Q: My college roommate recently asked me to go to a bar with her to meet up with a guy she had been talking to. We met him and some of his friends and had a really good time. The guy was cute and nice, and I was instantly attracted to him. When we got back to our apartment, she told me that she was not going to talk to him anymore. She said he's 30, and her parents would freak out if they knew she was even talking to a guy nine years older than her. I have been tempted to try to contact him, as I do not have a problem with the age difference. If my roommate doesn't want him and I do, then he is fair game, right?
Steve: Unless your roommate is the dog in a manger. You'd be surprised how many people take this attitude: I don't want/can't have him, but I don't want you to have him either. I'm still mad at my fraternity brother for blocking my moves on Paulette.
Mia: Friends tend to get touchy about sharing. Even if you think she's done with him, your pal may not want you making the moves on this guy. I'd tread lightly if you want to hang onto the friendship. At the very least, run it by her first so she doesn't feel blindsided.
Q: My wife and I have been married for nine years and have a 6-year-old son (she is 42 and I just turned 50). We've had marriage difficulties the past few years and tried some counseling on and off. I take on the bulk of the childcare because she has her own business. She also does not contribute as much as she should toward our mutual expenses. She lost her mother last year after a failed kidney transplant and criticizes me for not being there for her, and not visiting her mother in the hospital enough. While her mother was sick, she spent every waking moment at the hospital, and I had to take on even more of the childcare for our son. My wife filed for divorce in September but did not follow through since this so devastated me. She agreed to more counseling but has since moved into the guest bedroom. I recently found a printout of a text conversation she had that made me suspect she was having an affair. She admitted to the therapist that she was. Now I am so disgusted, part of me wants to get rid of her. But I still love her, so part of me still wants to stay married. She says she is sorry for hurting me, but it happened because "I wasn't there for her." I am afraid her affair will haunt me forever. Am I a fool to even entertain the idea of trying to stay together?
Mia: You have a child and a long history together, so it's not crazy to want to stay together. But that would take hard work from both of you. Your wife would have to stop justifying her cheating ways and acknowledge that what she did was wrong.
You would have to be able to forgive. And both of you would have to work on communication and trust issues. If you both can move forward, commit to counseling and give it a shot.
Steve: Lots of issues here, and it will take a professional to sort them out. But for the sake of your son, you need to try. *