig.” I’m unsure how to handle this. We’re neighbors and have mutual friends. I thought we were friends, but now I realize she harbors some resentment toward me for something I didn’t cause. Help!

:No Contest in Maryland

:Dear No Contest: Unless Eden’s husband stops using you as the cudgel to beat her down with, you can forget being friends. A way to handle it would be to talk to her husband and say, “Please stop comparing me to your wife because it is affecting our friendship!”

:Dear Abby: Whenever my best friend smells a cough drop, she comments that it’s “rude” to eat one in public and that if someone is sick, the person should stay home.

I would much rather smell someone’s cough drop than listen to coughing during an entire movie or opera.

Some people may have bought expensive tickets to a show only to get sick the day before or have allergies that cause them to cough.

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